FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

Anthony Ruben Named Volunteer of the Year By Florida SBDC Network

imageSmall Business Development Center at UCF
August 7, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, SBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@bus.ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – At its recent Annual Professional Development Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDCN) recognized and thanked Anthony (Tony) Ruben for his contributions above the norm to the success of the FSBDC’s mission to help business start, grow and succeed, create positive economic impact, and provide value to its stakeholders. Based upon his nomination by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF), he was named as the state-wide Florida Volunteer of the Year for his long-time service as a volunteer advisor  with the SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.

The SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council program is a next-level, business support service, assisting established Orange County businesses by matching them with experienced business professionals with a diverse range of skills who work together on a “custom-fit” advisory board. It is an economic development program that operates within the Small Business Development Center at UCF and is funded by Orange County Government. The program acts as a matchmaker between businesses and volunteer advisors, all of whom are professionals in the community. The program’s purpose is to positively impact Orange County businesses through revenue growth and job creation.. Businesses also benefit from improved operations, marketing, financial management, reduced costs,  leadership development and succession planning. Through the Advisory Board Council, clients gain the knowledge required to drive their business further. An Advisory Board is a powerful management tool that no business should be without. It provides dynamic talent and expertise at no-cost – helping businesses solve problems and create opportunities.

Mr. Ruben is the Managing Director of Inflection Point Consulting in Orlando. He has been a volunteer advisor with the SBDC at UCF’s ABC program since 2004 and has served on the boards of seven companies since joining the ABC, donating more than 80 hours of professional board service.  Ruben has advised ABC clients on a wide variety of issues including acquisitions, pricing strategy, commission structure, margin improvement, cash flow projections and more. His long, broad and deep service with the ABC exemplifies the performance excellence that is the core criteria for being honored as the FSBDCN’s Volunteer of the Year.

“We are extremely proud that Tony Ruben has been recognized as the Florida SBDC Network’s Volunteer of the Year,” said Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the SBDC at UCF. “His years of dedicated service on multiple Advisory Board’s have helped many Central Florida entrepreneurs and business owners in myriad ways, all culminating in improvements to those businesses’ health and success.”

“I have always loved the “game” of business,” remarked Mr. Ruben. “I find the SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Ccouncil program to be a wonderful opportunity to help lead small businesses, who often don’t have the resources to be strong in finance and strategy, to greater success. It is wonderful to be recognized for doing what I love;  I am indeed honored to be named Volunteer of the Year by the Florida SBDC Network.”

–UCF–

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center (formerly the Disney Entrepreneur Center) now located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF College of Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, providing business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to small business owners. The SBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains seven satellite service centers. In 2011, the SBDC at UCF helped entrepreneurs create or retain 1,517 jobs, win contract awards worth $28.9 million, acquire $17.7 million in capital formation, and increase sales by $51.9 million. The SBDC at UCF is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF and GrowFL Collaborate to Help Local Businesses Grow

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New Partnership Aligns Complementary Offerings;
Growth-oriented Small Businesses to Benefit

News Release

 

July 19, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Contact: Fran Korosec, Director of Client Services, GrowFL, 407.823.6384 or fran.korosec@ucf.edu

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Orlando, FL– The Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) and the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida (GrowFL) announced today a new partnership designed to offer second-stage growth companies in Central Florida a comprehensive array of services to help them grow, all at no cost to the client business.

Utilizing a team of professional business specialists, the SBDC at UCF and GrowFL will partner together to provide technical and research services to drive business growth. Through the SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration services, a dedicated Growth Acceleration Consultant will conduct an in-depth business assessment and provide recommendations on growth strategies, including shoring up financial practices, accessing capital and uncovering hidden profits. That same consultant will collaborate with the client in on-going confidential consultation to implement both strategic and tactical plans. GrowFL offers the capabilities of a Fortune 500 company’s market research department to provide a second-stage business with a variety of sophisticated tools for the purpose of growing their sales, including competitive intelligence, social media strategy, geographic information, core strategy review and business opportunity referrals.

“Being a strong community partner and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Florida region are high priorities at UCF,” said Tom O’Neal, Associate Vice President for Research and Commercialization at UCF and Executive Director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (GrowFL). “The expanded cooperation between GrowFL and the SBDC, two of UCF’s key service providers for local small businesses, will help catalyze and sustain second- stage business revenue growth, business expansion, profitability, job creation and job retention in Central Florida.”

“Second-stage small businesses are the winners here,” said Eunice Choi, Regional Director for the SBDC at UCF. “The collaboration between the SBDC and GrowFL can only mean enhanced services for Central Florida growth companies. With the SBDC’s strong technical services capabilities focused on financial sustainability and GrowFL’s strategic research capabilities that will enhance sales growth; all of our small business clients will have a comprehensive set of services at their disposal.”

The SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration services offers companies consulting assistance aimed at developing sustainable growth strategies  in key business areas, including marketing and business development, cash flow management, strategic planning, market/industry research, as well as capital access.  Specifically, the SBDC at UCF Growth Acceleration services consultants will provide high level consulting of 50 – 100 hours (fair market value of over $10,000) to help qualified growth-oriented small- and medium-size enterprises (SMBs) develop sustainable growth strategies by the SBDC at UCF Growth Acceleration services consultants.

In addition, qualified businesses will receive a thirty-five hour strategic research engagement from GrowFL.  These engagements are intended to drive revenue by helping to identify qualified sales leads by sorting contents of extensive data base; map geographic areas to facilitate targeted marketing efforts;  review core strategies related to commodity and/or niche markets;  analyze employee temperament to build strong management teams and recruit new hires that fit the organization’s dynamic; examine social media utilization to connect with customers; and search engine optimization to place website in front of more customers.

For more information about the SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration services, contact SBDC at UCF Regional Director Eunice Choi at 407-420-4850 or echoi@bus.ucf.edu. For more information about GrowFL’s Strategic Research programs and services, contact Fran Korosec, Director of Client Services at 407-823-6384 orfran.korosec@ucf.edu.

–UCF–

About the Florida Economic Gardening Institute  at UCF (GrowFL)
Economic gardening is a philosophy that embraces strategies to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state and is the basis for the entrepreneurship programs at the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (GrowFL). Initially created in 2009 as a pilot program, GrowFL, at the University of Central Florida, is now a critical component to Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the state’s overall economic development strategy. GrowFL focuses its efforts on initiatives that strengthen the service offerings of entrepreneurial support organizations throughout Florida and by delivering critical research and strategy support to help second-stage growth entrepreneurs prosper. GrowFL has helped over 400 companies create more than 1,400 new jobs statewide since 2009.

Florida Economic Gardening Institute at UCF (GrowFL)
12201 Research Parkway, Suite 501
Orlando, FL 32826
P 407.823.6384
F 407.823.3299
growfl@ucf.edu
www.growfl.com
About the SBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center (formerly the Disney Entrepreneur Center) now located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF College of Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, providing business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to small business owners. The SBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains seven satellite service centers. In 2011, the SBDC at UCF helped entrepreneurs create or retain 1,517 jobs, win contract awards worth $28.9 million, acquire $17.7 million in capital formation, and increase sales by $51.9 million. The SBDC at UCF is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small Business Development Center at UCF
3201 E. Colonial Drive, Suite A20
Orlando, FL 32801
p 407.420.4850
f 407.420.4862
sbdc@bus.ucf.edu
www.sbdcorlando.com

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration Services Helps Local Companies Build and Manage Growth

imageJune 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando – With small businesses representing 98.9 percent of all employers and employing 42.3 percent of the private-sector workforce, according to the latest available data, it’s no wonder that the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) is charging ahead with the implementation of its Growth Acceleration services.

The Growth Acceleration services  offered by the SBDC at UCF help small- to medium-sized businesses create and retain jobs for Central Floridians. Funded with part of Florida’s $2.6 million under the federal Small Business Jobs Act, the program has helped multiple companies in eight Central Florida counties since it started in March 2011 and is currently accepting new applications for the program.

“The in-depth assessments and counseling provided by our Growth Acceleration consultants have helped small businesses seize opportunities that may not have been apparent to them,” said Eunice Choi, regional director for the SBDC at UCF. “These companies have been able to implement the strategies they’ve identified with the help of our Growth Acceleration consultants to increase the pace of their growth, which means much-needed jobs for our region.”

Most businesses in Florida have 500 or fewer employees, and most new employment growth is attributed to startups and small businesses, according to recent U.S. Census figures. More than 6.7 million people work in small businesses in Florida.
Through the program, companies develop sustainable growth strategies in key business areas, including marketing and business development, cash flow management, strategic planning, market/industry research, as well as capital access.  Consultants are certified business analysts who provide up to 100 hours of counseling to help companies in a variety of industries, including retail, construction, professional, scientific and technical services.

Qualifications for participating in the program are that a company must have a goal of growth; be in operation for at least three years; have annual revenues ranging from $500,000 to $10 million; and have five or more employees.

One company helped by the program is Maple Street, Inc., a Longwood, FL financial services company providing outsourced vendor management, contract negotiation and regulatory compliance oversight for financial institutions. Founder and President Michael Crofts met with a Growth Acceleration consultant from the SBDC at UCF who identified the firm’s strengths and weaknesses and assisted Crofts with developing a plan of action to guide future growth.

“We are fortunate to have a growing business, but the challenges that come with growth are sometimes enormous,“ remarked  Crofts. “Having terrific expert advice and counsel from the Small Business Development Center at UCF consultants has been tremendous for our business as well as a great opportunity to learn to run our company better. The consulting we have received from the SBDC at UCF through its Growth Acceleration Services has been incredibly helpful, having assisted us grow our business and create new jobs at a rapid pace.”

The SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration services are part of a state-wide initiative of the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. The FSBDCN is a partnership program funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and local and regional host partners, including Florida’s state universities and colleges.

For more information about Growth Acceleration services, contact SBDC at UCF Regional Director Eunice Choi at 407-420-4850 or echoi@bus.ucf.edu.

–UCF–

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center (formerly the Disney Entrepreneur Center) now located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF College of Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, providing business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to small business owners. The SBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains seven satellite service centers. In 2011, the SBDC at UCF helped entrepreneurs create or retain 1,517 jobs, win contract awards worth $28.9 million, acquire $17.7 million in capital formation, and increase sales by $51.9 million. The SBDC at UCF is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

Rock Solid: Concrete Contractor ConTech Construction Stronger Than Ever

Benefits from SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council Program

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Small Business Development Center at UCF
May 29, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Believing that “innovation and modifying your business to keep up with ever-changing realities” are keys to a company’s success, the founders of Contech Construction Alan and Joan Haughey took action on this belief when they sought the assistance of the Small Business Development Center at UCF’s Advisory Board Council (ABC) in 2007.  “For me, joining the Advisory Board Council was our first major step in the process of working on the business rather than in it,” said Mr. Haughey.  “We were so overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations that it was very difficult to focus on the strategic business changes that we needed to make to survive in a changing economy.  That’s why we sought out help from an advisory board at the SBDC.”

In classic entrepreneurial style, the Haugheys started ConTech Construction in 1993 in the living room of their Orlando home.  At its founding, the firm was a general contractor and concrete contractor that employed a staff of three.   Today, ConTech has offices in Winter Garden, employs a full time staff of 62, and Alan and Joan are joined in the business by their son Jeff.

ConTech’s success has come about in large part as a result of the solid reputation for integrity, collaboration and high performance that the Haugheys have built for the company. In fact, ConTech’s name is so esteemed in the industry that 92% of the firm’s work comes from repeat business and direct referrals.  Alan Haughey’s more than 35 years in the concrete industry has enabled him to establish many long term relationships with clients and industry-leading firms.  That, combined with the firm’s strong financial standing and bonding capacity of over $10 million, has enabled them to take on larger jobs.

ConTech’s projects can be seen all over the region including Winter Garden City Hall, Uptown UCF, SunTrust Plaza and an eight-inch thick ice floor at Amway Arena.   The firm has poured over 160,000 cubic yards of concrete ranging from theme park rides at Disney World to a nuclear power plant and boasts a 99.998% rate of accuracy.

ConTech has won many accolades for their work.  Their $6.5 million restoration of the Royal Floridian Resort in Ormond Beach earned them 2011 Project of the Year by the International Concrete Repair Institute.   The firm has also received the Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors for excellence in construction of Winter Garden City Hall.
Jill Kaufman, the SBDC at UCF’s ABC program manager, worked with ConTech and hand-picked a board of volunteer advisors for the firm comprised of professionals in the fields of finance, business development, human resources, succession planning and law who were willing to donate their time and energy to working on the board.  According to Haughey, “The people who were on the advisory board were absolutely expert in their fields and they encouraged us to look at everything we do rather than just operations.”

When ConTech experienced the impact of the recession and downturn in the construction market, they were prepared to make changes which enabled the firm to rebound.  “What we did was take the seeds that were planted from the board and we started making continual changes in the company based on insights we gleaned from those folks,” commented Mr. Haughey.   Some of the changes that grew out of the work with their advisory board include a rebranding effort, new lines of business and a new business focus.

Today, ConTech specializes in concrete restoration with a greater focus on hospitality industry projects and has rebranded itself as ConTech Restoration.   Existing structure renovation projects include condos, timeshares and parking structures. The company has also expanded their scope of work and now offers commercial painting and waterproofing.  From 2009 to 2011 ConTech added 49 jobs and realized a 63% increase in revenue.
Haughey encourages other business owners to also take proactive steps for their business.  “I would absolutely recommend the SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council to other businesses,” remarked Mr. Haughey.  “An advisory board helps a business owner fast track changes in his business because the board members have ‘been there and done that’ and their advice allows the business owner to learn from their years of experience.”
Founded with the purpose of strengthening Central Florida’s economy, the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida conceived and developed the Advisory Board Council in 2003 to help small businesses reach the next level.    Funded by Orange County Government since the program’s inception to facilitate sustainable revenue and job growth, the Advisory Board Council provides established businesses with no-cost advisory boards comprised of area professionals who volunteer their expertise.

The ABC has found an extremely cost effective model to tap into community resources for the benefit of small businesses.  The program’s $100,000 annual budget is modest compared to the economic impact achieved by its participating companies.  The program has formed over 150 advisory boards for Orange County businesses, which have achieved $72.4 million of sales increase, 2,422 jobs created and retained, $15.0 million in capital formation and $62.3 million in government contracts obtained.

–UCF–

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center (formerly the Disney Entrepreneur Center) now located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF College of Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, providing business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to small business owners. The SBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains seven satellite service centers. In 2011, the SBDC at UCF helped entrepreneurs create or retain 1,517 jobs, win contract awards worth $28.9 million, acquire $17.7 million in capital formation, and increase sales by $51.9 million. The SBDC at UCF is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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