SCORE local and national network helped get Sandler Training Ann Arbor off and running in 2001.
In 2001, Joe had over 20 years experience organizing, training, coaching and managing sales professionals and sales managers. In executive sales and training positions in the manufacturing world, Joe was responsible for the technical and sales fundamentals training of over 1000 sales people worldwide in support of a $110,000,000 business. A native of Ann Arbor, and now the owner of the Sandler Training Center in Avis Farms www.sandlerannarbor.com , Joe's mission is to help business people to get as effective in selling and sales management, as they are in the rest of their business.
Back in May 2001, Joe was seeking to start a new business: “Joe Marr Sales Training”. While he had composed many annual plans as an executive in a corporation, he had no idea how to organize and develop a plan for the entrepreneurial venture he was now pursuing. He began to surf the net and ask for advice from friends and several people recommended that he contact SCORE.
Joe visited the offices of SCORE at the Ann Arbor chamber and met Karl Hauser who was helpful in narrowing down the focus of his plan, and advised that what he really needed was a plan designed to secure an SBA loan for his start-up. At the time there weren’t any Ann Arbor SCORE counselors with SBA loan experience, so Joe went on-line to seek some help for his plan. Joe found a counselor in the Atlanta, GA chapter, Jerry Chautin, who was a retired a VP of Commercial Lending for a national bank.
Because Joe’s business model lacked any capital or bricks and mortar, there was little for a bank to recover should Joe’s business fail, so according to Jerry, the only things left to leverage in order to gain the $60,000 loan was the strength of Joe’s experience and the merit of the plan itself. Jerry agreed to help Joe to devise a plan that at best had “a 50/50 shot” according to Jerry.
Jerry asked Joe to write the draft plan, providing him with an outline of all of the plans and reports he would need to include. Joe submitted his plan to Jerry via email, Jerry reviewed and suggested refinements OVERNIGHT, and Joe incorporated every suggestion in making the loan application. Against the odds Joe received approval for the loan which combined with his own funds provided for him just enough to become a Sandler Training franchisee and open his training center on September 10, 2001 at it’s original location in the Ann Arbor Commerce Park. Joe believes that without this seven-year loan, which he paid off over 3 years early, he would have not been able to get his business off the ground, so Joe is “eternally grateful” for the sage advice and network of help provided by SCORE.
Since 2001 the most consistent advice Joe has provided to anyone struggling with either opening a new business or trying to get their current business to run better is: “Call SCORE!”, and Joe looks forward to the day when he will give time back to SCORE by becoming a counselor.