Nick Pappas

Concord, Massachusetts, United States

Ice Cream Maker, Ice Cream Retailer

Lizzy's Ice Cream LLC

I love being an ice cream retailer and the owner of Lizzy’s Ice Cream LLC. Lizzy's Ice Cream makes and sells its own line of ice creams, frozen yogurts and other frozen treats through three ice cream shops and several retail outlets. We also operate a large ice cream catering operation. We have 50 employees which includes the people who make ice cream, staff our stores and operate our catering operation.

After years of working for others, I am amazed at how much I have enjoyed running my own business and being "the person who makes the decisions". It's all on me, and I love it that way. I set the product strategy, work with others on development and then see how customers react to it. I've also learned I am very good at managing cash flows and seeing that the ship keeps moving along. I keep it running and keep it growing.

Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• Financial preparation - setting up a financing structure before you embark on your journey.
• Family preparation - life is going to be very different for family and even close friends. How will everyone deal with it?
• Cash management – cash flow, both short and long term; tools for planning production and purchasing – how to work accurately and quickly.
• Marketing products and services - what do you want to communicate? Why would people care to hear you?

By starting my own business, I gained freedom, while also experiencing the exhilaration that comes from commitment and focus on a mission, and the fact I built this business from the ground up. I have also developed skills in areas such as marketing and financial management. As a person who has managed a successful business since 1995, I now have the experience and knowledge valuable and transferrable to many fields, if I wanted to make another major career change.

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I worked for more than 20 years in the computer industry. I started as a software engineer and grew into a manager of large software projects. I was operations manager, marketing manager and strategic planning manager for a service organization employing more than 2,500 software specialists and support personnel. In that career, I was able to obtain valuable experience in many areas that proved valuable in running a small business.

When I decided to start a business, I considered many possibilities. I could have started a business selling products or services to other businesses, but I decided it would be most meaningful to me if I developed and sold products directly to the public. I wanted to be able to manage the whole pipeline from product development through marketing, production and sales. I am very pleased to have done this successfully and to have learned so much along the way.