Yolanda Holmes came to the PCC SBDC for help in developing her business idea. Since then, she's participated in the Business Design Series and Business Builders training programs, while working directly with her small business advisor Jackie B. Peterson. Now, after the launch of her first location and obtainment of Women-owned, Minority-owned, and Emerging Small Business Certifications, she's ready to expand her vending business! This is her story.
Learn more about Yolanda's entrepreneurial story below.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Yolanda! What inspired you to pursue your business?
I was in a finance class to purchase a home when I was motivated by the professor to start my own business. In the beginning, I was researching how to get into the ATM business and asked my brother if he wanted to be apart of my business venture. We began to brainstorm together and decided to pursue the vending industry instead. The most exciting process for me in the vending business is networking with other vending owners and calling possible companies to vet for more business. I love the fact of knowing that we are business owners providing a valuable service to our community!
Before coming to the SBDC, what challenges were you facing in your business?
Before coming to the SBDC, I didn't have support to talk about ideas that I have or fears about making the wrong choices. Then I found the SBDC through PCC and received business advising with Jackie B. Peterson. I also participated in the Business Design Series and Business Builders training programs. Through these services, I learned how to develop a vision and mission statement, brand the business with social media and a website, delegate responsibilities. and market our vending business.
Since working with the SBDC, what business milestones have you achieved?
Since working with SBDC, I've been able to launch the business in September 2022 with our first machine! Now, the challenge I'm facing is expanding the business so that we can obtain even more income. From working with the SBDC, I've learned that taking chances, delegating, and receiving advising has given me more patience to obtain the reward.
Pictured: Yolanda and business partner, Anthony, in front of one of their vending machines.
What's next for your business?
Today, we are working on branding ourselves as a professional working vending business by developing our business cards and our online presence (i.e. website and social media). I have also received my Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise, and Emerging Small Business Certifications. Lastly, I've signed up with the Multnomah County Marketplace to bid for state contracts, which is the next step in our growth plan.
What would you say to other small business owners thinking of working with the SBDC?
If you are thinking about coming to SBDC, please be ready to put your ideas to action. Write out a timeline with actions and goals. It also helps to have good credit and good money management skills, so that you can be prepared to start your business and manage your financial situation!
Want to learn more about how the PCC SBDC can help you start or grow your business?
Programs and services are provided to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance service are available for limited English proficient individuals. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please contact us at 971-722-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to request accommodations. Oregon Small Business Development Centers are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Oregon Business Development Department.