Baker City Blue Door Inn

SBDC Helped Blue Door Inn Increase Revenue and Occupancy Rates

Gaynelle Nielsen has transformed her business in the historic district of Baker City into a high-quality bed and breakfast called the Baker City Blue Door Inn.

She initially met with an SBDC adviser to get help with digital marketing. Her adviser recommended several web developers in the Baker City area and asked another SBDC adviser to discuss online marketing strategies.

A series of stunning, professional photographs transformed her website, accurately depicting the warm, inviting atmosphere of the Baker City Blue Door Inn. Additionally, she incorporated some suggestions from her advisers to encourage guests to book reservations directly through the inn. These direct reservations save over 20 percent in booking fees on each stay.

Her reservations are up and revenue has increased significantly with higher occupancy rates. She continues to take classes and meet with her advisers to create employee manuals and refine her marketing. In the future, she plans on refining her business plan and applying for financing.

“I heartily recommend OSBDCN services to all small business owners who want to make their business as effective as possible,” Gaynelle said. “No matter where a business is in its development, the SBDC has a service, a class or a network to offer knowledge, suggestions or alternatives for an optimum result.”

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Outstanding Computer Repair

Transitioning from the Military to Owning a Computer Repair Business

Dale Bogardus became a client of the Blue Mountain Small Business Development Center in January 2015. After retiring from 25 years of military service, he decided he wanted to start his own computer repair business. After gaining a great deal of education and work experience in computer technology, Dale began meeting with Jeff Nelson, Baker City SBDC Business Adviser. Outstanding Computer Repair was launched and he has never looked back. Dale found his niche with the motto “Any issue $40.00 flat rate.”

Dale has expanded his network and has done an exceptional job marketing his business. This expansion includes providing the Baker City community with low cost refurbished computers, laptop screen replacements and solid state drive upgrades.

Dale continues to be involved with the Blue Mountain SBDC by taking classes. He also has been to almost every PubTalk, learning and networking with attendees and presenters. Dale has several posters and banners throughout our town and has become the main computer repair company in Baker County.

“Through the classes SBDC has provided, I have the necessary skills required to run a business,” Dale said. “I thank SBDC for their support.”

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BGOOD Bars

A snack for a hike becomes a business thirty years later with help from the SBDC

BGOOD Bars have a long connection to the small mountain town of Joseph, located in northeast Oregon. Back in 1984, Judy Goodman went on a hike in the Eagle Cap Wilderness during a break from graduate school, packing along some homemade energy bars during that first trek to Ice Lake.

After a successful career in rural Oregon, Judy revisited those energy bars and turned it into a business with the help of the Blue Mountain SBDC. Since the company’s founding, she has seen a steady increase in sales.

BGOOD Bars has raised capital through a statewide program called the Oregon Intrastate Offering. These funds have allowed Judy to purchase additional kitchen equipment, supplies, and more importantly, a UPC and new labels enabling her to reach larger markets such as New Season’s Market in Portland, as well as smaller establishments closer to home.

Judy sees a bright future for the business. “Since the infancy of BGOOD Bars, we have seen our sales double annually. Rick Bombaci with the SBDC has provided important help with marketing and running a small business. He has great ideas and has done additional research for me on marketing, trademark and patent information for my product.”

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The Wisdom House

The Wisdom to turn a historic house into something more with help from the SBDC

Veronica Johnson started working with Blue Mountain SBDC Business Advisor Jeff Nelson after she had purchased The Wisdom House — the oldest house within the Historic District of Baker City. It was built in 1878 during the gold rush boom by J.W. Wisdom, one of Oregon’s early senators, with splendor and luxury rarely seen during this era. After 136 years of abuse and neglect, The Wisdom House had turned into an eyesore.

Veronica fell in love with its character and had a dream of restoring this treasure back to its glory. With a lot of hard work, Veronica’s vision became reality and in just one year the community celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting. The Wisdom House has been a success ever since, with continuous guest occupancy.

Veronica has participated in several PubTalks and continues to take classes offered by the SBDC to enhance her business acumen, including QuickBooks and Social Media.

“I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with Jeff Nelson from the Blue Mountain SBDC, who quickly guided me in the right direction. SBDC’s continued guidance, positive attitude, and motivation have been a great support to my success,” said Veronica. “Thank you SBDC, as I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you Jeff Nelson, for being so approachable and believing in my dream of building a successful business”.

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Dave’s Diesel Technology

From Employee to Owner with help from the SBDC

“I always wanted to own my own shop,” said Dave Carter, now the owner of Dave’s Diesel Technology in Milton-Freewater.

Dave had worked five years for the formerly named Wentland Diesel when the owner decided he wanted to sell the business. Since Dave had more than 40 years of experience as a mechanic and his specialty is diesel engine repair, he was a perfect fit to be the new owner.

His wife Carolyn — an experienced automotive repair bookkeeper — was a natural to take over the position of office manager, the first employee for the business. A business plan was a necessary requirement to apply for the SBA loan he needed for the purchase. Assisted by his Blue Mountain SBDC adviser, Dave put it all together with LivePlan. Financing was received from a local bank and the SBA guaranteed the remaining portion of the loan.

Dave said that the SBDC team gave him the confidence, the tools and the support he needed to buy the business. Future plans are to expand the business slowly and continue to buy equipment on an as-needed basis.

“My lifelong dream came true because of the SBDC’s help and support,” Dave said.

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