My successes. 

Penny Behling was hesitant when offered the opportunity to buy out her partner in a business that organized and managed events. The business rented dragon boats, large canoe-type boats that originated in China centuries ago powered by rowers, to organizations that sponsored races. The sponsors recruited teams of volunteer rowers who solicited funds from donors, with the profits going to charities. The business had been struggling, and Penny's financial situation made buying the business questionable. She contacted SCORE in 2009 to discuss and analyze the situation.

Working with counselor Bill Beres, Behling gained confidence in her ability to manage a business, and soon realized that this type of event had a huge untapped market. "Previously we concentrated our efforts on cities on the Tennessee River, but through market analysis we began to realize that any city with a body of water was a potential prospect. That gave me the confidence to purchase the business and grow it through market expansion." Over a two year period, Penny worked with Bill to form a new company named Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing LLC and to create a new business plan that allowed the firm to increase the number of events it manages from three in 2008 to ten in 2011. This success enabled her to obtain financing to add new equipment to her fleet. In 2010 these events raised more than $200,000 for the charities they benefited.

How SCORE helped. 

Behling added that "my SCORE counselor encouraged and equipped me with methodology to reach what I thought originally might be impossible goals. The market analysis opened my eyes to the potential opportunities for my business. It's been a long road, but now the ride has been worth it."