What do you do: 

Joshua Allen Design is a full-service home staging and interior design business specializing in real estate marketing services. We are passionate about our work and strive to exceed our client's expectations on a daily basis. Our goal is to provide innovative, functional, and aesthetically pleasing designs that appeal to any individual client with choices that work within any budget.

What inspired you to start your business?: 

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to own my own business. My goal in life has always been to be creative and figure out a way to make a living doing so. This alone has been my inspiration to start my business.

Toward the end of my career in corporate America for 10+ years in the visual merchandising and retail store planning capacity, I started assisting a real estate agent friend of mine find ways to make her listings stand out. On my nights and weekends, I would lightly stage and photograph the homes she had listed. After some time, I began writing a business plan to see where this venture may take me. Within 5 months, I took a huge leap of faith, left my corporate position and hit the ground running with Joshua Allen Design.

What's special about your business?: 

We at Joshua Allen Design focus our attention not only on the end result but on the client's needs in a sincere manner. We are a full-service real estate marketing company offering floorplan, photography, interior design, interior decorating and property staging services. Offering this array of services to real estate agents provides a seamless, "one-stop-shop" listing experience for our clients. We also own all of our own staging inventory which allows us to competitively price our projects and allow for flexibility in rental terms.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?: 

I have found that business ownership has some wonderful high points and some terrifyingly low points. For me, I have thoroughly enjoyed building the Joshua Allen Design brand. Everything from the building of client relationships to creating print and digital marketing, building the brand and watching it grow has been an incredible experience thus far. On the contrary, the most difficult area of business ownership for me has been the financial stresses of the first year. This would include pricing for projects, billing, accounting and the simple goal of "staying in the positive".

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?: 

I have learned that I have more resilience than I ever thought I would have. I have learned that I can turn a dream into a reality and have the ability to completely transform my life in any way I would like, though the work isn't easy.

How SCORE Helped: 

My SCORE mentor, Paul McCarthy, has played a fundamental role in the success of my business. Being a startup business owner can be exceptionally overwhelming and lonesome at times, but with Paul in my corner, those feelings are completely manageable. We have set up monthly touch-base meetings that provide an opportunity for me to discuss the happenings of the business, ask for advice, reach out for connections, and discuss financials, projections, and goals. Paul has been wonderful with setting milestones for me to achieve and holds me accountable to them. This goal setting alone has been monumental in the success of my business. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with SOCRE and Paul in particular.

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

Having Paul McCarthy as my SCORE mentor has turned my dream into a complete reality. His outstanding knowledge, sincere nature and honest approach has propelled my business further than I ever imagined in my first full year. I truly do not know where the business would be today without Paul's guidance and support.

What advice whould you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?: 

I would tell the person to expect to work harder than they have ever worked before. Do research on your competitors and most importantly, sincerely build relationships with as many individuals as possible.

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