The famous quality guru Peter Drucker once said, “whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” That observation of courage perfectly describes Ken and Janelle Carlson’s revival of Allyse’s Bridal and Formal (Allyse’s).
Allyse’s had been in business for more than a decade but found itself teetering on the brink of extinction. At the very moment of its financial demise, Janelle, a 12-year employee, took a leap of faith. With the support of her husband and family, the Carlson’s purchased the remaining assets of the company and courageously ventured out on their own.
The myriad challenges that had to be overcome included finalizing the sale with the previous owners, locating space and negotiating a lease for the company’s new home, preparing the new space for business and moving the inventory with support of the remaining employees.
Janelle heard about the Orem Small Business Development Center (SBDC) from her sister. She and Ken met with Center Director, Winthrop Jeanfreau, for guidance. With help from Jeanfreau, the Carlson’s created financial forecasts, prepared their business plan and began to implement it. Janelle said “the most important thing I received from my SBDC advisor was the confidence that I could run this business and be successful. I’ve never owned a business before and wasn’t sure I could do it successfully. But with help from the SBDC, I was able to create a business plan, acquire the product and see the potential of success with what skills I had acquired.”
Janelle said that the best part of being an entrepreneur and having her own business is the joy of creating something and seeing it succeed. “When I worked for the previous owner I could only do so much to make the business successful. Now I can do what needs to be done whereas the previous owner was hesitant, unwilling or unable to do it.”
“Jeanfreau helped me create a framework to manage the business once I opened it. I used his experience to know what financial ratios would help my business be profitable.” With courage in tow, the Carlson’s achieved breakeven their first month, returned their initial investment within six months, and are on a solid path to a profitable first year.