Even with a major national chain pet store several blocks away, Wigglyville Inc., a pet store in the Wrigleyville neighborhood
owned by Hollus Gessler, earned over $200,000 in revenues in just ten months of business with the help of SCORE Counselor Kisoon Park. According to industry statistics, only 14% of independent pet-supply stores in the nation have sales that fall in the range of $200,000 and $299,990.
After she had drafted a detailed business plan to start a very special pet store, Gessler brought it to SCORE to have it reviewed by a seasoned business person. She wanted to be sure her plan was feasible and workable, and she also sought advice on its financial sections. Mr. Park became her advisor and mentor.
Park spent time reviewing Wigglyville’s pro forma financials. Since the draft plan did not contain cash-flow projections, Park gave Gessler sample formats and critiqued several versions. “The budget flow chart was absolutely invaluable,” she said.
Like many SCORE clients, Gessler also inquired about start-up business loans. Park provided recommendations on SBA loan programs and also introduced her to several SBA-partner banks. Through conversations with the banks, Gessler decided that a business line of credit would best meet her needs.
Park also discussed at great length the pros and cons of a location, and how the rent would impact her planning. “He stressed that location is key but also to make sure that the location can sustain the business, considering we serve the community with perishable items,” she recalls.
Gessler worked with Park over six months to create an extraordinarily detailed business plan, and Wigglyville Inc. opened its door in July 2005. “ I continue to modify and update my business plan,” she says. “I consider it my master bible and each year plan to use it to analyze my next year’s business strategies.”