Participation in FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council Program Makes A Difference and Cultivates Growth.
September 19, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu
Jill Kaufman, Associate Director/Program Manager, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420 4854 or Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – Entrepreneurs often become business owners on the strength of having a “better answer to a customer’s problem.” Even so, most entrepreneurial journeys are replete with challenges for a small business owner to address – frequently without significant experience or business training, and most often without substantial support. Eric Kobb, the founder and owner of Rolling Green Landscape Solutions, faced just that predicament and turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its award-winning Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.
Orlando-based Rolling Green Landscape Solutions provides a full range of landscaping services to high-end residential and commercial clients. What sets it apart is the quality of its people and service, and the superiority of its technology. “The landscape industry is a crowded place,” explains Kobb. “The number one way we differentiate ourselves is through our people. We focus on hiring the best, on training and education, and on retaining them. We’re proud of the number of licensed and certified staff members we have. We also try to be more technologically advanced than most in our industry. It’s all part of making our teams more efficient, to allow us to communicate better with our clients, and overall just do a better job.”
“I have spent my whole life in the landscaping industry, so I have always known my trade,” Kobb points out. “I know my craft and I know how to service my customers. What I didn’t have any experience in was the business side of things: how to set up a business plan; how to have a marketing strategy; how to actually understand and grow our financials. I have seen other businesses flounder without that knowledge and I didn’t want to go down that path so I sought out the FSBDC.”
“When I first met with them, they recommended one of their programs: the Advisory Board Council,” Kobb recalls. Directed by Program Manager Jill Kaufman, each advisory board consists of a customized, no-cost panel of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow. The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local small businesses like Rolling Green Landscape Solutions and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with each advisor purposefully selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.
“We set up a board that would fill the voids in my personal experience,” Kobb states. “We built my board focused on the areas I could improve upon and we went from there. It’s been great. My ABC was pretty awesome in fact.” It included professionals in accounting and finance; Human Resources; advertising, marketing and branding; and banking. “It was really cool to see the different levers that can be pulled in the business world and how you could make yourself more successful and grow as an individual,” Kobb shares.
The FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council really made a difference for Kobb and Rolling Green. “Working with the FSBDC and my Board have been really impactful. It’s been huge,” Kobb concluded. “The results are staggering. Over the three years we have worked with the FSBDC, our profits are up, our revenues are up 139%, our employee count has more than doubled, we have expanded our facility, and we have increased our line of credit by three times (3X). It’s all really helped to position us for the future and for future growth, and I’m super excited about that. The FSBDC opened my eyes to how things are done and I want to thank them and everyone on my Board who helped me.”
For information about Rolling Green Landscape Solutions, please visit http://www.rollinggreenlandscape.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 Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of part of UCF’s Office of the President 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 9 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2022, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $793.9 million in sales growth; $66.7 million in capital formation; $103.8 million in government contract awards; and 160 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .
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 2022, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network’s latest economic impact analysis, the FSBDC’s services resulted in almost 29,000 jobs impacted; $4.8 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired; and $528.4 million in capital accessed.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, 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.