FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council Program Called Invaluable
February 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – The entrepreneurial life has its challenges. They are only multiplied when you relocate yourself and your business from Pennsylvania to Lake Mary, FL. But that’s exactly what Keith Lorenz, founder and owner of Summer Solutions Inc., did in 2013. While searching for local assistance and learning the local business landscape, he found the support and assistance he needed to make a success of his move at the Florida SBDC at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF, through its Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.
Summer Solutions is in the business of solving the problems that swimmers have with chlorine: the hair discoloration, the dry skin conditions, the deterioration of their swim suits to name a few. Summer Solutions offers a full line of products – shampoos, soap, swimwear care products – specifically designed to address the deleterious effects of chlorinated swimming pool water.
Lorenz started the company in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and made it a small success. Now he was ready to devote his full time to making the company a big success and answer some big questions: is this a real business I can grow? How can I scale it up? Where can I find the people I need to help me succeed?
It was then that he did some research and found the Florida SBDC. “I looked at all the different services offered by the FSBDC and saw the Advisory Board Council as the program that could really help me,” Lorenz says. “‘Wow,’ I said. ‘This is exactly what I need. Right here in Seminole County.’” He contacted Amy Kirkland, a consultant and the manager of the FSBDC at SSC, to apply.
In the Advisory Board Council program, the FSBDC constructs a no-cost board of experts that meets over an 18 month period providing advice and council to help businesses grow. The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local businesses and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with the Board customized and the volunteers selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.
“My Advisory Board was invaluable. I was working on my own and needed advisors to bounce ideas off, to discuss issues with,” says Lorenz. “I wanted the accountability that would come from putting my plans in front a group of experts. And that’s what I got, and more, from my Board. They provided a forum that helped me make better decisions that helped my company grow.”
“My board saved me from taking some unnecessary risks and convinced me to invest in my marketing and sales efforts. They helped me analyze and redefine my target markets. We reassessed my website and they assisted me in finding the resources to improve it dramatically. They persuaded me that a dedicated sales person would have much more success than me doing it myself,“ Lorenz continued. “And the results speak for themselves: we now have a better focus on our markets, and our sales are up nicely.
— 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 (FSBDC 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 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
In 2015, the Florida SBDCs served almost 45,500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained or saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $947.4 million in capital accessed; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; and 3,857 new businesses started.