Collective Wealth Planning is a fee-only financial planning and wealth management practice focused on helping its clients balance living for today while saving for tomorrow. When starting the business, owner Brenna Baucum faced an opportunity to put this foundational focus into practice.
"The wisdom shared by other solo practitioners highlighted the importance of sufficient savings to cover startup costs and sustain the first year or two of business and personal expenses," Brenna shared. "I followed this advice, and seeing a healthy balance in our savings account was incredibly reassuring, especially as the anxiety of leaving W2 employment began to surface." She added, "Although that account was earmarked for the business and had grown to the amount I needed, I didn't want to lose that feeling of reassurance. I had to remind myself of the advice I'd been giving clients for over a decade: what looks good on paper may not always be the best fit for you." At this point, Brenna contacted her Chemeketa SBDC business adviser for assistance.
"As a solopreneur, making major business decisions alone is hard, especially at the start. I am incredibly grateful to Joanne and the Chemeketa SBDC for their support in those early days. I'm looking forward to celebrating many more years of success and sharing gratitude with the people and organizations that made this possible."
The Chemeketa SBDC has worked with Brenna through several stages in business. From idea to startup, adviser Joanne Scharer helped Brenna build out her business plan and move her practice from ideation to fruition.
When Brenna shared her anxiety about spending this nest egg, Joanne introduced her to local capital resources to support business owners like her in the startup stage. One was Business Oregon's Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund, a program specifically designed to help small businesses and startups in Oregon.
Joanne encouraged Brenna to apply. With money in the bank to repay the loan, Brenna was an ideal candidate for this capital program. Joanne assisted her through the application process, helping her get her financials in order. Three months after submitting her application, Brenna was approved.
When the owners of R & D Construction first came to the Blue Mountain Community College SBDC, they were certified only to perform small jobs within the boundaries of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. To get work outside the reservation, they had to subcontract with bigger companies. Oregon state law requires contractors who work for compensation in any construction activity that involves improvements to real property to be licensed.
By not being state-certified, R & D Construction was limited in the work they could do, which hindered their earning potential and impacted the company’s viability.
"We would surely recommend SBDC services to anyone needing business support. We have recommended SBDC services to family members, peers, and other small business owners in our area."
The owners of R & D Construction, Ramona Schneider and Dana Minthorn, heard about the Blue Mountain Community College SBDC and met with adviser Richard Monacelli. Richard introduced them to the Construction Contractor Board Prep Test program offered through the Oregon SBDC Network. This program got them prepared for the state certification CCB exam. After completing the program, they passed the state exam and received their CCB state certification, opening doors to bigger opportunities for the company.
The support from their local SBDC didn’t stop there. With expanding business operations came questions on business formation, taxes, and learning more about how to bid and forecast jobs. They continued to work with their SBDC adviser to navigate the new business landscape they were working in. In doing so, they were able to get foundational business support and get their questions answered regarding additional certifications like MBE, DBE, and ESB.
Lupita Maya and her husband had long dreamed of owning and operating a business in the United States, but like many, they didn’t know where to turn for support to know if their dream was even possible.
Lupita learned about the Klamath Community College SBDC during one of the presentations in a business class she was taking as part of the KCC’s High School Equivalency Program to earn her GED. When she heard about the resources, her hope for a better and brighter future—one where she could create a legacy for her family—seemed achievable.
"Without the help of the SBDC Center and their bilingual staff, it would have been difficult to maneuver through the requirements. Their help is invaluable in the development, start-up, and growth of my company. This is just the beginning; I hope once enough money is saved, we can open a restaurant business and feel confident that their support and resources will get us there."
When Lupita and her husband went to the SBDC for help, they didn’t know what to expect. Because English is their second language, they were pleasantly surprised to find business support from an adviser who spoke in their native language of Spanish.
Their adviser guided them through the startup process for their home cleaning business. After their initial meeting, Lupita and her husband decided to move forward, and things began to progress quickly.
Lupita registered the business with the Secretary of State on October 25, 2022, purchased commercial liability insurance, and began advertising her new business with the support of her local SBDC.
Today, Lupita is looking into additional classes and support offered by her local SBDC to learn how to market her cleaning services to commercial companies and perhaps hire her first employee, expanding operations.
Lupita also aims to continue her education at Klamath Community College, earn her associate's degree, and one day operate a restaurant as well. “The sky’s the limit when you have dreams, ambitions, and the right resources on your side,” she said.
Without the help of the SBDC and her Spanish-speaking adviser, Lupita said, it would have been very difficult to navigate the requirements needed to start her own business. “This help was invaluable in the development, startup, and growth of my company,” she said.
Once her cleaning business is running comfortably, Lupita plans to continue her entrepreneurial journey and start working toward opening a restaurant. She will again utilize the services available through her local SBDC to help bring her next small business dream to fruition