Serendipity is often the catalyst to move from an employee to an entrepreneur, and so it is with Steve and Tami Antonini.

About three years ago they moved across the street from the owners of a well-established, local business. The two families got to know each other and, as the existing owners are nearing a decision to retire, they offered to sell the business to the Antoninis on the contingency that Steve learn the business from the ground up in order to maintain both quality and status. The business enjoys a stellar reputation in the greater Prescott area and is the go-to business for the homes and buildings that have an historic designation.

Once Steve and Tami decided to move forward with purchasing the business, they contacted SCORE and were assigned Jerry Jones as their mentor. Thus began a process of weekly meetings.

Jones had the Antoninis request financials from the last 12 years. Next, he helped them through the process of applying for a loan, which at this writing is still pending.

After extensive reviews and planning, they completed their financials and submitted the paperwork for the loan in early December. The process that SCORE provided for Steve and Tami is that Jerry helped them break down the business and look at all aspects: the profit margin, affordability and the practicality of taking over a business that has been established and relies on reputation.

After that, through the SCORE partnership, they attended a course at Embry Riddle Aeronautic University, meeting weekly over a three-month period. This course, taught by Professor Rick Gibson, covers marketing and business strategies and this was instrumental in helping the Antoninis develop both a marketing and business plan. This was accomplished by assigning a team to work with Steve and Tami and guide them as they put the plans in place.

Once the loan is approved, an official contract for purchase will be written and they will have their attorney finalize the paperwork. Then Steve, who has a basic knowledge of construction, will begin his in-depth training over the next couple of months to become familiar with the hands-on work. Tami will cover the bookkeeping and office portions.

This business is very precise and demands a vast knowledge of building construction and exacting specifications to make a nice custom fit. As a portion of this business deals with historic edifices, it requires familiarity with bygone as well as current coding and structural architecture. Such things as stucco demand a different approach than that used with a wood-framed building or modern brick and steel.

Working with SCORE has assured that thorough procedure will result in transfer of the business name, truck, trailers, business phone, client lists and all other related matters. This business will operate out of the home and is mobile for on-site services.

Once the transfer has been completed and Steve is comfortable with the various aspects of the work, he will then bring on employees as this is a growing business -- and SCORE will be right there to help keep the process running smoothly and profitably, step by step.

To start or grow your business and to get your own SCORE mentor, call 928-778-7438, email or go to