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What you must know before buying a business

Rather than building a small business from the ground up, buying an existing company offers the opportunity to move along the path to entrepreneurship more quickly. With all of the startup tasks already taken care of, a staff in place, an established customer base, existing vendor relationships, and processes and procedures laid out, you have a head start. 

But that doesn’t diminish the importance of doing your research before making the decision to buy a business. Acquiring an existing small business requires substantial examination so you avoid the many pitfalls that befall eager entrepreneurs who leap before they look.

According to William Comiskey, a SCORE Mentor at the Southwest Florida SCORE Chapter, “Investing in a business is the same as investing your savings in a mutual fund or stock portfolio to secure both your future and possibly your retirement. You study and review the past performance and the current condition and seek help and advice from professionals on the prospects for the future.” 

Before purchasing an existing business, you need to get answers to some critical questions:

Why is the current owner selling the business? Seek the truth. If the business is in a declining neighborhood or the owner has caught wind of an upcoming market change that will negatively affect revenues or cost structure, you might put yourself at risk of failure from circumstances beyond your control. Uncovering the real reasons for a sale may be difficult. Be wary and realize that smart business owners don’t often walk away from profitable endeavors unless they have strong personal reasons (illness, retirement, etc.), or they have received offers that are too good to refuse.

How is the business doing financially? If it has been losing money or hasn’t been generating a satisfactory profit, you’ll want to dig deeper into the reasons why. Unless you’re confident you can operate it more profitably than the current owner, you might end up with a sinking ship on your hands.

What sort of reputation does the business have? When you buy an existing business, you’re getting the brand reputation along with it. That will either work for or against you. Turning around an existing business’s poor reputation will be difficult and could take years—and it might even be impossible depending on how negatively the company is perceived by customers, suppliers, and the public. 

If the business has a favorable reputation, find out what has made it so. A strong reputation based on personal relationships between the owner and customers might not easily transfer to you. Be particularly cautious of this if the business relies primarily on a few key customers or suppliers. 

Are you getting everything you need to seamlessly take over running the business? Find out if the purchase will include essentials such as: leases and contracts; customer lists; patents, trademarks, service marks, and trade names; key employees who are vital to the business; and other important components. 

As Comiskey suggests, you don’t have to embark on the process alone. Consider tapping the expertise of professionals (such as SCORE mentors) who can help you assess the opportunities and risks of buying an existing business. 

Further advice on the purchase of an existing business is available from SCORE, a nonprofit association offering a wealth of information resources, training, and free counseling designed to help entrepreneurs nationwide build productive, profitable businesses. 

A SCORE Counselor can serve as a sounding board and will provide valuable unbiased feedback on how to improve things. The SCORE Counselor can also look at the business from the perspective of a bank or other investor, and raise questions you may have overlooked.

All SCORE counseling is offered as a free and confidential community service. There are 30 counselors in the Grand Rapids office of SCORE. Call 616-771-0305 for an appointment with a knowledgeable counselor or e-mail us at score@grandrapids.org.  

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CTA Welcomes New Teaching Staff

Courtesy Photo: CTA Teachers

CTA welcomes new teachers to the team for the 2018-19 school year. Jon Gwizdala, High School Science; Heather Dibell, Great Start Readiness Program Assistant; Bethany Holtrop, Elementary Music and Interventions; Jennifer Lumbert, Great Start Readiness Director; Allison Hite, Second Grade; Cyndi Parker, First Grade; and Teresa Marsman, Middle School Social Studies and 7th Grade.

 

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CTA adds Boys Soccer Team to Fall Sports

Seventh grade student Kaden Winters works to keep the ball in CTA’s possession at a recent game against Algoma Christian School.

2018-19 is the inaugural season of boys soccer at CTA. The varsity team is comprised of 7th-12 grade students.There are 16 excited young men – both first-time and experienced players – that have been working diligently to come together as a team. Under the direction of head coach Mark Winters and assistant coaches Kyle Knarr and Pat Marek, the team has come a long way. The team has elected team captains Sawyer Marek, Ivan Winters, and Jeff Marek. We are excited to see the progress they make throughout the season.

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Connect with CTA for up-to-the-minute information

 

Creative Technologies Academy App – IOS and Android (all school events, activities and announcements)

Provide cell number to Student Services to receive important school notices via text alert

  • Creative Technologies Academy Family (closed group)
  • Creative Technologies Academy (public group)

Dan George, CTA Superintendent/School Leader (inspirational/character building group)

  • Twitter: @ctachargers

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It’s a W.I.N-Win Situation

The kindergarten through fifth grade schedules have been strategically organized to better support teachers and students so that our intervention time no longer only applies to just our below-grade level learners but to ALL students. Hence the title, “Whatever I Need” or W.I.N.

The elementary schedules have been arranged with two 30-minute blocks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. During this time our grade level teachers, special education teacher, instructional coach, two interventionists and two teacher’s aides all go into classrooms to support small group instruction.

Having three staff members in each classroom allows us to support our below-grade level learners with the growth instruction that they need, push our on-grade level students and extend the learning of our above-grade level students.

Our student data is being tracked weekly and we have weekly team meetings. These meetings allow our staff to dialogue around student data and plan our instructional strategies that will best support all students during our W.I.N. time.

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Charger Kid’s Club

 

CTA’s Kid’s Club is back! The program runs Monday-Friday from 3-6:00 p.m. (1-6:00 p.m. on early release days) for students in grades K-5 and is administered by Nancy Freyling. Students will spend time making crafts, doing homework, working on team-building skills, playing games and participating in outdoor activities.

Mrs. Freyling is married to Brad Freyling and mom to sons Owen and Tripp in 6th and 4th grades at CTA. She has been active in the PTO and the CTA Creates program. Contact Student Services at 616-696-4905 if you are interested in enrolling your child in Charger Kid’s Club.

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Creative Technologies Academy Annual Public Notice

 

Integrated Pest Management Policy and Plan

In accordance with Michigan Law, the following policy and plan has been adopted at:

Creative Technologies Academy

350 Pine Street

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) requires that the Academy use the least hazardous methods first (fly swatters, vacuuming, housekeeping practices, elimination of insect/rodent food, harborage of entry points, etc.) to remove pests from the school environment before resorting to chemical treatment.

Only professional licenses individuals shall be allowed to apply commercial grade pesticides or herbicides and proper advance notification of application(s) shall be given. No area(s) shall be treated while occupied by staff or students

Notice of this service shall be published to all parents, guardians or students, and staff. In case of emergency, limited use of pesticides or herbicides is permitted without advance notice. This universal sign shall be posted for 48 hours after commercial application of pesticides or herbicides is made, or for an appropriate period of time as recommended by the licensed professional.

In accordance with HB 5154, Section 8316(2) which requires annual notice to parents and guardians that they will receive advance notice of pesticide application, the advance notice will:

(a) Be in writing.

(b) The following methods will be used for advance notice of the application of a pesticide and they will be given at least 48 hours before the application.

● The first method shall be by posting at the entrances to the school or day care center.

● The second method shall be posting in a public, common area of the school (the school cafeteria), other than an entrance.

● Additionally, though not required, the Academy will post the notice on its website and app as well as social media.

(c) Parents or guardians are entitled to receive the notice by first-class United States mail postmarked at least 3 days before the application, if they so request, by request to the Superintendent by email at  dgeorge@ctachargers.org  or by postal mail at the above address for the Academy.

(d) Parents and guardians may review the school’s integrated pest management program, if any, and records on any pesticide applications.

(e) The persons responsible for pesticide application procedures at the Academy is Dan George, Superintendent, telephone (616) 696-4905, email  dgeorge@ctachargers.org  and Dan Clark, Facilities Director, telephone (616) 696-4905, email  dclark@ctachargers.org .

An advance notice of application of a pesticide, other than a bait or gel formulation, will contain all of the following information:

(a) A statement that a pesticide is expected to be applied.

(b) The target pest or pests.

(c) The approximate location of the application. (d) The date of the application.

Pesticides In Use

Rodent or pest sightings shall be reported to the school office and shall be recorded in the IPM Log Book. The licensed person providing the pest control service shall review this list prior to providing treatment within or outside the building.

Approved by the Board of Directors, Sept. 19, 2018

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School Calendar

2018-19 — First Semester

SCHOOL HOURS

Grades K-5: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Grades 6-12: 7:45 AM – 2:45 PM

FlexTrac Grades 9-12: (7:45 AM – 2:45 PM including 2 self-scheduled hours)

 *Early Release Schedule Grades K-5 dismiss at 1:00 PM

Grades 6-12 dismiss at 12:45 PM

September

22 Cross Country Meet @ 9 a.m.

25 Soccer Game @ 5 p.m. – CSHS

26 Cross Country Meet – Conference #2 @ 5:30 p.m.

28 Early Release Day NHS Applications Due

29 Cross Country Meet – Falcon Invitational@8:30 a.m. – Allendale Soccer Tournament – Barry Co. Christian School

OCTOBER

1 Cross Country Meet – GL 6 Conference Championship @ 5 p.m.

Soccer Game @5:30 p.m. – CSHS

3 Yearbook Club @2:45 p.m.

4 Cross Country MS Meet @4:30 p.m. – Kent City

5 Soccer Game @5 p.m. – CSHS

6 Cross Country Meet – Portage Invitational

10 Cross Country Meet – Conference Championship @ 5:30 p.m.

12 Cross Country Meet – Mustang Invitational @ 4 p.m.

16 PA Meeting @6:30 p.m.

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

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ROBINSON – McCALL

Anna McCall of Clawson, Michigan and Dustin Robinson of Oklahoma were married on Friday, August 10, 2018 at String Grove Park in Jamestown Township, Michigan. Celebrating with the couple were Anna’s parents, Nancy McCall and Allen McCall; Dustin’s parents, Becky and Jim Smith and Larry Robinson; Anna’s grandparents, Richard and Patricia Capek and Dustin’s grandmother, Avonelle McHenry. Attendants were friends and brothers of the couple. The reception was held at the Stonewater Country Club in Caledonia. Anna and Dustin plan to live in Washington DC where Anna is the laboratory coordinator at the University of Gallaudet and Dustin is a computer tech and programmer.

Congratulations to Dustin and Anna!

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DONALD E. WELCH

Donald E. Welch, age 90, of Ensley Township, Sand Lake died Sunday, September 16, 2018 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus. Don was born July 8, 1928 in Hastings, Michigan, the son of Harold and Viola (Wickham) Welch. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Don enjoyed mushrooming, motorcycles, farming and heating with wood. He loved fixing old oily and rusty engines. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tease people. Surviving are his wife, Joan; children, Gary (Connie) Welch, Sandra (David) McMahan, Donald Ray Welch; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; brother, James (Carol) Wood; sister, Alice (Mauri) Hammond; sister-in-law, Mary Wood; brothers-in-law, Russell Tramper, Leonard Brock. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and a grandson. The family will greet friends Thursday, Sept. 20 from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 2:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Gary Giddings officiating. Interment North Ensley Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 456 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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