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hensive business plan, identify "super-
star people" to work with you, look to
non-capital-intensive business oppor-
tunities and "work financial relation-
ships, even before you ever ask for
With finances in mind, Richard says
inadequate funding often trips up new
business owners. "You have to appreci-
ate that things are going to be more
expensive than anticipated ... and that
your revenue might not be as. much as
you think. You need to plan for this
when outlining your financial strate-
gy," he says.
Jeffrey says because funding sources
are harder to find at present, the busi-
ness plan must be solid. Most busi-
nesses will fail because "they have the
wrong strategy, they're under-funded,
or don't manage their finances proper-
ly." But, "your chance of falling into
the success category is bigger than
falling into the failure category."
For someone looking at self-employ-
ment with trepidation, speaking with
small business advocates such as the
Sloans can offer a much-needed nudge
in the right direction. "Small business
has the power to transform lives," says
Jeffrey, noting that he's never "held a
job in the traditional sense...so [work-
ing for myself] has been able to fur-
nish me with the means to support the
lifestyle I want to lead."
Alan Rosen's decision to take over an
existing candy store franchise in 1999
was motivated by many of the ideas
expressed by the Sloans. "I always
wanted to be my own boss, to control
my own destiny and be as successful as
I could," says Rosen, 50, who owns
the Rocky Mountain Chocolate
Factory at Somerset Collection in Troy
and on the Boardwalk in West
Bloomfield. ".But success is more than
money; it means giving back and
being a part of the community."
The Bloomfield Hills resident, who
comes from a retail background, says
he was fortunate to be in the right
place at the right time while exploring
business possibilities. "I was looking at
different types of retail concepts and
Rocky Mountain literally popped out
of the sky," he says. "The original
owner had never been in retail. And
although he was fairly successful, he
was burned out. When I found out
the business was for sale, I jumped
right in and we had a deal that night."
While Rosen appreciates that he was
able to forego much of the cumber-
some legwork that is inherent in start-
ing a new business, that's not to say it's
all been simple. "Now it's 24/7. I
knew it was going to be a challenge,"
he says describing how his life has
changed in the last several years. "I
need to let go more, but I usually
don't, although I'm getting better at
turning things over to my managers."
Rosen says his family and friends
have been nothing but supportive.
However, his wife, who is a dentist,
checked with the Michigan Dental
Association to make sure that her hus-
band operating a candy shop would
not be a conflict of interest.
Rosen wasn't alarmed that his West
Bloomfield store was opening in July
2001 just as the economy was souring.
He credits the quality of the product,
and the fact that "people buy choco-
late in good and bad times or when
they're feeling sentimental."
Steve Krasnick's startup story follows
a different path, but like the candy
maker, Krasnick always knew he
would one-day tap into his entrepre-
neurial spirit. The 40-year-old
Huntington Woods resident founded
Huntington Technology two years ago
after having worked in the high-tech
and mortgage sectors for more than a
He was working as chief technology
officer for a small Internet company
when, as he puts it, "It went bust in
mid-2001." He turned the negative
into a positive and started consulting.
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"I really wanted to start my own
business. It was always a goal of
mine," Krasnick says. He got the
chance thanks to a client who asked
him to implement a new computer
system throughout their operation.
"That ultimately started us off," he
says. "And we've sort of grown organi-
cally from there."
Operating from Krasnick's home
early on to keep overhead low, the
company moved to Southfield in the
fall of 2001 and now has 10 employees.
Krasnick attributes Huntington's
growth to remaining cost conscious,
word-of-mouth referrals and looking
for partnership opportunities, much
like he's done with Inside Out
Solutions, an affiliate of Sloan
Ventures which provides new business-
es with accounting, bookkeeping,
employee benefits and information
It's the "universal demand" for these
types of services that Krasnick believes
will help his business prosper. "All
companies need help in these areas at
some point," he says.
The bottom line: opportunity
abounds and success is yours for the
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