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Jay and Janine EarneyBusiness Development Center Participant
Jay and Janine Earney opened County Squire Sports in 1967. Jay managed and operated the business until his death in July 2002. Janine had worked for the arts council; and while she would occasionally accompany Jay on buying trips, she was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the store. After her husband’s death, the business started experiencing cash-flow problems, low inventory, and increasing payables costs. Janine realized the business was in trouble but did not want to give up on her husband’s legacy and the employees who had worked for him for many years. She shared her concerns with a friend who recommended her to Southern Good Faith Funds’ Business Development Center (BDC). She contacted the BDC in January 2005 and immediately enrolled in the technical assistance program.
Janine says the most valuable outcome of participating in the program is that she has been able to keep the business open and make it more profitable. The business experienced a $28,000 increase in sales, and the cash flow immediately helped her get control of her accounts payables and receivables. The long-term technical assistance helped tighten up other procedures the business already had in-house, such as payroll and overhead.
Janine says that participating in the program has definitely influenced her outlook on the future. The business has three full-time and four part-time employees. The store has more inventory than it had a year ago with no increase in accounts payables. The business is now able to really focus on customer service, which was her late husband’s number one goal.
The success of the business has added more security for Janine, her family, her employees, and her management team. She says, “We have gotten the store back on track where it’s meeting the needs of the customers and still be profitable.”
Janine’s advice to others who might want to enter the program is, “Initially, it’s going to be a lot of work, but it pays off in the long run.” She also stated that, “Practical business skills can save your business.”