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Our beliefs, values and what influences MARGIN


Greetings and Welcome to the MARGIN Website! 

So happy you’re here. 



I’m going to start by being honest with you. Up to this point every business I’ve started I started for me. 


I started MARGIN with a different motivation.   


MARGIN I started for you. 


At the core of the MARGIN brand is a very special calling. What gets us up in the morning and keeps us going all day is our mission to help small business owners create more successful, more profitable small businesses.     


Honestly I‘ve seen incredibly hard-working people repeat patterns that make business expansion almost impossible. The kind of issues that have the power to keep the owner irritated and stressed. Issues that compromise cash flow, and keep profits tiny.


Without a doubt small business can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be impossible. At MARGIN if it doesn’t make your business easier, your success quicker and your profits more impressive we don’t do it. 


You could say we’re on a mission to make every business live up to or exceed your expectations.  


Every day we live our responsibility and deliver on our promise to our clients and customers. Built into every MARGIN product or service is a set of uncompromising guidelines. 


  • Treat every entrepreneur as an individual.  Every person measures success by their own yardstick.  Most of us can agree we want to make money but from there we’re like runners on a track; all running our own mile; staying in our own lane.  Whether your vision is local or global at MARGIN our job is to hear you and support your objective.


  • Everyone deserves to live the life they have imagined. Whoever you are. Wherever you went to school (or didn’t go to school,) whatever your ethnicity, race or culture your business vision is to be respected and nurtured.


  • We find new ways to look at old problems. So many of us recycle our business problems by working with old business models. If your marketing plan is not updated you’re going to be frustrated.  .At MARGIN we built modern strategies that take you off the merry-go-round and point you in the right direction.  


It’s not about us it’s about you.  Every day in every product, program and service we offer or endorse we strive to demonstrate our commitment to empowering small business owners. Nothing is held back in our pursuit to help you be your most successful self.


So that’s it for now. Continue to believe in your capacity to succeed. We do.


About Penny





Hi! I’m Penny McConnell, creator of MARGIN


Let me introduce myself by telling you two stories. One happened early in my entrepreneurial career

during my bakery days (Penny’s Pastries.) The other happened 16 years later after I’d sold the bakery. 





A Short Story that became a Defining Moment


It was Christmas season at the bakery and my staff and I worked around the clock pulling cookies from the hot ovens to satisfy the holiday orders. 


About a week into the season I checked in with my bookkeeper to see our sales numbers.  Based on the workload, I thought we must be on course to have our best season ever. As I looked over his shoulder at the computer screen the numbers proved me right. For my bakery we were doing a staggering amount of business. 


However as my eyes scan down to the bottom of the financial document I saw a negative number! 


How could that be?? Where was all the money going? We were working like slaves. And now based on the numbers we were truly working like slaves, in other words, hard, sweaty labor for no pay.


I was beyond upset. I felt betrayed by the very business I had started. There I was working like a crazy person, pushing my small staff beyond reasonable limits and where was the payoff?   


Well it wasn’t the business that had betrayed me; I had betrayed myself.  


This whole “not understanding business thing” was costing me big time. Like smothering a fire with a blanket, I was sucking the oxygen out of my business. 


I committed on that day to understand the science of business as much as I understood the art of baking.


And 16 Years Later, a Life-Changing Choice


This second story happened after I’d sold the bakery. 


I’d been living off the proceeds from the sale of Penny’s Pastries and my personal savings for the better part of year.  I was just starting to consider my next entrepreneurial project when a call came in from a local microlender*.  They had just been awarded a large grant.  The Executive Director wanted to talk to me about writing the marketing plan to support the project. 


Early 2006 I signed a 6 month contract with the nonprofit. That 6 month contract turned into a 6 year contract!  Part of my expanded scope of work was working one-on-one with entrepreneurs. 


I have to admit I hesitated just a bit while considering this one-on-one assignment. I wasn’t sure I had enough to offer. I’d grown a successful business selling big accounts like Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods and Starbucks as well as corner stores and sweet shops. I’d created colossal business blunders and crazy successes that took my business to the next level. So it wasn’t the depth of my business knowledge that scared me. It was this whole notion of sharing and building profitability strategies for other businesses. My doubts subsided after the first few clients.  Soon I realized I’d found my new calling. 


Over the next 6 years I coached one-on-one, taught in large lecture or in small groups literally hundreds of entrepreneurs. A couple of years ago I decided to create an independent agency to really dig in and create the kind of short, dynamic programs

and platforms that create even higher numbers of successful entrepreneurs. My agency is called MARGIN*.   


I never thought my next chapter after the bakery would be a service business like MARGIN. But here I am and I love it.


I’m big on helping you build the business you want that supports the lifestyle you love. Whatever that looks like. I’m pro

individual choice.


But I’m also a small business owner and a realist so I know first-hand how hard it can be. What I hate to see is hard work and genuine effort result in failure. It happens too often in small business. 


It doesn’t have to be. MARGIN was created to share what I know and create significant value for you.  

In short, it’s about finally connecting the dots.


So once again Welcome! Look around and if you like what you see leave us your information so we can stay in touch. 














* A microlender is an organization that makes business loans to individuals who are not able to obtain financing from traditional lenders. These are nonprofit community-based lenders who often times not only make loans but also provide small business training and assistance. Good people to know.  And btw SBA=small business administration.   


* In business terms MARGIN is the amount of every dollar of sales you or your company keeps in earnings.    

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