How SCORE helped. 

The Brandywine Consignment Shop, a well-established business for over 20 years, sought help from Chester and Delaware County SCORE to explore options for a possible expansion. They found that their inability to accommodate large items such as furniture was limiting their sources of revenue. A non-profit organization, the Brandywine Consignment Shop was also challenged to sustain their staff of over seventy-five volunteers, their existing base of customers, and most-importantly, their donors.

In November, 2011, Dana Heiman, CEO of parent company, the Brandywine Health Foundation, contacted Chester and Delaware County SCORE for guidance in solving their problems of growth. Together with SCORE mentors James Friedman and Charles Espenlaub, they explored and  answered a set of feasibility questions, including whether or not the business would benefit from an expansion, whether they should seek a different location, what are the key metrics and how should they research and evaluate their options. After several SCORE mentoring sessions, it was determined that their current location was already ideally located for the community that they serve. Therefore, rather than moving to a different location, it was best to expand their current location.

Although, the current small store format was already beating national averages of similar stores by approximately thirty percent, there was still room for improvement. Thus, they set a goal of doubling profits with the renovation and expansion. However, before investing in the expansion, it was necessary to determine if the return on investment (ROI) justified the cost. Based on past financial statistics and data from NARTS (the Association of Resale Professionals), the Brandywine Consignment Shop determined that the projected increase in revenue would meet their objective. This gave them the green light to proceed with the expansion project.

With concern for the impact of the nine month long store renovation on their volunteers, customers, clients, and donors, Nancy Oliver, the long-time manager of the Brandywine Consignment Shop, held monthly meetings with the staff to keep them involved in the project. The store finally re-opened in November of 2015 and the impact on revenue and profits was felt immediately. Revenue has grown steadily and profits are seventy percent higher. Since the profits are returned to the community through various community health and wellness projects led by the Brandywine Health Foundation, this was great news!

SCORE is a non-profit national organization of business volunteers dedicated to providing free counseling and educational service to small businesses. SCORE volunteers are business experts who apply their life experience and business knowledge to mentor entrepreneurs planning to start a small business, or small business owners who seek assistance in solving business issues.  To schedule a personal session with a counselor or learn about small business education programs, call Chester and Delaware County SCORE at 610-344-6910 or click here to visit us online


January 28, 2017