The journey of an entrepreneur is seldom a straight path. More often, the road is filled with detours, the occasional roadblock, and temporary setbacks. But the nature of an entrepreneur encourages them to press on despite any challenge. Our economy depends on this mindset, as entrepreneurs create jobs, improve quality of life, and contribute to a growing economy.
"Entrepreneurs are the dreamers and the visionaries. Without them, the world stagnates, and progress stops. Society needs entrepreneurs the same way the body needs air."
- Cynthia Kirkeby, founder, and CVO of Seasonally Fresh
Stephen Evangelista, the founder of HQ Water Solutions, is a young entrepreneur with a dream of owning his own company and providing the hands-on customer service experiences he thought the local industry was lacking and that his customers deserved. With nearly ten years in the commercial & industrial water treatment business, Stephen was ready to venture out on his own and dive headfirst into HQ Water Solutions. Stephen's wife, Jordan, helps tackle day-to-day operations, including marketing and social media. Their daughter, Medina, is another reason Stephen wanted to start his own venture, to provide for his family — on his terms.
Taking Those First Steps
In preparation for starting his business, Stephen enrolled in the SCORE "Simple Steps to Starting Your Business" Workshop Series. "Simple Steps" is a comprehensive program offered by SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon to assist and equip small business entrepreneurs with the tools needed to develop a successful business plan. The program will help business entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Stephen attended five – two-hour sequential classes on subjects ranging from marketing to financial planning, funding, projections, and more.
"The SCORE Simple Steps Program provided me with the structure and resources needed to feel confident in launching HQ Water Solutions. I enjoyed the program's layout and felt that each week provided new insight into what it takes to be a successful start-up. The program culminated with a panel presentation that brought all of the concepts together in one place and allowed me to ask questions and receive honest feedback. I would highly recommend this program to aspiring entrepreneurs."
- Stephen Evangelista, founder, HQ Water Solutions
Never Alone On Your Business Journey
Shortly after completing the course, Stephen requested a SCORE mentor and began working with volunteer mentor Neil Mosesman. That was almost a year ago now. Stephen and Jordan Evangelista have transformed their dream into a successful start-up with a mission to provide high-quality water solutions to every customer.
"It was challenging for Stephen to get his business up and running just as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, his wife, Jordan, has been an incredible asset in creating and executing engaging social media campaigns. The HQ Water Solutions Facebook posts are updated almost daily and are inventive and relevant to the company's mission. This has allowed Stephen to steadily grow his business despite the current economic situation."
- Neil Mosesman, SCORE volunteer mentor
The SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon offices have been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19 restrictions, but SCORE mentors are reaching more clients than ever despite that constraint. Mentors hold sessions via Zoom, Google Meet, Phone Conference, and in-person, socially distant sessions following CDC guidelines.
"Our mentor worked with us from the initial concept through business inception, and he continues to be a resource as we navigate new business-ownership and difficulties caused by the pandemic. Neil was instrumental in talking through and firming up our initial business plan, and he's helped us achieve more than we even thought was possible in our first year of business. Neil has advocated for us, checked in frequently, found new connections for us, and continues to motivate us to keep our business plan in mind when setting new goals for the future."
- Stephen Evangelista, founder, HQ Water Solutions
SCORE Mentors: A Valuable Resource in Your Start-up Toolbox
"You don't know what you don't know"… and, there's a lot you don't know when starting and growing a new business. A SCORE mentor can guide your journey and help you see a clear path to success even when your business is just a thought or scribble in a notebook. We encourage new businesses to lean on their mentor, ask as many questions as possible and frequently check in with them. A SCORE mentor is a valuable resource and can lead to connections and ideas that you might not have discovered independently. These mentors are passionate about helping others grow their small businesses, and they have the expertise and experience to back it up. Starting a new business is all about making connections and never being afraid to ask for help!"
- Stephen & Jordan Evangelista, HQ Water Solutions
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