RE Plumbing, SBDC, Seminole County

Florida SBDC at Seminole State College’s Advisory Board Council Helps R. E. Martin Plumbing Grow its Business

Local Commercial Plumber Credits Seminole ABC with Enabling Company to Work ‘On’ its Business, Not Just ‘In’ It.

November 3, 2015


Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

Orlando, FL – There are times in every business’s evolution when it can feel to management like they’ve taken their company’s growth as far as they can. Often they are unsure about what to do next if they are to continue growing the business.

And that is where Robert Martin, president of R. E. Martin Plumbing, Inc., and his management team of Vice President (and Dad) Bob Martin and Chief Administrator (and wife) Juanita found themselves in early 2014. The company had had success providing commercial plumbing services to the hospitality, medical and light industrial industries but now felt like they’d come to a standstill and taken the company as far as they could take it.

Fortunately, Juanita was just graduating from Seminole State College. She turned to the school’s Career Development Center which recommended the company talk with a consultant at the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Seminole State College sub-center. After an initial meeting in which the company’s current situation and needs were accessed with guidance from the FSBDC’s Seminole State manager Amy Kirkland, it was decided that R. E. Martin would apply for the FSBDC’s Seminole Advisory Board Council (SABC) program.

An FSBDC Advisory Board Council is a no-cost board of experts providing advice and council to help businesses grow.  The program acts as a matchmaker between established businesses and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with the volunteers selected explicitly and specifically to address the needs of the FSBDC client. The ABC meets periodically, usually quarterly, to review the company’s business and recommend action steps to drive growth.

In short order, the company was accepted into the program. The FSBDC went to work putting together an advisory board comprised of volunteers especially suited to assisting R. E. Martin with their unique challenges. The company’s ABC had their first meeting in mid-2014 and dug into the company’s marketing, financial management and operations to find new or better avenues for growth.

The collaboration between R. E. Martin and its Advisory Board Council has been extremely successful. “With the SBDC’s help, we have been able to move forward and progress to our current stage,” commented Robert Martin. “Since we started with our Advisory Board Council, we have doubled our revenues and doubled our number of employees. We have a new focus on our marketing that’s helped us in the marketplace. And we are looking forward to the continued support of our ABC and the FSBDC for future growth.”

“If you are an entrepreneur coming out of the field, as I was,” Robert went on, “you know the work side but not necessarily the business side of your company. The SBDC helps you branch out and start working on the business, not just in the business.”

VP Bob Martin summarized R. E. Martin’s FSBDC experience best, Robert says, when Bob said, “If you truly want to grow your business, you will want to work with the 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 (FSBDC 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 2014, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 8,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 12,387 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.70 billion in sales growth; $26.1 million in capital formation; $39.7 million in government contract awards; and 105 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2014, the Florida SBDCs served almost 30,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 42,644 jobs created, retained or saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $142.5 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 486 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862