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1:31 AM Wed, Sept. 26th

SCORE Business mentoring: Ramsey’s: a shining gem ... with a little help from SCORE

Bob and Susan Obijiski had been looking for an opportunity to own their own business, and a perfect solution seemed to present itself. In 2013, the owners of Ramsey’s Rocks and Minerals, a Sedona retail landmark, decided it was time to retire and sell their business.

As avid gem and mineral collectors for more than 30 years, Susan and Bob realized that this could be just the right fit for them. Susan has a strong background in business, and as a true craftsman, Bob is one who can build and repair anything. They knew their skills would be a good fit if they could acquire the business for a fair price and obtain financing.

The Obijiki’s requested a SCORE mentor to help them through the process and SCORE paired them with Wade Bell, a Sedona resident, and a member of the Northern Arizona chapter of SCORE. With his background in commercial banking, this relationship turned out to be an excellent match.

Wade guided Bob and Susan through the steps needed to value the business, create a business plan, obtain an SBA loan, negotiate a fair purchase price, and ultimately make Ramsey’s their own. He provided valuable insight regarding cash flow, business valuation and the content and flow of the business plan, and the loan went through without a hitch. Wade also guided Susan and Bob through negotiations with the sellers, and the business sale closed in January 2015.

Under the Obijiski’s ownership, Ramsey’s offers a full line of products and services including rocks, crystals, and mineral specimens, fossils and related items. The Obijiski team has expanded their jewelry line to include unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Bob and Susan also expanded the Ramsey’s business by becoming a trade jeweler for several other businesses including an international jewelry house. Additionally, they offer a concierge shopping service for online and international buyers, and provide evening workshops for those who are interested in learning more about minerals and stones.To adapt to the changing landscape of retail sales, Susan and Bob increased their web presence and generated a social media presence for the online market to complement the brick and mortar presence in Sedona.

One of the ways in which Susan and Bob promote Ramsey’s is through their activity in the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. They believe that the Chamber offers an excellent referral resource. Susan gives back to the business community as a Chamber Ambassador, reaching out to new Chamber members to let them know the benefits of membership.

When asked about the benefit of SCORE in contributing to the purchase process and ongoing operations, Susan said, “our SCORE representative, Wade Bell was instrumental in the business purchase and provided a guiding hand and support throughout the process: from business valuation and document preparation to loan opportunities and business planning.”

Susan continued, “Many business owners consider SCORE for the free advice and counsel, and that is certainly a benefit, but the real value is in the years of experience and knowledge the SCORE team offers. Their insight and skill offer a steady hand for both new and existing business owners. More than two years into our business ownership, Wade is still with us today, offering counsel and advice as needed and helping us to develop creative ways to succeed in our business endeavor. We consider Wade part of our team!”

You can find Ramsey’s Rocks and Minerals at 150 Highway 179, Suite 6, Sedona, AZ. 928-204-2075, www.ramseyssedona.com.

For help in starting a business or moving your business forward and to get your own SCORE mentor, call 928-778-7438 email: scoreoffice@scorenaz.org or go to www.score.org.