Albuquerque transplant Chris Mayo was 47 when he decided to ditch social work and build his chimney sweep/masonry/handyman sideline into a full-time business. Within a decade, Amrak Enterprises was growing by 30 percent each year and Mayo was paying a subcontractor to help with the workload and aiming to compete with the city’s top chimney-cleaning company.
“I’m 57 years old and need to position myself to either sell the business and be a silent partner or manage a fleet of chimney sweeps,” Mayo told Finance New Mexico. To help him prepare for the future, Mayo took the advice of his friend Dimitri Kapelianis, associate professor of marketing at The University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management.
Kapelianis had urged Mayo to seek marketing advice from the Small Business Institute — a mentorship program at UNM. Every semester, as many as 20 teams — comprising up to five masters-level students supervised by a faculty member — help local businesses with strategic planning, financial analyses and marketing research.