Coming from the food service industry, Roxanne Dominguez had the know-how and the ambition to start her own libations catering company but she wanted to start her business modestly with little to no initial debt.
"Meeting with Audie helped me to learn more about the community as I was new to Lander. She pointed me in the right direction of businesses and organizations to approach to help me along the way. There is a lot of help and assistance available. People really do want to see you succeed in this community. The hardest part is putting yourself out there, over and over again, but the more you keep at it, the more support and opportunities you find along the way."
Dominguez met with her regional advisor Audie Cunningham to put together a comprehensive business plan that outlined steps the business would need to accomplish before launching their business. Cunningham also notified them of an opportunity through The Local Crowd, a regional crowdfunding business, and a spoke of the SBDC CNP program, where she could launch a campaign that could help fund the business's start-up costs.
Many of the challenges Big Lost Meadery experienced in working to export their product to Taiwan and beyond have simply been due to unfamiliarity with the necessary practices to make exports happen. Even things like understanding logistical terminology and international banking practices could have been a roadblock to exporting. In addition to these challenges, the halt on exporting and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down their progress on this project temporarily.
"Big Lost sought mentorship from other Wyoming exporters allowing Big Lost to establish connections with freight forwarders, insurance companies specializing in export, and other critical links in the export chain. Big Lost actively works to pass on the knowledge gained through this experience by mentoring other small businesses looking to expand business opportunities with exports."
In conjunction with assistance from the Wyoming Business Council's STEP program, the Wyoming SBDC's exporting expert, John Privette, was able to provide insight and logistical information regarding exporting practices to Taiwan and shipping method options for getting sample products to Taiwan for buyers to test.
Legacy Irrigation owners, Dustin Frost and Kevin Beagle, purchased Legacy Irrigation in April of 2023. During that transitional time, the business owners were on the lookout for a new funding opportunity but kept running into obstacles or dead ends on funding leads.
"P.J. Burns has been an excellent connection for our company. She is always readily available to answer questions and help us look for solutions. In fact, I called her on a late Friday afternoon while driving and she immediately took my call at the end of a long week. That call with P.J. resulted in our company approaching a financing need from a completely different vantage point, ultimately leading to us gaining the funding we needed."
Frost reached out to his regional advisor, P.J. Burns to discuss the funding issue and P.J. provided a new opportunity for them to explore contract funding through the Wyoming Business Council.
This conversation resulted in Legacy Irrigation receiving a line of credit funding opportunity that made their project possible. "P.J. Burns has been an excellent connection for our company. She is always readily available to answer questions and help us look for solutions. In fact, I called her on a late Friday afternoon while driving and she immediately took my call at the end of a long week. That call with P.J. resulted in our company approaching a financing need from a completely different vantage point, ultimately leading to us gaining the funding we needed," said Frost.