Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique at 205 South Sierra St. in Reno has chalked up remarkable success for a first-year business, says owner Katie Knapp.
Set on a busy corner near the Washoe County Courthouse and just a block from the Truckee River, the colorful flower shop offers unique gifts as well as a full-range of floral arrangements.
In the nine months since Knapp opened Bumblebee Blooms, she’s hired three part-time workers, acquired a business intern/assistant and is breaking even financially – quite a feat for a first-time business owner.
Participating in business plan competitions is one reason for her success, she said.
Last year Knapp participated in both Truckee Meadows Business Plan Competition and the Donald W. Reynolds’s Governor’s Cup. She took third place in each.
Participating – and qualifying as a finalist – helped her in several ways:
1. She was able to vet, refine and get input on her plan from knowledgeable business people and entrepreneurs.
2. Each competition win included prize money, which she was able to use as a down payment/collateral in her business.
3. The awards enhanced her application for a business loan from the Small Business Administration. She firmly believes that the SBA loan would not have happened without the help she received during the competitions.
“Many people don’t realize that the Governor’s Cup is designed specifically for students,” Archer said. The participants aren’t required, and may not start, their own businesses, but just the process of going through the competition gives every student a leg up in the job market, he said.
For those competitors who do start their own business, NCET continues to offer a wide range of services, support and advice.