Pam Olson, owner of The Lady’s Room, an upscale women’s consignment boutique in Damariscotta, came to New Ventures Maine as she was in the process of opening her very first business. Pam remembers, “I had never worked in retail and knew practically nothing about the ‘behind the scenes’ of owning your own business.”
In the throes of start-up, Pam enrolled in New Ventures Maine’s twelve-week business planning class. “The program taught me a lot about how important planning is, figuring out what comes first, and how not to get too caught up in all the worries that go along with being an entrepreneur.”
In the class, Pam learned about money and how to go about finding it. When Pam first applied for a loan, she was turned down because the person she talked with didn’t think her business was a viable one. But Pam persevered, self-financing her business start-up and growing her boutique steadily even in a difficult economic climate.
Pam notes, “Eventually, I did want to grow my business and I did have to get a loan. This time, because I had facts and figures to present to the bank, I secured a loan, and most importantly, credit with the bank. By securing that first loan, I was able to bring in lines of new merchandise to add to the consignment items.”
From the Venturing Forth business planning class, Pam says, “I learned about flexibility and what it’s like when things work out great and when they don’t. I learned how to talk with people, not at people. I learned self-confidence to be able to promote myself and my business.”
With a decade of business success under her belt, Pam reports, “Taking the Venturing Forth course and seeing how it played out for me has made me so proud of what I’ve accomplished. Things I never thought I could or would be able to do… I’ve done!”
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