Breakfast is a great start to your day, but has it ever started your journey as a business owner? Not everyone can say ‘Yes.’ However, Mary Sharrett can. Breakfast with a potential business-teaming partner became a defining moment in owning a small business.
“One moment I was having breakfast with a business owner, and the next moment I was unexpectedly given the opportunity to purchase Stone Environmental Engineering & Science, Inc. (STONE),” Sharrett says.
Sharrett realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would help her achieve a life-long dream. In grade school, Sharrett wrote a paper on the impact of acid rain and from that moment on was determined to change the world.
Regarding the business opportunity, “I took a leap of faith, which I am so glad I did!” Sharrett says. “Now, it is so funny to hear someone say that they can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!”
Since that defining moment in 2014, Sharrett has ensured that STONE has a positive impact on the world by “engineering harmony between the manmade and natural environment.” STONE helps their clients across the state of Ohio comply with environmental regulations, such as air, water, soil, wetlands, streams, threatened and endangered species, and asbestos.
As a new business owner with an established company, Sharrett felt her position was a little more complex than the typical small business owner. She was tasked with combining new skill sets and thinking with an established firm with employees, customers and a set culture. For STONE to have the impact that she desired, she applied to the Entrepreneur Exchange™ Program funded by the SBA’s ScaleUp America initiative.
“One of my defining moments was in a class on the stages of growth,” Sharrett says. “I felt like I was going in so many different directions trying to find new work and clients.”
As Sharrett continues the program and works with her coach and mentor, STONE is finding its niche. Defining STONE’s direction has led to a 20 percent increase in revenues, the hiring of two new employees with additional hiring underway, implementation of healthcare and retirement plans, and improved internal systems and operations.
“My staff has done a great job adapting to the almost constant change and I believe we are so much stronger as a whole,” Sharrett says.
Who knew that breakfast could be a great start to changing the world?
For more information about Stone Environmental Engineering & Science, Inc., visit stoneenvironmental.com.
To take the next step in scaling up your business, visit YourManagementTeam.com/EE to apply and learn more about the Entrepreneur Exchange Program.
The Entrepreneur Exchange™ Program is a nine-month program fully funded by the Small Business Administration’s ScaleUp America initiative. Any Ohio small business with $150,000 – $750,000 in gross revenues and at least two years in business can apply. However, each year only 30 Ohio small business owners are selected.