Accessories Etc

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

Mary Small and her husband, John Gordon Small, purchased an existing gift shop in 2001 during her last year as a school teacher. They shifted the focus from inventory reflective of a typical small-scale gift shop to a focus on higher end dinnerware, kitchenware and linens. In addition, Mary offers several kinds of gift registries to her customers which include wedding, baby and graduation registries. Mary initially came to the SBDC in January of 2011 as she was working through issues related to small business ownership. Since that time, Mary has received advice in many areas of operating her business that include marketing, e-commerce, finance management and loan assistance.

A year and a half ago, Mary purchased and began using QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) to maintain inventory and track sales. Although the system seemed to be relatively easy to set up, add inventory and document sales, syncing it with her QuickBooks financial software proved to be a greater challenge. Mary again contacted the SBDC for assistance. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, helped Mary identify inconsistences in the company’s financial statements that could be tracked back to the POS. In addition, Amy has encouraged Mary to expand her use of POS by tracking the various gift registries within it, so that her inventory and sales are reflected more accurately.

With her POS in place, Mary recognized the need and opportunity to purchase new inventory and improve sales during the seasonal lulls of her business. Instead of adding new debt, Amy explained to Mary how she could obtain a loan that would consolidate the debt she had and provide her with the available cash needed to purchase new inventory. After attending a meeting with Mary and her loan officer, Amy was able to assist Mary in providing the bank with the necessary documents to obtain the loan. Mary expressed, “Amy’s suggestion to take this approach gave me freedom to make more effective business decisions concerning my inventory. It has taken a big weight off my shoulders.”
Mary continues to utilize the SBDC as a necessary resource for small business ownership.