Will Wellons of Wellons Communications

Wellons Communications: Helping More Companies Tell Their Stories

Digital Marketing and Public Relations Firm Growing with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

May 7, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL –  Will Wellons didn’t start out as a small business owner. He’d distinguished himself as a newspaper journalist, then as an advertising and public relations executive for a prominent Orlando agency. Somewhere along the line, however, he got the entrepreneurial bug and decided to launch his own communications firm; Wellons Communications.

Wellons Communications is a 13-year-old marketing and social media firm, specializing in public relations. “We’re here to help you tell your story,” Will Wellons states proudly. “Our vision is that every business, no matter the size, needs great communications. We are committed to making that happen, and have done it for startups all the way to international corporations. That mix allows us to do some very, very unique things for our clients, including keeping our rates reasonable.”

As much success as Wellons Communications has had, it wasn’t always easy. It’s a big jump from agency executive to business owner. “There’s an old saying: You don’t know what you don’t know,” recalls Wellons. “While I know my stuff on the PR and marketing fronts, and had a strong management background, nothing prepares you for running your own business, putting your own money in the game, and making the final decisions.”

“So I listened when another small business owner raved about the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF), how good their services are and the wide variety of assistance available to someone like me who was looking to build my business, and take it to the next level.”

Wellons took advantage of a variety of the services offered by the FSBDC, including its expert, no-cost business consulting; seminars and workshops; and special programs for second stage companies. “Our business has thrived thanks to the FSBDC,” says Wellons. “The consulting has been extremely important; its brought focus, and a new and different look at our business with ways to improve and do things better. The seminars and workshops are outstanding; they’re bite-size energy pills of information that refresh and then add to what we know. And their special programs like CEO XChange and the Advisory Board Council, whether in my role as a client or a volunteer advisor, give you the chance to benefit from the expertise and different perspectives of other small business owners and professionals.”

“Owning a business is difficult,” Wellons remarked. “And there are always ups and downs. Thanks to the consistency of the FSBDC and their help putting a foundation of processes and procedures in place, we’ve been able to weather the bad times and now are moving ahead with very strong growth, seeing a 25% increase in revenues in just the last 12 months.”

“If I had to use one word to describe the FSBDC, it would be ‘Outstanding’,” concluded Wellons. “The business impact from their assistance is probably immeasurable. They are always there for you and ready to help propel the growth of your business. Every small business owner should take advantage of what they have to offer.”

For information about Wellons Communications, please visit www.wellonscommunications.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Florida SBDC at UCF

FSBDC at UCF Celebrates 2019 National Small Business Week

FSBDC at UCF to Honor Clients as U.S. Small Business Administration Award Winners and Local Advisor as Regional Volunteer of the Year

May 1, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – In recognition of the significant contribution to a healthy economy made by the entrepreneurs and small business owners of Central Florida and the nation, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is celebrating the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week with a luncheon and awards ceremony recognizing local SBA award winners.

The FSBDC at UCF’s National Small Business Week celebration will occur on Tuesday, May 21st at the 2019 Small Business Awards Luncheon, an invitation-only event being held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. The luncheon will feature remarks by representatives from the Florida SBDC and the U.S. Small Business Administration who will present the following awards to the local FSBDC at UCF and state and district SBA awards recipients in attendance:

Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Wendy Romeu, Founder, Owner and CEO
Alluvionic – Melbourne
www.alluvionic.com

Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
Courtney Powell, Founder, President and CEO
AceApplications, LLC – Orlando
www.aceapplications.com

Florida SBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year
Wayne F. Leland, Managing Partner
Nperspective – Winter Park
www.nperspective.net

“It gives the FSBDC at UCF great pleasure to honor our valued clients Wendy Romeu of Alluvionic and Courtney Powell of AceApplications as U.S. Small Business Administration Award winners as part of its Small Business Week,” remarked Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at UCF. “And we are indeed pleased to recognize Wayne Leland of Nperspective for his long and dedicated volunteer work supporting the FSBDC at UCF’s clients in our Advisory Board Council program.”

“Alluvionic and AceApplications are outstanding examples of small business success stories, each one built upon the vision, energy and determination of their entrepreneurial founders,” continued Choi. “The FSBDC at UCF works to provide consulting, business training and access to market research that allows companies like these to excel. We are gratified to have assisted them in their achievement in some small way,” Choi went on.

Alluvionic is an innovative solutions provider that services clients with any project, in any industry through project management, process improvement and engineering product design. Doing the right thing for the right reason is Alluvionic’s guiding philosophy and the cornerstone of its competitive edge.

AceApplications delivers software applications and projects for businesses and agencies. Local clients include Orlando International Airport, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Central Florida Research Park and Orange County Public Schools. Founder Courtney Powell has leveraged AceApplications success in the Orlando community with sponsorships of school programs and technical support of school technology lab additions and improvements.

Nperspective is an accounting and financial services firm of seasoned CFOs whose philosophy is to provide guidance and a hands-on approach to ensure that strategic and financial goals are achieved. They offer flexible CFO services suited to a wide variety of business needs.

“Both Alluvionic and AceApplications have built themselves from start-ups into impressive businesses by meeting the needs of their customers, employing our neighbors and serving our community, thereby contributing materially to our local economy and the wellbeing of Central Florida,” says Choi.

“And Wayne Leland of Nperspective has distinguished himself by his significant contribution to the region’s award-winning Advisory Board Council (ABC) program. As a dedicated volunteer advisor since 2007, Leland has donated 108 hours of pro-bono consulting services to small business owners across the Central Florida region. Those hours of service represent a market value of $27,000. For that and more, we are deeply grateful,” concluded Choi.

“With more than 2.5 million small businesses in Florida, we are pleased to celebrate the hard work of a few of our state’s best and brightest,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We couldn’t be more proud to have so many of our clients and advocates recognized for their contributions to their local economy.”

National Small Business Week is proclaimed by the President of the United States to recognize the critical contributions made by America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to our economy. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. This year’s week-long celebration runs May 5th – 11th with events being held in multiple cities from coast-to-coast throughout the month of May that are designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

KeyCom Technologies

KeyCom Technologies: Transitioning to an Ever Brighter Future

Peer-to-Peer Coaching by FSBDC at UCF’s CEO XChange Empowers Transformational Business Decisions

April 17, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Owning and running a small business isn’t easy. Certainly there are perks: you are your own boss, you reap the rewards of your work directly, you chart the course for your business and your future. But offsetting those benefits is the responsibility on your shoulders for your business, your customers, your employees and more. You have to make decisions, often with limited information and no one to advise you. It’s no wonder they say “it’s lonely at the top.”

Finding a solution to the feeling of isolation that can come with being a small business owner was the challenge that Phil Medina, President and owner of KeyCom Technologies, needed to pursue. It was within the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its CEO XChange program that he found the answers and support he had been seeking. CEO XChange is an executive roundtable program that offers a confidential setting for business leaders to discuss vital issues, opportunities and trends with a group of peers.

KeyCom Technologies is a full-service design, installation, and support organization for a wide spectrum of technologies tied to carrier services, phone systems, access control, surveillance, data networks, Wi-Fi, and infrastructure utilizing fiber optics in the ground and data cables in the walls. They have been particularly strong outfitting assisted living facilities, schools, and auto dealerships, but have worked in almost all environments. At the helm of a 35 year old, fast-moving technology firm having served 5,000+ business customers, Medina has a lot on his plate.

“Originally we were a pure telecom company, doing old-fashioned phone systems,” recalls Medina. “Over the years we began casting a much wider technology net, but back in 2008-9 when the world was falling apart economically, there were different decisions to be made that required more than just tech innovation.”

“I tried other CEO groups, names you’d recognize, but they were expensive and didn’t have what I wanted,” continued Medina. “Then I discovered the FSBDC’s CEO XChange. It’s a group of business leaders who’ve been there, done that. They provide feedback loops and insight into all kinds of skin-your-knee experiences without you having to go through them yourself.”

“Since we started with the CEO XChange almost 9 years ago, KeyCom is much healthier, much happier, and seeing consistent annual growth in the areas pursued,” Medina went on. “But that almost misses the point. Although we’ve seen solid top-line growth, the really big change is our business model. We’ve transitioned from a transactional sales model to a recurring revenue model. That required a full commitment to the long-game we feared undertaking, but we gained considerable courage by bouncing the plan off of my peer group at CEO XChange.”

“The CEO XChange is a safe environment with smart people who listen to your issues, offer you feedback, and leave you with action items you can execute,” concluded Medina. “It’s been a very, very good return on my investment in terms of time, money, and outcomes. Without the CEO XChange, it probably would have taken twice as long to implement this transition that has opened the door to a much brighter future for my company.”

For information about KeyCom Technologies, please visit www.keycom.net.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Enviro USA Manufacturing's Jennifer and Luis Vargas

Enviro-USA Knows What it Doesn’t Know: Environmental Manufacturer Finds new Success with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

FSBDC at UCF Assists Company with Advisory Board Council, Export Marketing, Government Contracting and Consulting Support

April 8, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu

                 Jill Kaufman, ABC Program Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4854 or Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu

                Jill McLaughlin, International Trade Program Manager, 407.420.4856 or Jill.McLaughlin@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – “You don’t know what you don’t know.” That’s the mantra of many of the smart and successful small business clients that seek assistance from Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF). And all credit goes to those business owners; recognizing that they don’t have all the answers and that they can benefit from the FSBDC’s services, including its programs for established, second stage companies as well as its expert, confidential, no-cost consulting.

Jennifer Vargas, President, and Luis Vargas, Vice President, lead and are co-owners of Enviro-USA American Manufacturer LLC, the producer of environmental protection apparatus. It makes containment booms for the oil industry, silt or turbidity curtains for the marine construction industry, and seaweed barriers for the tourism industry. They had grown the business to more than $1 million in sales by 2016 but had hit a rough patch.

“We were at a point where we felt like we needed assistance,” recalls Jennifer Vargas. “Challenges were presenting themselves. Unfamiliar issues and problems were arising, daily it seemed. We knew we didn’t have all the answers and needed guidance. We needed professionals to help us move forward. That’s why we signed up with the FSBDC.”

Enviro-USA and the Vargases accessed multiple of the FSBDC’s services. They received in-depth marketing and financial analysis consulting from the FSBDC’s Eastern Florida State College sub-center. The local Procurement Specialist from the FSBDC’s Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at UCF (Florida PTAC at UCF) assisted with government contracting opportunities. And the FSBDC at UCF’s International Trade Program Manager Jill McLaughlin led in developing an export marketing plan for the company.

“The FSBDC is amazing to work with,” says Luis Vargas. “They dived deep into our issues. In the export marketing plan, we learned what countries to target and so much more. With our financials, they opened our eyes and pointed out where we needed to focus. On the marketing side, they got is down into the nitty-gritty to grow our revenues.”

If that wasn’t enough, the Vargases also joined the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council (ABC), a no-cost board of volunteer experts, selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow.  “Working with the ABC advisors was so important and so valuable. They shared so much knowledge; about production, sales, human resources, business-to-business marketing. It enabled us to make so many better decisions at the company. And ABC Program Manager Jill Kaufman was instrumental in making it happen,” stated Luis Vargas.

The Vargas’s work with the FSBDC has paid rich rewards. Enviro-USA has achieved remarkable results since starting with the FSBDC: the company has been able to double its factory space, its work force and its manufacturing capacity. Revenues have increased more than 90% and profits have grown by 1,000%.

“You can’t go wrong working with the FSBDC,” concluded Jennifer Vargas. “You can only improve your business. You get experts to help you with every aspect of your business and it’s at no cost. They are there for you, to help you every way that they can.”

For information about Enviro-USA American Manufacturer  please visit www.enviro-usa.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

PurgARTory Makeup

PurgARTory Makeup by Lynne Schaffer: Growing with Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF

Art, Makeup, Fashion Brand Features Edgy Sophistication and Affordable Luxury

March 25, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

                 Charles Wheeler, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4846 or Charles.Wheeler@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL –  The intersection of creativity and commerce can be hard to find for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Transforming an idea into a business, then imbuing that idea with the passion and desire of an artist, takes energy and resilience and courage. Professional artist Lynne Schaffer had those qualities and more when she came to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance with launching and building her art, makeup and fashion brand, the House of PurgARTory, beginning with PurgARTory Makeup by Lynne Schaffer.

Schaffer’s vision for her company and her brand is clear. “We celebrate edgy sophistication, confidence and individuality, glamour and affordable extravagance.  We’re about being vintage, classy, dark, and fun! It’s for strong, independent, creative, bad-ass dames!” says Schaffer. While fashion and art are in the future, Schaffer launched with PurgARTory cosmetics that she says “brings you back to basics with the Classics, the Essentials. We are the affordable luxury, high-quality, richly pigmented, versatile, universal, skin care infused makeup for all skin colors and types.”

Schaffer came to PurgARTory with a visual arts background and more than 15 years as a professional makeup artist representing luxury brands like Dior. “My experience was all on the creative side of the world, with some sales and marketing thrown in,” recalls Schaffer. “But I had some concerns about starting and running a business without guidance about the technical and regulatory issues, as well as wanting to learn everything I need to know about marketing, finance, accounting and the like. That’s why I came to the FSBDC.”

“At the outset, it all seemed too huge and overwhelming for me to take on by myself,” Schaffer continued. “I’d heard that the FSBDC offered courses and workshops, so I signed up to get a foundation of knowledge. From the start, working with the FSBDC has been a very good experience that far exceeded my expectations.”

“First and foremost, and by far the most important and beneficial assistance I received from FSBDC, is the one-on-one, confidential, no-cost consulting I have received from Chuck Wheeler, my FSBDC consultant,” says Schaffer. “The quality of his guidance and his professionalism is what struck me. He walked me through every step of the process. It was so reassuring to work with someone who has had personal experience with the challenges I was dealing with.”

From its start more than a year ago, PurgARTory Makeup by Lynne Schaffer has grown into a successful business. Schaffer is collaborating with others in the arts community, scheduling special makeup events at boutiques and hair salons, and was featured at a fashion show in a prominent local art gallery. She is producing “Pop Up” shops where she works directly with clients introducing the advantages of PurgARTory Makeup by Lynne Schaffer.

“It’s such a relief to know you’re not alone in running your business,” concluded Schaffer. “It can be scary. I don’t feel that way anymore, though, thanks to the FSBDC and Chuck. Their main goal is for us to succeed and that’s just what’s happening for me.”

For information about PurgARTory Makeup, please visit www.purgartory.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Florida SBDC at UCF

Florida SBDC at UCF to Celebrate National SBDC Day March 20

March 19, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL — The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) will celebrate the third annual SBDC Day Wednesday, March 20, 2019. SBDC Day is a national movement to celebrate the success and impact of America’s SBDCs, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest business assistance program.

With an SBDC in every U.S. state and territory, and more than 1,000 centers across the country, SBDCs provide assistance to hundreds of thousands of aspiring and existing small businesses each year. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.

In 2017, America’s SBDC clients experienced annual sales growth of 18.1 percent, almost 4.5 times more than the national average. SBDC assistance resulted in 93,471 jobs created; $7 billion in sales growth; $5.9 billion in capital investments; and 14,716 new businesses started.

“SBDC clients give their SBDCs 4.5 out of 5 stars and 92 percent of SBDC clients recommend their SBDC to other small businesses. With nearly 40 years of expertise, proven ROI and stellar client ratings, it’s clear that America’s SBDCs are the nation’s most trusted small business resource,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, president and CEO of America’s SBDC.

“SBDC Day is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the collective impact and success SBDCs have across the nation and in local communities each year,” remarked Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the FSBDC at UCF. “We are proud to assist Central Florida small businesses in so many ways and contribute to the economic health and wellbeing of the region.”

The Florida SBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance. The network has more than 40 centers from Pensacola to Key West hosted by the state’s leading universities, colleges, and economic development organizations.

To learn more about SBDC Day, and to join the celebration, please visit http://floridasbdc.org/national-sbdc-day.

— MORE —

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2017, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,450 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 5,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $623 million in sales growth; $23 million in capital formation; $32 million in government contract awards; and 71 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2017, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,750 client businesses, resulting in more than 28,800 jobs impacted; $3.2 billion in sales generated; $145.6 million in government contracts acquired; $135.4 million in capital accessed; and 335 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Patriot Government Partners Succeeds; Overcomes Long Odds to Win First Contract

Florida PTAC at UCF Assists New Government Contractor

March 12, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Steven South, PTAC Manager, PTC at UCF, 407-420-4859 or steven.south@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Resolve. If there’s one trait that distinguishes successful entrepreneurs and their small businesses from the rest, it is their determination to accomplish their goals, undeterred by the obstacles they must overcome. Ashley Green, the founder and principal at Patriot Government Partners, a business specializing in government contracting, has proven she has the necessary tenacity and, when assisted by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of Central Florida (Florida PTAC at UCF), the needed support to be successful.

Major Ashley Green of Patriot Government Partners with PTAC Consultant Steve South

Major Ashley Green of Patriot Government Partners with PTAC Consultant Steve South

Ashley Green has served for almost 20 years, and is a newly promoted Major and Company Commander, in the United States Army Reserve. Patriot Government Partners launched in November 2018 with a mission to leverage the founder’s military background –– and her healthcare experience and knowledge of small business ownership to provide information technology and project management services, centered primarily around healthcare, to government contracting clients.

 

“I knew I wanted to build a business, but I wasn’t sure how to formulate the plan and the steps I needed to take,“ recalls Green. “So I came to the Florida PTAC at UCF for help. I did everything – from soup to nuts – through PTAC.”

“My Procurement Specialist and the manager of the Florida PTAC at UCF, Steve South, worked with me practically weekly,” Green continued. “First on my project plan, then on pro forma financial statements and marketing plans. He gave me the checklist I needed to become a government contractor. He connected me with Jean Hill, a PTAC Coordinator, who helped set me up in Bid Match – an extensive database of federal, state, local, and international contracting opportunities – and with Kara Vernon, also a PTAC Specialist, who has guided me through utilizing the U.S. Department of Defense’s Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) system, a web-based application that allows DoD Vendors to submit and track their invoices, receipts and acceptance documents electronically.”

Once Patriot Government Partners opened in November, with the help of the Florida PTAC at UCF Green registered her company as a woman-owned and veteran-owned business within the U.S. Government Services Administration’s (GSA) System for Award Management (SAM). She began watching the daily feed of opportunities from the Bid Match system. And she found one!  But time was short.

The Florida Air National Guard had put a contract for bid to project manage a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event where airmen and their families are provided information and services prior to a deployment. It was scheduled for late January. Unfazed by the short time line, Green pursued the contract with assistance from the Florida PTAC at UCF. In just a few short weeks that included two major holidays and a partial government shutdown, and despite being new to government contacting, Green overcame delays, doubts and uncertainty, and Patriot Government Partners won their first contract three months after launching. If that’s not resolve in the face of long odds, then nothing is.

“Excellence is what I found at the PTAC,” concluded Green. “Everyone who works there is more helpful than the next. Their only goal is to help me grow and build my business the right way. The Florida PTAC at UCF has been so beneficial to me and my company.”

For information about Patriot Government Partners, please visit www.patriotpartnersllc.com.

— FSBDC

About the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF

Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at the University of Central Florida provide high-value, confidential one-on-one consulting at no cost to help Florida businesses prepare, research, and bid on federal, state, and local government contracts. Since 1986, Florida PTAC client businesses statewide have won $8.3 billion in contract awards, helping to create and save 187,090 jobs. This PTAC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency. For more information, please visit www.fptac.org.

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network. The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Small Business Institute, SBI

Small Business Institute® National Honors Won by UCF Students in Florida SBDC at UCF Program

Student Teams Assist Local Small Businesses with Award Winning Consulting

March 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@bus.ucf.edu

Alan Bashy, Sabbithry Persad, and Scott Stambaugh won 1st place in the ‘Graduate Specialized’ category

Alan Bashy, Sabbithry Persad, and Scott Stambaugh won 1st place in the ‘Graduate Specialized’ category

Orlando, FL –    The Small Business Institute® (SBI®), the premier provider of professional development for those engaged in experiential student team consulting and related entrepreneurship education, research and activities and the link between business, education and community, recently announced that two (2) student teams from the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration (UCF CBA) were winners in its annual Project of the Year (POY) competition, taking 1st place in the 2019 ‘Graduate Specialized’ category and Honorable Mention in the 2019  ‘Graduate Consulting Project’ category, respectively.

In competition with MBA teams from across the country, the UCF CBA team of students on the strength of their consulting project for a local company, CE Avionics of Sanford, FL. The company, a leader in avionics repair and installation, received the team’s assistance in the form of an in-depth marketing plan which provided full industry and competitive analyses and an implementation plan for penetrating a new market, including pricing and promotional strategies.

The team of Shardeh Berry, Kasimu Greenidge and Hannah Gehring were awarded an Honorable Mention in the ‘Graduate Consulting Project’ category for their consulting work for Winter Springs, FL-based Tuskawilla Lawn Maintenance.  The team’s report included an outlook of current industry conditions, in-depth financial analysis, and recommendations for improving the organization’s systems and processes. Both teams worked with faculty advisor Dr. Carl Blencke, an instructor for the UCF CBA’s Department of Management, as part of a management class.

“Congratulations to our students who won this prestigious recognition,” said Ron Piccolo, PhD. and Galloway Professor and Chair of the Department of Management. “Our course offering utilizing the SBI® program is an important educational partnership between UCF and the FSBDC which contributes to the quality of the student educational experience at the University of Central Florida.”

Tuskawilla Lawn Maintenance earning Honorable mention at 2019 SBI Conference

Tuskawilla Lawn Maintenance earning Honorable mention at 2019 SBI Conference

“We are so pleased by the success achieved by these impressive students,” commented Eunice Choi, Regional Director for the FSBDC at UCF. “This is yet another avenue for the FSBDC at UCF and UCF itself to support small businesses in Central Florida while also introducing UCF students to the world of business consulting. It demonstrates UCF’s commitment to our community and to growing the local economy, and the FSBDC’s contribution to furthering UCF’s educational mission.”

The Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC) sponsors the Small Business Institute® in Central Florida and, in conjunction with the Department of Management at the UCF College of Business Administration, manages the SBI® program locally. It recruits and evaluates FSBDC clients for the program, lends FSBDC consultants as SBI® case supervisors and provides a range of guidance and support. The FSBDC is part of the UCF Office of Partnership and Innovation.

At the UCF College of Business Administration, SBI® is a graduate‐level elective course. Students enrolled in the class provide management consulting services to local small businesses. Each student team has direct contact with the client and produces a professional case report. The report is the ultimate product of the program and is tailored to each business. Case study reports have included market research, marketing plans, competitive analysis, advertising strategy, customer surveys, strategic plans, financial analysis, human resource manuals and business plans.

The SBI® Program is offered as a full-semester credit course through the CBA’s Department of Management. During the semester, the student teams oversaw and implemented extensive research and analysis to determine industry best practices; met regularly to understand company processes and procedures; and performed wide-ranging analysis of business and industry strategies and performance. As a result of their efforts, the students were able to provide a comprehensive analysis and set of recommendations.

SBI® is a nation‐wide program that provides high‐quality business assistance to companies in need while providing an extraordinary opportunity for university students to learn through field case studies. Each project is led and conducted by a group of students under the supervision of an SBI® Director or faculty member. The experience is often cited by students as being one of the most rewarding of their academic careers. In today’s collegiate environment there is a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and the SBI® has been at the forefront of this movement for over thirty years.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network. The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.48

SBI Student team received 2019

50 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

FSBDC Consutlant Lisa Reineck with Toni B. Springer

Toni B. Springer CPA PA Accounting Firm Positioned for Expansion in 2019 With Assistance of FSBDC at UCF

DISC Behavioral Assessment Tool and FSBDC at UCF Assistance Important Contributors

February 18, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

                 Lisa Reineck, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4425 or Lisa.Reineck@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – People. It’s always about people. Finding good ones; then finding more. Helping them be as productive as possible. Creating a constructive company culture. Human resource management is one of the single largest challenges faced by owners of small-to-medium sized businesses. That’s what we see and hear at the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) every day and why we offer the DISC behavior assessment tool, implemented by a DISC-trained consultant, to help our clients improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.

As important as employee effectiveness and satisfaction are for all businesses, nowhere is it more important than in a service business. Toni Springer, owner and principal at Toni B. Springer CPA PA, recognized that fact. Her firm offers tax, accounting, and business consulting services to companies and individuals. They like to say, “We can service your accounting needs so you can run your business, not let your business run you.”

The key word here is “service.” High quality, personalized service is crucial to her company and Springer relies on her employees to deliver that service. So finding the right people and creating a positive work environment are crucial to her success. “I had found the right person for a key role the firm,” recalls Springer. “A colleague suggested I needed to clone her. His experience with DISC had been very positive and he recommended I see what it could tell me about this person’s personality and behavior profile for the next time I was hiring or if I needed to replace her.”

Springer contacted FSBDC at UCF consultant and DISC expert Lisa Reineck to implement the DISC tool. Focused on four behavioral traits — Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance – the tool draws a picture of an individual’s behaviors and preferences that can be used to enhance collaboration, cooperation and communications.

“Lisa did a great job and DISC had amazing consequences,” continued Springer. “I have very good people, who performed and collaborated better when they started recognizing each other’s styles and where the points of conflict existed. It brought peace back into the office. We all have better insights into each other’s behavioral traits which significantly increased the morale of everyone.”

“As a manager, DISC helped me see attributes in my employees I hadn’t recognized before which enabled me to place people where they best fit, would be most productive and most fulfilled,” Springer went on. “It may have even saved me from losing a valued employee. DISC revealed that one staff member was under immense stress from increased workloads. The results of the DISC report prompted me to make a quicker decision to hire additional staff. If I hadn’t engaged in DISC, I probably wouldn’t have made the decision to hire immediately and my ability to grow my business the way I wanted would have been hindered.”

“Increased productivity, improved efficiency, expanded employee effectiveness and the opportunity to make better decisions, that’s how DISC was very helpful for my firm,” concluded Springer. “We’re on the road to a terrific 2019 with the right people in the right roles, thanks to the help of the FSBDC.”

For information about Toni B. Springer CPA PA, please visit www.tbscpa.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network. The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Bill Payne of Drive Group, LLC with Maggie Incandela of the FSBDC at DSC

Drive Group Makes 2018 a Banner Year

Florida SBDC at Daytona State College Helps Ormond Beach, FL Digital Marketing Agency Grow

January 31, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

               Margaret Incandela, Consultant, Florida SBDC at DSC, 386.506.3579 or  Margaret.Incandela@daytonestate.edu

Orlando, FL – Going it alone is sometimes the curse of owning and running a small business. You have the idea and the passion and the drive but there are only so many hours in the day, and a small business person wears so many hats. Fortunately, the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its sub-center, the Florida SBDC at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC), are there to help.

Bill Payne, owner and chief creative of Drive Group, found himself in just such a position early on in his company’s history. Drive Group is a branding and digital marketing agency in Ormond Beach, FL that gets results for its local and national clients by building websites that work as well as delivering top-of-the line SEO/SEM, messaging and branding.

Starting out, Payne was on his own and finding more than enough clients that wanted his assistance. “I won a terrific assignment,” recalls Payne “but it would have made it impossible for me to service my other clients. I realized I needed to hire someone if I wanted to grow my business. The FSBDC helped me find my first intern through Daytona State College. He worked out great, became an employee and is still with us. And that’s how it all started with the FSBDC.”

“Working with FSBDC has been fantastic,” says Payne today. “I can confidently say my business would not be where it is without them.” Taking advantage of their no-cost, expert business consulting, seminars and workshops, and now their market research services, Drive Group has thrived with the help of the FSBDC, led by consultant and FSBDC at DSC Assistant Director Maggie Incandela.

“From the beginning, they have helped me,“ Payne continued. “Back in 2013, they laid out a roadmap for how I could grow my business. How to hire. How to build processes and procedures that would allow us to scale. There has not been a question that I have had that there hasn’t been someone at the FSBDC with the knowledge and expertise I needed.”

In addition to benefiting from the consulting and other services of the FSBDC, Payne is a member of the FSBDC at DSC’s Growth XChange. Growth XChange is a facilitated, peer-to-peer coaching roundtable program where business owners engage in collaborative thinking and problem-solving, discussing vital business issues, opportunities and challenges with a goal of leading their companies to the second stage of growth.

“The Growth XChange has been hugely helpful. Everyone brings their expertise and experience, and we talk through our trials and tribulations,” comments Payne. “2018 has been a great year for us as a result of the FSBDC, including the Growth XChange group.”

“Since starting with the FSBDC, my company has grown and grown,” concluded Bill Payne. “We have more clients. And better clients. I now have 2 full time and 2 part-time team members. Revenues have grown by 400% over the period, and by 100% in just the last year. Working with the FSBDC has been transformational for my business. I cannot stress enough how much they have helped me.”

For information about Drive Group, please visit www.drivegroupllc.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network. The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com