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Small Business Development Center
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Encouraging Words

August 02, 2012

Mary Cogan had worked in a corporate environment for over 11 years when she decided she was ready for a change. Her passion for sharing inspiring books led her to develop the idea of starting her very own book store. When looking for guidance for some questions, she was led towards the services provided by the ASU-SBDC…

Mary Cogen
Inspire-Me Books

Nature of Business: Book Store
City: San Angelo, TX
SBDC Business Advisor: James Leavelle 

 

Mary Cogen works full time in a corporate environment with 11 years of experience in the training field. She has worked everything from an Operations Trainer to being an Instructional Designer. On the side, she does more training. She is a Certified Fitness Instructor with experience in teaching Cardio Kickboxing, Circuit Training, and other fitness techniques. Mary decided that she wanted to help inspire others through books in the way that she has been inspired. As she says, “I know first-hand that just one book can change a person’s life.” Thus, the name for her business was born, “Inspire-Me Books.”

Mary called the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center one day to inquire about signage for the store she planned to open. Advisor James Leavelle answered the phone and discussed her sign issues with her and suggested she come in for an appointment to discuss her venture in greater detail. She agreed to the meeting and learned that there were other aspects to opening the business that she had not thought of yet. James share with Mary the various agencies that she needed to make contact with in order to get the business going. According to Mary, “James at the SBDC provided business start up consulting advice that helped Inspire-Me Books obtain the essential requirements needed to open my store such as my DBA, Tax ID, and Sales Tax Permit.”

Inspire-Me Books is now open and selling books! They are turning their inventory over and expanding their services. Inspire-Me Books now hosts a Toastmaster club, a Saturday morning fitness group, and hosts motivational speakers periodically. Mary has created one new business with two new jobs.

 

“James at the SBDC provided business start up consulting advice that helped Inspire-Me Books obtain the essential requirements needed to open my store such as my DBA, Tax ID, and Sales Tax Permit.” – Mary Cogen, Inspire-Me Books

 

Impact on the Community

  • Business Start
  • Two Jobs Created
 
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    Tara had some knowledge as she learned from other salon owners how to run their business but wanted more information.  She met with Advisor Paul Howard of the Angelo State University ∙ Small Business Development Center.
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    “The Small Business Development Center has helped us a lot with getting a business started. Paul helped me with the NAICS number. He also has helped us out by finding all the information we need.” - Valerie Mondragon
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    Melissa is like many ladies who use makeup. She has certain wants and needs when it comes to her makeup. 
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    Russell McCann thought to himself, “Maybe I can outfit a trailer and lease it out at home sporting events.” He did some research and also met with Advisor Paul Howard of the Angelo State University to get started…
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    Oscar had been a successful car salesman for several years and then he got the entrepreneurship bug. He knew he was ready to take the next step into business ownership but he wanted to get started up right.
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    Mary Cogen, Inspire-Me Books

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Contact

Advisor Spotlight

  • Jessica Lambert

    James Leavelle

    Business Development Specialist
    james.leavelle@angelo.edu

    James joined the SBDC in November 2011 as a Business Development Specialist.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and completed his MBA from Angelo State University in December 2011. After a career in the United States Air Force, James has owned and managed a floorcovering business.  Additionally, he has been a store manager and a multi-unit manager in the convenience store industry.  He further utilized that retail management experience training store management and staff for a large convenience store chain.   While his career has led him to multiple parts of the world, San Angelo has become home for him and his family.