FSBDC - Lake County Area Manager Eddie Hill with Citrus Hearing Clinic's Dr. Laura Bradley Pratesi, AuD

Citrus Hearing Clinic: Dedicated to Serving the Clermont Community

Audiology Practice Achieves Success With Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF – Lake County

December 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

                 Eddie Hill, Area Manager, FSBDC at UCF – Lake County, 352.429.2581 or eddie.hill@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Citrus Hearing Clinic is a small business located in Clermont, Florida whose owner and Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Laura Bradley Pratesi, prides herself on working in the community where she, her friends, and family live and socialize.

Founded by Dr. Pratesi, hearing impaired and a hearing aid user herself, Citrus Hearing Clinic aims to be a full-service audiology practice specializing in aural rehabilitation, balance therapy, pediatric testing, and patient education. They like to say, “We listen. You hear.”

“No one in the area was offering my services so I saw an underserved market in my own backyard,” Dr. Pratesi remarked. “Now I am working with local physicians, treating our shared patients and coordinating their care closely with those doctors, which is all important. Thanks to this community, I’ve become successful in my new office.”

Although enjoying a warm reception in Clermont, there were challenges faced by Dr. Pratesi on the road to opening her clinic. For many of those, she turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida’s (FSBDC at UCF) Lake County office and its Area Manager and consultant Eddie Hill.

“I’m an expert in audiology but I’m not an expert in business,’ Dr. Pratesi recalls. “I know a lot of businesses don’t do well in the first few years. I didn’t want to be one of those; I wanted to be successful. For me it wasn’t just getting to practice audiology, it was also about learning to run a profitable business.”

And that’s what Dr. Pratesi did. She used the FSBDC’s market research services to conduct a risk analysis of the area. She attended the FSBDC’s online seminars to sharpen her financial and marketing skills. And she took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert business consulting by meeting with Eddie Hill.

“Eddie was very helpful in developing a business plan and getting it ready to take to a bank,” says Dr. Pratesi. “I’d gone to a couple of my own banks and been rejected. They wanted me to put up my home as collateral and that made me nervous. But Eddie helped me find a local bank that would make a business loan to me.”

“And that was important to me. I liked getting a loan from a bank and not a particular hearing aid manufacturer, like many audiology businesses do,” continued Dr. Pratesi. “It means I am able to work with all the different manufacturers and free to always choose the best product for my patients. As someone with a hearing impairment, I have been in my patients’ shoes. I really like that I can help make the best, most well-informed decisions about their hearing and balance health care.”

“The FSBDC has been a wonderful resource. My experience with them has been overwhelmingly positive,“ Dr. Pratesi concluded.  “They helped me find a local bank who made me a loan that helped get me started. It was important to me to be independently owned and operated and I was able to do that because of the FSBDC.”

For information about Citrus Hearing Clinic, please visit www.citrushearing.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Bella Casa Staging & Redesign Growing with Assistance from Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College

December 4, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

                 Martin Duffy, Director, FSBDC at EFSC, 321.433.5573 or duffym@easternflorida.edu

Orlando, FL – “How do I take my business to the next level?” It’s a question that entrepreneurs and small business owners are asking constantly. Even as they meet the daily challenges of exceeding customer expectations while running a business, they need to be looking ahead and planning for the future. When they can do both – manage the day-to-day while looking ahead – small business owners can and will be successful. Especially with the help of the Florida SBDC.

Lisa Pelc is the owner and chief executive of Bella Casa Staging & Redesign in Melbourne, FL, a home staging and interior design company with experts in preparing homes – both occupied and vacant – for a faster, more profitable sale. As redesigners, the professionals at Bella Casa help families reconnect to each space in their home, so that it’s organized, beautiful and a perfect reflection of the family.

In 2017, Pelc found herself at a crossroads of sorts. She had started her business and it was growing, but she was asking herself some key questions: where next? How do I grow from here? That’s when she turned to Marty Duffy, the center director and consultant at the Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College (FSBDC at EFSC), a sub-center of the Florida SBDC at UCF.

“I came to the FSBDC for assistance because I was having some growing pains,” recalls Pelc. “I wanted to grow my business but wasn’t sure what to do and how to do it. So I reached out and found all of these different business courses and seminars, as well as no-cost, one-on-one consulting. Marty and the FSBDC team at Eastern Florida State College were extremely helpful in areas like strategy, inbound and outbound marketing, financial analysis as well as market research.”

“There is so much at the FSBDC that a small business needs,’” continued Pelc. “You don’t always know what you don’t know, as the saying goes. Working with the FSBDC has really shown me the opportunities that are available for my business. Meeting with Marty every month was like having a personal MBA professor dedicated to addressing my specific business needs. The time together was incredibly helpful and insightful.”

The list of Bella Casa’s business issues addressed with the help of the FSBDC at EFSC is long:  reviewing and then gaining an understanding of monthly and year-to-date financial results and profitability; conducting market research and building industry knowledge; identifying new market opportunities; and learning how to balance marketing and operations.

“The FSBDC has really guided me and helped me learn how, as an entrepreneur, to work on the business and not just in the business so it can grow and be more profitable every year,” concluded Pelc. “We’ve gone from a team of 2 to a company of 5, and our business has grown by 50% in just the last year. Marty and his team have been instrumental in helping me stay on task and provided a sense of accountability for myself and my company. When you tap into the resources that are at the FSBDC, the sky’s the limit for your business.”

For information about Bella Casa Staging & Redesign, please visit www.BellaCasaStagingAndRedesign.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

JBoFitness

JBoFitness Finds Success with Help from FSBDC at UCF – Osceola County

Consulting Services and Business Seminars Aids Growth of Group Personal Training Company in Kissimmee, FL

Orlando, FL – Owning and running a small business isn’t easy. In fact, there are some who say that it’s the toughest job you’ll ever have. At the same time, there are immense rewards in business ownership like professional independence, personal satisfaction and financial opportunity, not to mention fulfilling a dream. Fortunately, there are people and organizations who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start, grow and succeed.

Johnny Bonilla had a dream to start and run his own business five years ago. And that’s what he has done and is doing. Today he is the founder and owner of JBoFitness in Kissimmee, FL, a group training facility that takes personal training and applies it in a group setting. Dedicated to building strength and conditioning, JBoFitness guides clients in a significant workout that takes the guesswork out of physical fitness and gets results.

Bonilla will be the first to tell you that he hasn’t done it alone. Along with his wife Raquel, he is assisted by the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC) of Osceola County and its Area Manager Rafael E. M. Pratts. Bonilla has taken advantage of all of the FSBDC’s core services: its no-cost consulting, business training and access to marketing databases.

“My experience with the FSBDC has been great,” says Bonilla. “I have been able to pick up vital information from their seminars. And the thing I particularly like is Rafael’s consulting. I never feel uncomfortable about reaching out to him. From helping with strategies for my business, to dealing with taxes, to answering important questions that I know are going to affect my business and help it grow, he’s always there to help.”

“A lot of people get intimidated when they have questions,” remarked Raquel Bonilla. “But the FSBDC isn’t that way. They are so welcoming, so friendly, so knowledgeable. It made us comfortable to be working with them. That’s why we have continued with them for so long. They make it easy.”

“Starting a business and running a business can be scary,” added Johnny Bonilla. “You don’t always know what to do.  To have the FSBDC there to give you ideas, to help you set goals, to hold you accountable, to have that support system is what stands out for me. In business you don’t have a lot of people to turn to but you always have the FSBDC there for you. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

With the help of the FSBDC, Bonilla and JBoFitness have enjoyed impressive success. “Since starting with the FSBDC, we’ve had massive growth,” concluded Bonilla. “From our modest start in the courtyard of a local church in 2013, JBoFitness grew into a 1000 sq. ft. space and then in 2017 moved into its current 2750 sq. ft. training facility. Starting out, JBoFitness had 7 clients; today we serve approximately 150. It’s been a lot of work, but also a great ride and fun. We’re going to continue with the FSBDC. They have done a great job with us.”

For information about JBoFitness, please visit jbofitness.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

JIRACOR

JIRACOR Becomes Established Defense Contractor

Florida PTAC at UCF Assists Company Gain Government Contracting Success

October 31, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Steven South, PTAC MANAGRE, FSBDC AT UCF, 407.420-4859 or steven.south@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Doing business with the government can be challenging for a small business. But it can also be extremely rewarding. Once the choice has been made to be a government contractor, often the largest hurdle is identifying and then meeting the many requirements set by government departments and agencies. Fortunately, the Florida PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) at UCF – in partnership with the Florida SBDC at UCF – is available to help.

Florida PTAC at UCF is where Jeannette Coronado and husband Richard Coronado turned when they decided to move their business away from commercial customers and into the government sector. Their company, JIRACOR LLC, had been successfully offering services to businesses, but they saw a bigger opportunity in government work.

“When we started in our new direction, we didn’t know about doing business with the government, about their requirements and expectations” recalls Jeannette Coronado. “That’s where the Florida PTAC came in. They helped us. They educated us. They guided us.”

“At the beginning, working with government, in our case the U.S. Department of Defense, was scary because the requirements they have are very specialized,” she continued. “To be in the game, you need to get security clearances, have approved accounting systems, speak their language and understand all their acronyms. Then you have to know how to find contract opportunities, how to bid on them, and what to do when you win. It can be overwhelming.”

The Florida PTAC provided an extensive list of services to the Coronado’s, including no-cost consulting, training, assistance with obtaining key certifications and registering with the government’s SAM (System for Award Management) system, not to mention offering matchmaking events and strategies for working with the government. “There are so many boxes you have to check to win government contracts,” says Jeannette. “The Florida PTAC explains it all and makes it possible to check them all off.”

Thanks to the Coronado’s hard work and the help of their Florida PTAC specialist, today JIRACOR is an established government contractor.  With Jeannette as CEO and Richard as President, the company offers training & logistics support, manufacturing and fabrications services and depot-level maintenance and repairs. They are an SBA 8(a) and woman-owned certified business and have met ISO 90001 and AS9100 quality management systems standards.

“When we first went into the Florida PTAC, we were not procurement ready,’ states Richard Coronado. “From their mentoring, their classes, their consulting, their advice on our business plan, now we are winning contracts and ready for more. The Department of Defense could award us a multi-million-dollar sole source contract tomorrow and we are ready with the people and infrastructure to execute it. As it is, we have seen our revenues increase by more than 200% since we started consulting with the Florida PTAC.”

“If it weren’t for the Florida PTAC, we at JIRACOR probably wouldn’t be here,” he concluded. “Our experience has been awesome! They have great consultants. They have great services. They have great training. All at little or no cost. Getting all of the certifications, advice, knowledge and support from PTAC has made the difference for us.”

For information about JIRACOR LLC, please visit www.jiracor.com.

— FSBDC —

About the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF

Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at the University of Central Florida provide high-value, confidential one-on-one consulting at no cost to help Florida businesses prepare, research, and bid on federal, state, and local government contracts. Since 1986, Florida PTAC client businesses statewide have won $8.3 billion in contract awards, helping to create and save 187,090 jobs. This PTAC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency. For more information, please visit www.fptac.org.

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.

Elly Memreno, FSBDC at UCF, Osceola County, Clermont, Painaglia, Dr. Daniel Saint Ellie

Painalgia Relief Center Continues to Grow in Clermont

Business Assistance from FSBDC at UCF Helps Pain Management Clinic Succeed

October 24, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

   Elly Membreno, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF – Kissimmee/Osceola County Office, 407-847-4311 or Elly.Membreno@ucf.edu  

Orlando, FL – For many entrepreneurs, it’s not just about starting a business, it’s also about building that business into something more. And so it was for Dr. Daniel Saint-Elie. His vision was to launch a pain management clinic and then to make it into an enterprise that served a broad and under served community. To make his dream a reality and then a successful business, he turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Kissimmee.

Saint-Elie is a board-certified pain management physician. His clinic Painalgia Relief Center in Clermont Florida provides pain management services to relieve back, neck and other kinds of pain. Services offered are prescribing indicated oral and topical medicines including medical marijuana and administering steroid injections in the spine, joint or soft tissues. Saint-Elie and his team work to help people cope with their conditions.

Paingalia, FSBDC at UCF, Osceola County

Dr. Daniel Saint-Elie with Elly Membreno

Before he could start providing medical care to patients he wanted to help however, he had to plan and build his business. That’s when he contacted the Florida SBDC. “Friends who are entrepreneurs told me about the FSBDC,” recalls Saint-Elie. “I signed up and it’s been a success story ever since.”

“The experience with the FSBDC has been a great one,” he continued. “I have benefited from so many of their services and programs: their excellent business consulting, their seminars and workshops, their market research. They have helped me understand my competition and improve my bookkeeping, accounting and financial management. They have conducted a website analysis, shown me the best way to use social media and assisted with my digital marketing plan. It’s been a great experience. The FSBDC has been a backbone for my business.”

Along with the many services received from the FSBDC, Saint-Elie made particular note of the assistance he got from Elly Membreno, his FSBDC consultant. “The FSBDC is a place where I can brainstorm, get ideas, get feedback and also guidance from experienced small business experts like Elly,” he says. “I am told if I am doing something right or not, and get unbiased advice and counseling about how to run my business.”

Its startup phase behind it, Painalgia Relief Center is now a going concern and a success. “When I started, I had nothing but an idea,” says the doctor. “I turned that into a small exam room. From there I built the practice and today that has become a full service clinic. I’m renting space, we have employees and independent contractors, we’re marketing and out in the community and we’re enjoying positive cash flow. I’m growing my business and, most important, I’m seeing and helping patients which is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

“My endeavor wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the FSBDC,” concludes Saint-Elie. “From the consulting to the classes to the different ideas and their unbiased support, it’s been great. I am very grateful for everything I have received from the FSBDC”

For information about Panalgia Relief Center please visit www.painalgia.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Roger Greenwald, Dave Holt and Jill Kaufman

Surveying and Mapping Equipment Dealer GPServ, Inc. Grows by Delivering “Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.”

FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council Program Assists with Employee, Revenue and Profit Growth

September 11, 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, 407.420.4850 or Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu

                Roger Greenwald, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or RGreenwald@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – “Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.” That’s the business mantra at GPServ, Inc., a leading purveyor of surveying, mapping and field instruments and supplies to professionals in the engineering, surveying, and construction industries. Think GPS, optical, laser, hydro and drone equipment; practically everything a land surveyor might need.

Founder and president Dave Holt puts a lot of stock in that mantra, applying it not only to what he promises his customers but to how he runs his business as well. It’s a philosophy that led him to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its Advisory Board Council (ABC).

“GPServ had been in business 15 or so years and we were doing fine,” recalls Holt. “We always turned a profit, had expanded carefully, moved into a new building, added services. But we weren’t growing as fast as I thought we could. I had heard about the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council through the National Entrepreneur Center and wanted to learn more.”

Dave Holt; GPServ,Inc.; Advisory Board Council Client

Dave Holt, GSPServ

Designed for established, second-stage companies, the Advisory Board Council is a no-cost board of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow.  It acts as a matchmaker between established local businesses like Holt’s 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.

“I wasn’t confident that my approach to understanding and managing company finances was solid enough,” Holt remembers. “And I thought there was room for improvement in our general management and we can always be better at marketing.” It was towards addressing these issues that Jill Kaufman, the program manager of the ABC, built GPServ’s Advisory Board while FSBDC consultant Roger Greenwald assisted Holt with implementing its recommendations.

“My Advisory Board helped me understand we had a good business going, that we were making money but there were things we could do to grow,” Holt says today. “They helped us with our finances, our management, our marketing. Sometimes it’s really hard to focus because there is so much going on day to day. The Board really helps you narrow down the things you need to work on. For me, it was invaluable.”

The results speak for themselves. “When we started with the ABC, we had 5½ employees and revenues in the $3 million ballpark. Since that time, we’ve expanded to 12½ employees, our revenues have doubled and our profits have tripled,” Holt states. “I feel like the FSBDC and my Advisory Board were instrumental in helping us grow.”

“If I were to counsel another business owner who has the opportunity to take advantage of the Advisory Board Council, I would really encourage them to do so. You get a group of people who have a wide range of skills – none of which I had – who help you throughout the full width of your business. It was just so valuable for me and my business.”

“Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.” True for GPServ, Inc. and apparently for the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council as well.

For information about GPServ, Inc., please visit www.gpserv.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Revology

Revology Cars Expanding Production Thanks to New Capital Investment

FSBDC at UCF Supports Reproduction Classic Car Manufacturer With Business Training and Capital Access Consulting

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

                Pauline Davis, Assistant Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or Pauline.Davis@ucf.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2018

Orlando, FL – Smart entrepreneurs are the ones who know they don’t know everything. And who then go out to find the help they need, to fill the holes they may have to make their businesses successful.

Tom Scarpello is one of those smart entrepreneurs. He’s the founder and president of Revology Cars, LLC, a manufacturer and builder of totally cool, brand-new (and updated with modern technology and features), Ford-licensed reproduction classic 1960’s Ford Mustang and Shelby GT automobiles. Revology is the first company to ever be licensed by the Ford Motor Company to build reproductions of any of its vehicles in the company’s more than a century of existence. That’s how good Revology Cars is and how true to the original the vehicles it builds are.

When he started Revology, Scarpello brought 26 years of corporate auto industry experience to his new company but believed he needed to know more. “While I have a good base of technical and functional skills in my areas of expertise, I had not been exposed to a lot of the elements of running my own business,” he recalls.

Tom Scarpello and Pauline Davis

Tom Scarpello and Pauline Davis

It was then that he turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance, in the form of both business training and consulting. “You can improve anything,” says Scarpello. “The FSBDC’s seminars are extremely valuable for entrepreneurs who are experts in their subject matter, but may not have expertise in running a business. I had a good experience there. It’s unusual to have an essentially free resource like the FSBDC that’s actually valuable. It is almost too good to be true, but then turns out to in fact be true.”

Beyond its business training, Scarpello also took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost consulting. As his business grew, the need for capital to finance that growth became apparent. Scarpello connected with FSBDC consultant Pauline Davis, an expert in accessing capital, to help him prepare a presentation or “pitch” to potential investors. “I had never done an investor pitch before,” Scarpello recalls. “I’d read books and watched videos but never really gone through the process.”

“The FSBDC was an outstanding resource that helped us to be very prepared for our pitch. They put together a panel of mock investors that allowed us to practice and fine tune our presentation,” says Scarpello. “Ultimately we were successful and able to raise the $2 million in funding we needed.”

“The FSBDC was a great partner. They have people who are or have been entrepreneurs, who are or have been investors, who have the experience, who have been through this before and were able to give us excellent guidance,” Scarpello went on. “We raised our capital really quickly. It made us wonder if we could have gone for more or, more likely, if maybe we were just really well prepared as a result of going through this process with the FSBDC.”

“Today Revology Cars is growing really, really quickly,” concluded Scarpello. “Since we raised our funding, we’ve been able to hire new employees, buy new tooling and equipment and expand our existing facility. We’ve increased our production capacity. That’s all a result of successfully accessing new capital and that was, in part, a result of the work we did with the FSBDC.”

For information about Revology Cars, please visit www.revologycars.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Desiree Aviles, Owner of WaxMe

WaxMe Body Waxing Studio Open and Successful

FSBDC at UCF Assists Orlando Entrepreneur Plan and Start Her New Business

Contact:    Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu

            Chuck Wheeler, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4846 or Charles.Wheeler@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? Have your own company? Be the 100% beneficiary of your hard work? Desiree Aviles did and decided to start her own business. But, she asked, “where do I start?”

Although early in her career, Aviles was already a successful aesthetician with a loyal client following at a highly-regarded Orlando spa. All thanks to her expertise as a skilled and licensed body waxing technician. Like many first-time entrepreneurs, however, she was not an experienced business planner or manager.

“I had no idea how to start or run a business,” Aviles recalls. “Not a clue. And I don’t have friends who have their own businesses either. I felt like I could never have done what needed to be done on my own. So I decided to go to the FSBDC to see what I could learn from them.”

And that’s what Desiree Aviles did. She went to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and attended its “How to Start Your Business” training class. Then she followed that by meeting with FSBDC consultant Chuck Wheeler.

“It’s like I said, this was all new to me. I didn’t know about business entities, EIN numbers, breakeven analysis,” Aviles continued. “But then the FSBDC took me through everything I needed to get started.”

FSBDC at UCF Consultant Chuck Wheeler with WaxMe Owner Desiree Aviles

FSBDC at UCF Consultant Chuck Wheeler with WaxMe Owner Desiree Aviles

“Walking into that class, I felt a little intimidated because of my lack of knowledge. But I was made to feel very at ease right away. Then I sat down with my consultant and he helped me so much. He was always there for me as I moved ahead. Anytime I had a question or needed help, he was there.”

As a result of Aviles’s hard work and the assistance of the FSBDC, her new business WaxMe – a studio offering full body waxing for men and women, “from the face all the way down to the toes,” using only organic hard wax – was started. She has now been in business a few months and is off to a great start. “Business has been booming,” she reports. “Between my loyal clients and some new ones I have found through marketing online, I am already making money. In fact, I hit breakeven within 5 days of opening my doors.”

“It has been great working with the FSBDC. If I hadn’t gone there, I wouldn’t be here,” new business owner and successful entrepreneur Aviles says today. “They are exceptional. No one else will sit down with you and go into such detail on how to start a business. There’s so much involved that I didn’t know about but my consultant and the FSBDC did, and they guided me through.”

“I know there is more I have to learn and I will be using the FSBDC to help me,” concluded Aviles. “I plan to continue attending their seminars, and will be meeting regularly with my consultant for his counseling. Their assistance and service has been exceptional from beginning to end. And this isn’t the end for WaxMe; it’s only the beginning.”

For information about WaxMe, please visit www.waxmestudio.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.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com