Music Master Publishing, Vallejo
Dennis Cheatham first approached the Solano College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2004 for assistance in determining the feasibility of bringing his Guitar Wheel teaching tool to market. Initially working with Advisor, Jerry Jinnett, Dennis developed his business plan. He met with Jill O’Young for product development advice and Teri Johnson for QuickBooks assistance. Dennis also took numerous SBDC workshops to learn about business start-up, operations, recordkeeping, and marketing. In 2006, the Guitar Wheel was presented to the market at the NAMM music industry trade show. As the company grew, Dennis hired his son, Dustin, to act as Marketing Manager.
Dennis and Dustin had created a demand for the Guitar Wheel. They had reached the production capacity of their current manufacturer. They also needed to find a distributor that offered respected representation to an expanded market in both the U.S. and internationally.
Working with SBDC Business Advisors, Dennis planned out a growth strategy and identified key contacts that needed to be made in order to grow his company. He strategically set about to contact these entities and establish working arrangements.
At the 2009 NAMM trade show, Dennis and Dustin were able to sign on with a reputable and well-established distributor & manufacturer’s representation company, Farley’s Musical Essentials. Farley’s provided an introduction to Alfred Music Publishing; this company became the U.S. distributor for the Guitar Wheel and will be featuring the product at future NAMM Shows. Following up on a personal referral from Michael Farley, Dustin and Dennis flew to China in October of 2009 in order to get the Guitar Wheel printed to their specifications and to evaluate quality control. The strategic alliances set up with Farley's and with Alfred Music provide wider U. S. distribution. Increased production capacity will allow this company to continue to grow.