SCORE Business mentoring: A home business grows into a multi-state success story
The dream of truly successful entrepreneurship is much more than a figment of the imagination for Larry Curell, owner of Better Deal Printing. Curell, wounded twice in the eight years he spent in the US Army, was honorably discharged at the rank of Sgt. E5. But, he was left with a permanent disability.
Ever ambitious, Curell went to work for corporate America in Maricopa County. Keeping up with his home and family occupied his weekends and he began to be annoyed with the seemingly endless clutter of door hangers appearing constantly. Yet one weekend, he stopped one of the people delivering these unsightly door hangers and started asking if this was profitable. When he found that indeed there was money to be made he began to think about producing door hangers and flyers himself.
Curell purchased a used duplicator and a printer, set up in his garage and spent some time searching for clients. His first job was for the City of Surprise and Arizona Public Service for a joint event. Eventually he was making better money with his part-time enterprise than from his full-time job. After moving to Prescott in 2007, Curell knew that he was on to something, but that he needed a better plan. That was when he contacted SCORE and was teamed up with Tom Roegge.
Roegge’s background is in Marketing for Fortune 500 companies and he had his own successful travel business, which he sold prior to moving to Prescott. With his extensive expertise, he suggested to Curell that he just might be fishing in the wrong pond. From that initial conversation Better Deal Printing, LLC has gone from a small home business through several transitions and is now a national franchise with shops in five states.
The journey to this success covered several steps and several years, each planned and purposeful. First, Roegge and then chapter president, Joe Van Bourgondien, worked in tandem to help Curell acquire his disabled veteran status. This was an extremely important step in achieving his overall business goals. As Roegge and Van Bourgondien explained to Curell, he needed to look at five silos, each filled with potential clients. For his printing business these were; corporate accounts, government accounts, established franchise companies, wholesale outlets and his future franchise operation.
In establishing Better Deal as a disabled veteran owned business, this meant that Curell could pursue government entities and corporations that mandated a percentage of their business supported disabled veteran businesses, thus tapping a market that he wouldn’t have been able to break into as easily without that designation. Currently he is the primary printing business with that designation in the country.
From printing simple door hangers and flyers, Better Deal now prints everything from business cards to vehicle wraps, promotional products to branded apparel, napkins to banners. Curell advises that, “You can’t wait for the phone to ring; you have to be pro-active and ask for the business you seek.”
The goal for his own franchise was accomplished sooner than expected, but this is not simply an ordinary franchise plan, it is crafted to first of all help veterans, disabled or not, to find their niche after leaving the armed forces. Curell offers a training program sanctioned by the government specifically for veterans.
Better Deal has come a long way from its lowly beginnings. Currently located in the Prescott Lakes Commerce Center it is moving from the current 3,300 sq. ft space to a 13,850 sq. ft. location at 6750 Intercal Way. If you are a veteran and are interested in training give Larry a call at 928-445-8363. And, if you are a business, either starting out or wishing to grow, be sure and contact Northern Arizona SCORE. To get your own SCORE mentor and help your small business flourish call 928-778-7438, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.northernarizona.score.org.