As almost every entrepreneur or small business owner will tell you, building a growing business takes focus and accountability. They will also tell you that they are sometimes inundated with new challenges that pull them away from addressing the key issues that contribute to long term success. It was when Courtney Powell, President and founder of AceApplications, LLC felt caught in that snare that he turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.
AceApplications is a technology solutions provider for businesses, schools, and government agencies delivering custom software and web development, cloud applications, business consulting and technology solutions. What makes Powell and his team at AceApplications unique is their core background as engineers who are able to design and build customized IT solutions tailored to their clients’ needs. “Our motto – ‘Technology Solutions for Business Success’ – is our mission for our clients,” states Powell.
As strong as Powell’s commitment is to client success, so too is his desire to build a successful long-term enterprise. To achieve this, however, he felt he needed help. “Early on I recognized that, to grow my business to the level I wanted, I couldn’t do it alone,” he recalls today.
“I’m an engineer. I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs. Almost everything I’ve done I had to learn on the job or do it solo,” Powell continued. “So I sought assistance from the FSBDC. I tapped into their folks and many services. They helped with all the areas that are important to growing a business: marketing, accounting, operations management, and sales.”
FSBDC services and programs that benefited AceApplications included its no-cost, expert consulting; business training; specialty programs for growing second stage companies like the Advisory Board Council and Small Business Institute®; and the FSBDC’s government contracting affiliate, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC.)
“My experience with the FSBDC has been great. It’s been wonderful,” says Powell now. “Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I had a bad habit of working ‘in’ the business, and not ‘on’ the business. They showed me how to step back from the day-to-day and think about the long term. The FSBDC, and especially my consultant Pauline Davis, helped me to ‘keep it real’ and look at the business from a practical standpoint such as managing cash flow, price setting, measuring profitability, walking away when the margins weren’t there.”
“I would highly recommend working with the FSBDC to any entrepreneur or small business owner. A new level of focus and accountability is one of the things that came out my work with the FSBDC, and it’s made a big difference in my business. We’ve increased in size; added employees; and won some new, long-term government contracts. And we are on the cusp of exciting new opportunities in the smart city/smart transportation infrastructure/smart car world,” concluded Powell.
Importantly, it was on the strength of his accomplishments resulting from his evolved focus and accountability that Powell was named the U. S. Small Business Administration 2019 North Florida District and State of Florida Minority-Owned Business Person of the Year last year.
For more information about AceApplications, please visit www.aceapplicatons.com or call (877) 499-2231 x101.