The motivations behind entrepreneurship can come in many forms. Inventing a new product or service, identifying an unmet customer need or deciding they can deliver results for clients superior to those of their current employer are just a few examples of the drivers behind new business creation. In the case of Victoria Messina, founder and President of Messina & Associates, a wastewater treatment solutions firm, the entrepreneur in her saw ways to serve customers better than the companies she had worked for during her career and decided to strike out on her own, turning to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County for assistance.
Messina & Associates provides wastewater treatment systems and products to contractors, municipalities and builders throughout Florida and the Caribbean. It sets itself apart from its competition by offering customized service to every client. “I personally take time to understand the customer’s requirements,” says Messina. “We listen, provide thoughtful feedback, and interpret the customer’s needs. Then we offer site-specific designs and solutions. It is one of the things I enjoy most about my job: providing solutions for customers who maybe thought there wasn’t one available.” The company also supplies products that are hard to come by. “We stock a lot of specialty products; our customers appreciate the short lead times and prompt service we offer,” she added.
“I originally sought out assistance from the FSBDC because I knew that there were items I needed to learn but didn’t know,” Messina recalls. “In essence, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I’d been in business for a long time but not personally as owner and I wanted to know what the parameters were for success and needed assurance that I was headed down the right path.” Fortunately, Messina found what she was looking for in the no-cost, expert consulting; business training and seminars; and access to market data she found at the FSBDC.
“My experience with the FSBDC has been fantastic,” Messina says today. “I really enjoyed working with John Doramus (FSBDC consultant in Lake County). I attribute a lot of my success to his assistance. I can’t say enough about his willingness to help me with anything and everything that I asked for. I took classes and went to seminars on doing business with the government that were incredibly valuable.” Doramus and the FSBDC also aided in finding, evaluating and securing financing for the company’s current facility in Tavares, FL.
“Since I started working with the FSBDC, we have seen growth in our business of at least 25 – 30 percent,” Messina concluded. “I would describe the experience of working with the FSBDC as nothing short of miraculous. It was an incredible resource. To be honest with you, I don’t even know how I found out about the FSBDC but I sure am glad I did. As a small business owner and an entrepreneur, I would highly recommend them to anyone.”
For information about Messina & Associates, please visit https://messinaassociates.com