FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF in Palm Coast Helps Benchmark Glass and Mirror Grow

imageSmall Business Development Center at UCF

January 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The decision to start a business was an easy one for Tom Bird, an experienced installer of shower glass, decorative glass, sliding doors and mirrors. Finding customers proved more challenging.

By the time Bird visited the Small Business Development Center at University of Central Florida’s office (SBDC At UCF) in Palm Coast last May, he was feeling discouraged about the future of his business, Benchmark Glass and Mirror. “Nothing seemed to be working in finding customers, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to seek another point of view,” Bird said.

“Tom was questioning his own commitment to his business and was having difficulty finding customers, and by the end of our session, Tom seemed overwhelmed by the tasks at hand,” said Joe Roy, area manager of both the SBDC at UCF and the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center (BAC), of their first meeting.

Benchmark Glass and Mirror’s problem was not one of growth, but rather one of survival. That day, Roy outlined the steps Bird needed to take. Six weeks later, Bird returned to the SBDC at UCF with more information. Benchmark Glass and Mirror was having some difficulty understanding job costing, selling strategies and value for service. It was clear Bird was offering a quality product and service, Roy said; hence, “there was a good foundation on which to build this business.”

By early July 2012, Bird returned again to the SBDC at UCF, now fully convinced his strategy of building his business by providing quality products and service at affordable pricing was the right one. Bird began to understand how his costs affected his selling price. Rather than raise prices, Bird found ways to reduce his costs while increasing his productivity – allowing him to keep his selling price very competitive.

Working with the SBDC at UCF, Bird created a sales strategy to increase his success rate of quotes provided to customers. Now better equipped to understand his costs, Bird increased his customer quote success rate from 3 per 10 quotes to 6 per 10 quotes – a 100-percent increase.

Benchmark Glass and Mirror has added one part-time position and is on track to grow sales revenues by 50 percent compared to 2011. Since meeting with the SDBC at UCF, Benchmark Glass and Mirror has developed a business plan including a marketing and sales strategy.

“I’m now better equipped to grow my business,” said Bird. “I’m far more focused on my costs and my customers than at any time in my business. I can’t believe how much working with the SBDC at UCF has changed my outlook on daily operations.”

Benchmark Glass and Mirror represents both the challenges and opportunities faced by the small business community in Palm Coast, said Roy. “Tom has turned a corner and is now growing a competitive business providing exceptional quality products and service. You can see the passion in his eyes and it’s translating into a great customer experience at very competitive pricing,” he said.

If you have a question about your business, stop by the SBDC at UCF and meet with Joe Roy. Like Benchmark Glass and Mirror, your “Journey to Business Excellence” begins at the Palm Coast BAC and the SBDC at UCF.

–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

SBA Launches Affordable Care Act Web Page & Blog

image (1)Release Date: January 28, 2013
Release Number: 13-05 NFL
Contact Kate: Sheehy (202) 205-6920
www.sba.gov/news

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today launched a new web page and blog dedicated to educating small business owners about the Affordable Care Act. The new tools will serve as a gateway for small business owners connecting them with information provided by SBA’s federal partners responsible for implementing the law, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The Affordable Care Act provides small business owners with access and opportunity to provide affordable health care options for their employees,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “SBA’s new Affordable  Care Act web page and blog will serve as a resource for small business owners who want learn more about how to take advantage of these benefits.”

The Affordable Care Act has many beneficial measures specifically for small businesses, including slowing premium cost growth and increased access to quality, affordable health insurance. SBA’s new web page,www.sba.gov/healthcare, breaks down the key provisions of the Act based on business size in the following categories: self-employed, fewer than 25 employees, fewer than 50 employees and more than 50 employees.

The web page also provides links to other useful information for small businesses, including a glossary of key health care reform terms, an interactive timeline with dates for when certain reforms will be implemented, a state-by-state breakdown of health care options, and how to learn more about specific tax provisions and regulations. Additional resources will be added as they become available.

The blog, entitled Health Care Business Pulse (www.sba.gov/blog), will provide small business owners with continuous updates about the implementation of the Act. The blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers should consult their legal or tax professionals to discuss how specific matters relate to their individual business circumstances.

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF Helps Position Olde Hearth Bread Company for Continued Growth

imageSBDC’s Growth Acceleration Services’ Analysis Makes a Difference

Small Business Development Center at UCF

January 24, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Central Florida has among the country’s most delicious, all-natural artisan bread and pastries thanks to The Olde Hearth Bread Company and its owner and hands-on manager, Shannon Talty. Like many entrepreneurs, Talty had started his business on the strength of his passion and talents, and as a result the business has enjoyed success. Even as the business thrived, however, Shannon Talty asked himself if there was more that he could be doing to grow his business. To help him answer that important question, he turned to the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) and it’s Growth Acceleration Services for assistance.

As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with experience at some of the finest bakeries in the country, Shannon Talty decided to bring high-quality artisan bread and pastries to Central Florida and opened Olde Hearth Bread Company in 1998.  As a result of Talty’s unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality, natural ingredients and old-world, hand-made processes, Olde Hearth Bread Company has come to provide its fresh-baked artisan breads and pastries to Central Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and caterers. With further growth opportunities available for Olde Hearth Bread Company, Talty began working with the SBDC at UCF’s Growth Acceleration Consultant, Jill McLaughlin, to help devise plans to accelerate future growth.

The Growth Acceleration Services offered by the SBDC at UCF are designed to provide in-depth professional business consulting, at no cost, to qualified emerging and growth businesses in Florida by delivering the tools, strategies and expertise businesses need to accelerate the growth and success of their business. Talty recognized the value of the service right away, saying, “The Growth Acceleration service is exactly what a young entrepreneur like me needed. I had the dream and the skills to produce the products I wanted. What I was lacking was someone who could objectively look at my business and offer constructive advice and show me what I am missing. The program has shined light in areas that needed to be looked at and considered today, not tomorrow.”

The Growth Acceleration consultant provided an in-depth financial analysis of the business and identified key performance indicators to monitor performance, as well as identified strategies for new business development. According to Talty, “Before I began working with Growth Acceleration, my typical accounting procedures were to print out a P&L for the month and look at what jumped out at me compared to the previous month. The SBDC’s Jill McLaughlin used our financial results and her knowledge base to produce a report with financial ratio analysis that was interesting and eye opening. I had heard of a lot of these ratios but was unfamiliar with what they really meant. For her to explain their significance and tie them back to your particular industry shows you where you are doing well and where you are underperforming.”

Growth Acceleration Consultant McLaughlin recommended strategies and tactics to optimize cash flows and achieve financial goals. “Other than an opening budget, we have not been working off written goals. We have been more reactive than planning oriented. This is not the way to sustain success.  For 2013, the SBDC’s Growth Acceleration Services are helping us to produce a budget and identify accountability for our growth and success.”
With record sales in 2012, Olde Hearth Bread Company is well positioned for further growth. They will continue to work with the SBDC’s Growth Acceleration Services to implement their growth strategies.  Talty said, “One of the other great things about this program is they don’t just hand you a laundry list and say ‘good luck.’ They are here to help you achieve your goals.  I highly recommend all growing businesses reach out to the SBDC at UCF and the people who make up the Growth Acceleration program. When you see what they can do and realize there is no out of pocket cost, it seems almost too good to be true.”

The Florida SBDC’s no-cost Growth Acceleration services are available to companies throughout the state. To qualify for the services, the company must have growth as a goal, be in operation for at least three years, have annual revenues ranging from $500,000 to $10 million, and employ five or more workers. Florida SBDC Growth Acceleration consultants are available statewide to provide assistance to qualified emerging and growth business who are looking to advance. 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 SMEs develop sustainable growth strategies.

For more information about the SBDC’s 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

SBDC at UCF Regional Director Eunice Choi Recognized for Attracting $2.2 Million in FY12 Funding

imageDecember 10, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF), was recognized recently by UCF President John C. Hitt as one of UCF’s highest-funded contract and grant recipients at UCF who raised in excess of $1 million dollars in external Fiscal Year 2012 funding for the university and, in Ms. Choi’s case, its College of Business Administration, the sponsoring institution for the Small Business Development Center at UCF.

Each year, UCF’s Office of Research & Commercialization produces a tally of the funding received from external sources to highlight the magnitude of UCF’s efforts at attracting funds to support and expand services to help the state and the region’s economy. Entitled “The Millionaires Club” with tongue firmly in-cheek, it has recognized the university’s highest funded research and grant recipients since 2000. For Fiscal Year 2012, the university raised over $128.9 million to support its research and commercialization efforts, with 58 percent coming from the members of The Millionaires Club.

Thirty-five members of the university community were identified as research “millionaires’” for raising $1 million or more in funding for the fiscal year. Of that group, SBDC Regional Director Choi raised over $2.2 million, a 37.5 percent increase from FY2011, and making her 12th on the list of “millionaires.”

“Given the important mission of the SBDC at UCF to help businesses start, grow and succeed, attracting external funding is critically important to maintaining its momentum assisting small businesses in our region,” noted Dr. Paul Jarley, Dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. “Thanks to the diligence and hard work of Eunice Choi and her team at the SBDC in obtaining financial support,  UCF and the College of Business Administration can further their commitment to the economic well-being of the communities that surround them through the work of the Small Business Development Center at UCF and their valuable assistance to our small business clients.”

–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

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF Helps Solutions 1 Transport LLC Position Itself for Growth

imageSmall Business Development Center at UCF

November 16, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF) has partnered with Solutions 1 Transport LLC, an Orlando company, to help the company’s management obtain the information and know-how it needed to lead the company to a new level of sales and revenue expansion.

Solutions 1 Transport LLC specializes in transporting temperature sensitive products throughout the United States.   They move produce, meats, dairy products and other refrigerated products for some of the nation’s largest food growers, processors and sellers. The company operates by using a combination of company-owned vehicles as well as utilizing owner operators.
Timothy and Aseania Jones, both United States Army veterans, started the business 7 years ago as owner operator with a single truck.  They had a vision of hundreds of trucks with the “Solutions 1 Transport” logo on every major highway. Although the dream has been modified, their hard work and dedication has not.

Timothy Jones wanted to accelerate the growth of his company, but was not certain how best to make that happen. He contacted SBDC at UCF consultant Pauline Davis at the recommendation of his banker.  Although Mr. Jones had worked hard and built the business from the ground up, there were some skills he needed to develop to take the business to the next level. In addition, the economy was changing and so was the overall trucking industry.

Pauline Davis worked with Mr. Jones on in-depth financial analysis, cash flow projections, and budgeting.  She also recommended, and the company utilized, several services of the SBDC such as the Advisory Board Council, Small Business Institute® (SBI®), marketing consulting and website analysis.

Utilizing his excellent business acumen and the SBDC’s recommendations, Timothy and his wife Aseania developed a new approach to their business and are now seeing their expanded business strategy finally paying off.  They are now better prepared to take the business to heights not previously thought of.   According to Mr. Jones, “I have come to see and fully appreciate the value of my business. I no longer make decision without careful cash flow analysis, and fully embrace the phrase ‘cash is king’.”  He is very optimistic about the future of his business and believes he will exceed his 2012 sales projections.  “I am so happy I sought assistance from the SBDC. I truly appreciate their helping me put my business in a position to grow faster,” he concluded.

In addition to taking advantage of the SBDC at UCF’s no-cost professional consulting by certified business analysts, Solutions 1 Transport participated in the SBDC at UCF’s award-winning program, the Advisory Board Council. The Advisory Board Council aims to facilitate business growth through the use of advisory boards for established Orange County companies. The program acts as a matchmaker between established businesses and professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of a ‘custom-fit’ advisory board.  Founded in 2003, the SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council is an economic development program funded by Orange County Government. Since its inception, the program has assisted 125 companies and has had more than 450 area professional volunteers.

Solutions 1 Transport also benefited from involvement in Small Business Institute®, a program offered locally by the SBDC at UCF in conjunction with the UCF College of Business Administration. SBI® is a nation‐wide program that provides high‐quality business assistance to companies in need while providing an extraordinary opportunity for university students to learn through field case studies. SBI® is a graduate‐level elective course within the UCF College of Business Administration. Students enrolled in the class provide management consulting services to local small businesses. Each student team has direct contact with the client and produces a professional case report. The report is the ultimate product of the program and is tailored to each business. Case study reports have included market research, marketing plans, competitive analysis, advertising strategy, customer surveys, strategic plans, financial analysis, human resource manuals and business plans.

–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 Assists Certified Slings & Supply, Inc. Pursue New Export Markets

Export Marketing Plan Identifies Foreign Opportunities, Recommends Action Plans and Connects With In-Market Support

image

November 8, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF), through the new Export Marketing Plan Services, has provided Certified Slings & Supply, Inc., a Florida-based company headquartered in Casselberry, FL, with a plan for growing its business in foreign markets. With more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power outside of the United States, if a U.S. business is only selling domestically, it is reaching just a small share of potential customers.

Certified Slings & Supply has a strong tradition of innovation and service led by the Worswick family since 1978.  The company’s current leadership is made up of dedicated second and third generation family members with a combined 67 years of experience in the rigging, overhead lifting, load securement, and contractor supplies industry.  Certified Slings & Supply employs 110 full-time team members and operates independent Rigging and Contractor Supply service centers located throughout Florida:  Orlando, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Ft. Myers, and Ocala. The core business of service centers is the distribution, sale and manufacture of a variety of marine, mining, industrial and general contractor supplies.

Juan Jose Lopez, the International Sales Director for Certified Slings & Supply approached the SBDC at UCF with a goal of growing the company by increasing export sales. He had previously attended the SBDC’s Export 101: An Introduction to Exporting workshop in 2011. More recently, he had heard about Export Marketing Plan Services, a new program awarded through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  It is offered in partnership with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the U.S. Commercial Service to assist new-to-export manufacturers in developing their international growth strategy.

SBDC at UCF’s International Trade Specialist Nerine Elattar met with Mr. Lopez and Certified Slings’ upper management in order to gather information and understand the company’s short- and long-term international trade goals.  A customized export marketing plan was crafted for the company that included industry and customer analyses along with recommended target markets, overseas trade opportunities and an action plan.  The cost for preparation of an Export Marketing Plan is $3,000.  Qualifying companies are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship, making the cost to the company $500.

In addition to the plan, the company received an Enterprise Florida Gold Key grant to connect the company with potential buyers overseas.  Certified Slings & Supply will continue expanding in Central and South America and the Caribbean, and recently traveled to Trinidad and Tobago with the Export Sales Mission.  As a result of this, the company expects an increase of $120,000 in export sales over the next 24 months.  The SBDC at UCF will continue to work closely with Certified Slings to assist in implementing the recommendations from the plan.

“If your company is thinking about exporting products or services abroad, the first thing you should do is meet with a member of the SBDC,” commented Mr. Lopez.  “No matter how large or small your company is, an SBDC International Trade Specialist will be able to lay out a customized export marketing program personally designed for your company.  It will be filled with data, statistics and facts targeting any region your company wishes to do business with.  This is the best investment any company could make if looking for help with an international marketing program.”

–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

Florida Ranks 3rd for the Greatest Number of Veteran-Owned Businesses

imageMedia Release

Release Date: November 1, 2012
Contact: Cheryl.Kirby@FloridaSBDC.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FSBDCN State Office: On November 11, Americans celebrate those who have served our country. There are over one million service men and women returning over the next five years, many having served multiple tours of duty. These veterans have the leadership, skills, and experience that have the ability to transfer into strong, job-creating businesses.

Currently, veterans own 2.45 million businesses in the United States, about 9% of America’s total businesses. These businesses employ approximately 6 million Americans. According to the March 2012 Report by the U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy highlighting veteran-owned businesses, Florida ranks 3rd for the greatest number of veteran-owned businesses. Florida has 176,727 veteran-owned businesses with revenue of $61.9 billion. Of these, 35,548 provide jobs for 310,154 people with an annual payroll of $10.6 billion.

The Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, created in 2010 by President Obama, identified in their 2011 Report several areas in which veterans needed assistance. These areas included increasing opportunity for growth through capital and federal contracting opportunities; expanding consulting and training services; and reducing barriers to growth.

“America’s veterans deserve every opportunity possible to benefit from resources that could help them build successful small businesses and create jobs,” said Jerry Cartwright, State Director of the FSBDC Network. “The FSBDC Network provides targeted programs and services to help veterans successfully transition into owning and operating their own small business.”

Over the last 10 years, the FSBDC Network served 26,758 veterans through consulting, training and information, resulting in 1.1 million jobs created and saved; $284 million in sales revenue growth; $913.3 million in government contracts awarded; $53 million in capital accessed; and 795 new businesses created.

With the help of the SBDC at the University of South Florida in Tampa, veteran Giovanni Suarez was able to grow his one-man operation to a company averaging $2 million a year. Suarez’s business, National Information Assurance Corporation (NIACORP), offers information assurance, communications security and operational support to the federal government and national defense organizations. In 2012, Suarez was selected as the U.S. SBA’s South Florida Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year due to his efforts in advancing business ownership opportunities among veterans. Read Full Story

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

SBDC at UCF Clients Named to 2012 Inc. Magazine 500/5000 List

imageSmall Business Development Center at UCF

October 31, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Six (6) clients of the Small Business Development Center at University of Central Florida (SBDC At UCF) have been named to Inc. magazine’s respected 2012 Inc. 500/5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.  The list, representing the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy —America’s independent entrepreneurs – measures revenue growth from 2008 to 2011.

The 2012 Inc. 500, unveiled in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands until November 15 and on Inc.com), is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. To make the cut, companies had to have achieved a staggering minimum of 770% in sales growth. The Inc. 500’s aggregate revenue is $15.7 billion, with a median three-year growth rate of 1,431 percent. The companies on this year’s Inc. 500 employ more than 48,000 people and generated over 40,000 jobs in the past three years.
The six SBDC at UCF clients named on this year’s Inc. 500/5000 list include:

  • TreeFrog Data Solutions, Deborah DeLeo, President – Ranked #476 with 808% three-year sales growth.  TreeFrog provides medical claims and processing, medical claim coding and auditing, quality assurance and health care administrative assistance to the Department of Defense Medical Treatment Facilities and the Veterans Administration.  www.TreeFrogData.com
  • EnRep, Jennifer Dickerson, President – Ranked #517 with 742% three-year sales growth.  EnRep provides environmental and safety consulting services to environmental management and remediation companies and government programs. www.EnRep.com
  • Dignitas Technologies, Elizabeth Burch, President and CEO – Ranked #633 with 571% three-year sales growth. Dignitas Technologies provides system and software engineering services for the Modeling and Simulation industry.  www.dignitastechnologies.com
  • Hooah LLC, Jorge Suria, President – Ranked #1469 with 204% three-year sales growth. This is Hooah’s third consecutive year being named to the Inc.5000 list. Hooah LLC is an interactive communications firm that bridges the gap between design and technology. Hooah produces measurable ROI strategies for clients’ marketing challenges. www.hooah.cc
  • SPS Industrial, Steve Sarno, President – Ranked #1539 with 193% three-year sales growth. SPS provides maintenance, repair and operational supplies and equipment to federal agencies, the Department of Defense, businesses and contractors, focusing on supplying specialty parts, vending machine security equipment and facility maintenance materials. www.SPSIndustrial.com
  • Innovative Data Solutions, Joshua Brown, CEO – Ranked #1,801 with 147% three-year sales growth.  Innovative Data Solutions, Inc. (IDS), provider of document management solution PowerDMS™ serving a wide range of industries.   www.powerdms.com

“We are gratified and very proud that so many of our clients have been recognized by Inc. magazine for their consistent year-over-year revenue growth.  With revenue growth come jobs, both new hires and retained positions. We at the SBDC at UCF are pleased to have played a role in our clients’ success and their contribution to the Central Florida economy,” remarked Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the SBDC at UCF.

As SBDC clients, these Central Florida businesses can attribute some part of their success to the services they received from the SBDC at UCF, including business counseling, training, and government procurement assistance, as well as certain of its special programs.

Several of these businesses participated in the SBDC at UCF’s award-winning program, the Advisory Board Council. The Advisory Board Council aims to facilitate business growth through the use of advisory boards for established Orange County companies. The program acts as a matchmaker between established businesses and professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of a ‘custom-fit’ advisory board.

Other of the companies took advantage of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at the SBDC at UCF. This program helps Florida businesses understand the government procurement process and provides free consulting services to business entities with primary or branch offices in Florida that are seeking to sell their goods/services to federal, state or local governments; this includes assistance with identifying government projects, proposal writing guidance, small business program application assistance (M/WBE, DBE, SDVOSB, 8a, HUBZone) etc.
These local companies utilized the support of the SBDC at UCF to grow their businesses in other ways, as well. Today, two of the company presidents are participating in the SBDC at UCF’s CEO XChange program. The CEO XChange is an executive roundtable program launched in 2010 designed for second-stage companies, offering a confidential setting for top executives where they can benefit from peer-to-peer coaching and networking, and discuss vital issues, opportunities and trends.

–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 to Host Strategy Planning and Sales Strategies Workshops for Growing Businesses

Will Help Small Business Executives Work ‘ON’ their Business, Not Just ‘IN’ It

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Small Business Development Center at UCF

September 12, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Small Business Development Center at UCF (SBDC at UCF) continues with its 2012 Strategic Tools Workshops Series schedule aimed at helping small business leaders and managers learn how to bring focused strategic thinking to their business. Starting with the Strategy Planning for Growing Business workshop on Thursday, September 27 9:00 am – 3:30 pm and followed by the Sales Strategies for Growing Business workshop the next week, on Thursday, October 4, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. Both workshops are being held at the SBDC at UCF located at the National Entrepreneur Center inside the Orlando Fashion Square Mall.

The Strategy Planning for Growing Business workshop is a one-day workshop that describes how to assess business environments, create strategies that promote long-term success, articulate a distinctive marketing strategy, and organize resources necessary to execute your strategy and grow your business. This workshop is led by Cameron Ford, PhD, Director and Founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Associate Professor at the University Central Florida College of Business

The Sales Strategies for Growing Business workshop is a one-day intensive workshop teaching how to identify potential clients, create powerful communication strategies, enhance client relationships, develop and deliver effective sales presentations and more. This workshop is led by Robert Cascio, PhD, adjunct instructor at the Small Business Development Center at UCF and experienced Sales and Marketing professional.

“Over and over, we hear from our small business clients that they wish they could spend more time working ‘ON’ their business, instead of only working ‘IN’ their business, “ said Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the SBDC at UCF. “Our Strategic Tools Workshop Series is designed to help them do just that, by offering subject matter and esteemed educators that open up the growth possibilities that comes with thinking more strategically about their business.”

For more information or to sign up for either  the Strategy Planning for Growing Business workshop on Thursday, September 27 or the Sales Strategies for Growing Business workshop  on Thursday, October 4,  please visit the SBDC at UCF’s website at www.sbdcorlando.com

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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

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