Orlando Company Grows with Help of FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council
July 12, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu
Jill Kaufman, Assistant Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4854 or Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – Confidence. For owners of small- and medium-sized business, it can make all the difference. Faced with challenges of all sorts – from competition to staffing to cash flow – while constantly considering opportunities with new customers, new products and new business lines, leaders need to make decisions and make good ones if their companies are to thrive. And being confident in those decisions means faster action, stronger follow through and better results.
Troy Hage and Joe Brotzman, owners of Atlantic Stonework CFL, have been making good decisions from the start but thought they could do better. Atlantic Stonework is in the business of offering high quality, turn-key hardscape installations – pavers, coping, travertine, retaining walls – to residential and commercial customers. Hage came to the company after having multiple businesses over the years, but he came with a nagging doubt. “You never know if you’re making the right decision or the wrong decision, until after the fact,” he recalls. “You are always looking for someone to talk to, to ask questions, to help reassure you that you’re making the right choice.”
Hage had learned that advisory boards are a great source of guidance and a small business ‘best practice.’ “I was in the process of creating an advisory board on my own when I learned about the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council program. It was award-winning. There was no cost. Past clients endorsed the program enthusiastically. It was just what I was looking for,” he says now.
An FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council (ABC) is a no-cost board of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow. The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local businesses like Atlantic Stonework and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with the volunteers selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.
“Truly, our Advisory Board Council was a blessing,” says Hage. “Jill Kaufman, the ABC program manager, put together a great team for us. There was a banker, a CFO and a sales & marketing expert, both from the construction industry, and a human resources practitioner. I called them our “Dream Team” because they were that good. We learned so much.”
“The guidance and direction from our advisory board was invaluable,” Brotzman says. “Just bouncing ideas off them and getting their feedback helped us tremendously. We even did a successful start-up business while they were advising us. That’s a first for the ABC!”
“The number one thing that we got from our advisors was the understanding that a lot of the decisions we were making were the right decisions,” continued Hage. “It boosted our confidence in a big way. Now we’re coming into situations more assured, making better choices and being a lot more successful.”
“In fact, since starting with the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program, our revenues have increased 57%. At the same time, we were able to reduce our sales territory and become more efficient, yet serve more customers,” concluded Hage. “More confidence is what we got from the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council, and it’s been great for Atlantic Stonework.”
For information about Atlantic Stonework, please visit http://www.atlanticstonework.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.