Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why Starved Rock is the Place to Start Your Business

Starved Rock Country is the place to start your business!

Where is Starved Rock Country? Starved Rock Country is located in North Central Illinois. Starved Rock Country includes the cities of La Salle, Marseilles, Mendota, Oglesby, Ottawa,  Peru, Princeton, Seneca, Spring Valley, Streator, and Utica. Starved Rock Country is located near 2 state parks: Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Park. These parks attracts local and non locals to the park each year.

There are events happening during all 12 months that bring people to the area. You have eagle watchers, winter hikers and winter sports, indoor water park, holiday events, wine tasting events, fireworks, burgoo festival, and so much more to do eat, shop, and relax.The residents here will tell you where their favorite friend chicken place is and you will here there are many restaurants that offer great friend chicken. Another popular item people enjoy easting in our area is the ravs. When people say ravs, you will know them as tortellini.

The residents living in this area love to shop local and buy local goods. If you want to know more about starting a business in the Starved Rock Country be sure to check out our new marketing campaign page which should be available later this Spring at To learn more about Starved Rock be sure to check out www.starvedrockstatepark,org

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Do you think Everyone is your customer?

I am a business adviser at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Illinois Valley Community College and when talking to business owners about who their customer is they will likely tell me everyone or they have no clue how to answer that question. Maybe they never thought about who is their ideal customer and who is currently shopping in their stores.

I work retail on the weekends and I can give you a description about who our primary customer is in our store. It would be a lady over the age of 50. Our secondary customer is women between 30-50. Yes we have customers that are kids, young men, older men, etc. However, that can be said about more businesses is that  you serve everyone in some way or another, but how regularly? Do they sign up for your email lists?

Your next step is to identify who is your regular customer. Here are the basic items to identify: Is it males or females? Age? Is there income levels? location?
If you want to go into further detail, then here are some other items to consider-own home, rent, parents, in college, and you could go on to really describe your customers. But begin with the basic questions before describing them in more detail.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Business or Hobby?

Many people will venture into a hobby while working a full or part time job(s). They learn the skills needed for their hobby and begin talking to their friends and family that give them the support to keep going with their hobby. Then that is when individual may think, I can turn this hobby into a business. So lets review is it a Hobby or a Business:
Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit. In order to make this determination, taxpayers should consider the following factors:
  • Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
  • Does the taxpayer depend on income from the activity?
  • If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
  • Has the taxpayer changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
  • Does the taxpayer or his/her advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  • Has the taxpayer made a profit in similar activities in the past?
  • Does the activity make a profit in some years?
  • Can the taxpayer expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?
    If you want to learn more about is it a Business or Hobby be sure to follow up with the IRS at this link:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week8: The Profit Review(Season Finale)

 Watch tonight's season finale preview(13 minutes) by clicking on the link:
Key Pie Lime Company

Who wants a slice of this company? We see another partnership between boyfriend and girlfriend. I can't wait to learn more about each of the owners. We can see that working for the male owner that he has a short fuse and wants things to be done when and how he wants them completed. In the preview, we did not learn much about the girlfriend, but that she is running the other location.

2nd Location-Im confused why they make the pies in the other facility and ship from this facility. Again, the efficiency is low. If they are lacking space in the other facility, having this location still does not seem to be ideal. We will have to wait until tonight to see why they opened this location.

Recipe-Nothing seems original in this pie business. The crust is pre-made and the filling is not original or fresh ingredients. Not one of their products in their store is made by them. They are carrying a high percentage of products that deal with key lime, but at what price did they buy the products. We see they are making little  money from the products.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 7: The Profit Preview

Tonight Marcus visits Amazing Grapes.

Absentee Owners
We can see that the co-owners are highly absent from there business. Their 17 employees are keeping the business doors open.  It is amazing that one business owner is a consultant. He should set an example. Other issues that are possible with absentee owners is that employees may be stealing from the business.
Layout of the Business
We can see that they have multiple businesses going on under one roof. They are a wine store and a restaurant. This requires a lot of work on both owners. Having retail space near a restaurant can be beneficial because if they enjoyed something at the restaurant that you specifically made(wine, dressing, sauce) then it may help selling it in a retail area. The area doesn't have to be too big, but it can bring in more money and keep your business logo in front of the customer.

To preview tonight's episode