Durango Running Company

Durango Running Company owner, Brett Sublett had lots of experience in the outdoor retail and athletic shoe industries but had never owned his own store.

Sublett had managed Your Running Store for four years and then became the footwear buyer at Back Country Experience for three years. He also knew a lot about running and running shoes since he Coached Cross Country at Fort Lewis.

When Sublett decided he wanted his own store, he contacted the SBDC and initially spoke to advisor Joe Keck. Keck asked about his personal experience in the industry, and what his qualifications were to venture out on his own. Sublett explained his prior experience and presented a rough outline of his business plan. Keck made sure all the major points were covered and the two discussed what kind of entity the business would be and how to file with the state. Sublett chose LLC – Limited Liability Company for his new business – Durango Running Company.

He also consulted with an attorney and an accountant and the business was formed.

Advisor Joe Bishop then helped with the hunt for the perfect retail location. “He pointed out the possible pitfalls and red flags and told me what to look for in a location and a lease agreement. One of the most important things Joe taught me was that I didn’t have to just accept what the landlord proposed. I could negotiate.”

Sublett didn’t realize he had leverage and Bishop’s advice gave him the confidence and strength to negotiate a lease that worked for both parties. They reviewed a few leases and looked at a few spaces before deciding on 473 E. College Drive – next to Home Slice Pizza. Sublett confesses to grabbing quite a few quick lunches right next door, as the smell is hard to ignore.

Sublett was very impressed with “the timely manner in which Joe Bishop responded to my questions.” He’d shoot an email out with a question and even if it was Sunday night- Joe Bishop got back to him quickly.

Sublett explains, “Opening a new business can be scary. The accessibility of advisors in this program is outstanding. The process was unintimidating, they were welcoming and it was easy to get an appointment. The expertise of the advisors is invaluable in helping a new business owner navigate all that needs to be done.”

Guild House Games: A Game for Everyone

About three years ago, Danny Perez got an idea. He was the manager of Radio Shack in Durango, and the company had recently filed for bankruptcy. Danny’s wife had mentioned that Durango needed a game store, so he started looking into it. He soon realized that this could be a viable new career path. Danny’s first stop was the SBDC. They guided him through the business plan and loan application process, and in May of

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C.A.R.E.

Tim Robinson worked for C.A.R.E. – Cleaning and Restoration Experts in Cortez for six years when his boss, the owner, decided to retire and move to Phoenix. Tim contacted Joe Keck at the SBDC for guidance concerning the purchase agreement. “Purchasing an existing business can be tricky. I wanted to look at the books and determine if the purchase price was fair and indicative of the businesses potential,” Tim explained. “Joe helped me review the

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Cortez Cab

Ed Gilbert saw a niche that needed to be filled and filled it. The existing public transportation system in Cortez was very limited. There was no “on demand private system”, so he started one. He is now approaching his second busy season and the business keeps growing. Gilbert, who had never owned a business, took the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs class twice – once in Cortez in the fall of 2011 and again in the

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Freenotes Harmony Park

By Malia Durbano Richard and Christy Cooke are so grateful to the SW Colorado Small Business Development Center for consulting with them and putting them in touch with valuable resources to assist them in growing and expanding their business. Thanks to the help of the SW CO SBDC their company is experiencing 100% growth in 2011. Originally, a small cottage industry business, started by Richard Cooke in 1990 in Moab, Utah, FHP was at capacity

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Higher Grounds

By Malia Durbano Nicki Alley, owner of Higher Grounds Coffee in Pagosa Springs was “really excited” when she won First Place for the business plan she wrote after attending the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs training. Although her coffee house, bakery and gift shop had been open since 2004, she wanted “a refresher and to update the business plan”. She will be celebrating her 10th anniversary on August 16th & 17th. The eclectic shop features scarves,

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Desert Sun Coffee Roasters

In the eight years since Glenn Lathrop started Desert Sun Coffee Roasters, he has reached out for help to Joe Keck and the SW Colorado SBDC numerous times. “I’ve worked with them since the beginning,” he explains. Lathrop, President and owner of Desert Sun, asked Keck to generate lists of potential customers for his coffee. Desert Sun is a wholesale coffee roaster. Lathrop buys imported green coffee beans, then roasts them creating custom blends. They

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