FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Getting It Right the First Time: Control Engineering Group Back in Gear

Florida SBDC at Seminole State College Assists Company Purchaser Shift from Employee to Business Owner

October 27, 2020


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

Monica Williams, Sub-Center Director, SBDC at SSC, 407.321.3495 or williamsmm@seminolestate.edu

Orlando, FL – Buying a business and shifting from the role of employee to business owner is a transformational experience – and not an easy one, at that. Add putting that business back into a growth mode and you will have an idea of the challenges Carlos Rivera, owner of Control Engineering Group (CEG), faced when he purchased the company in 2017. Fortunately, Rivera had the Florida Small Business Development Center at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF, to turn to for guidance and the tools he would need for a successful transition.

Control Engineering Group is a state-certified, full-service electrical contractor providing electrical work to commercial and industrial new construction and renovation projects. CEG also offers control panel design, service, and installation for specialized industries, with proven expertise in the agriculture and farming sectors, and is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

“It’s the quality of our work and the quality of our employees that sets us apart,” says Rivera. “We adhere to higher standards, and take care of both our customers and our employees like they are family.”

Rivera left a division manager role at a large, locally-owned electrical contractor when he purchased CEG, which had been in business for more than 30 years when he took ownership but had stagnated during and after the Great Recession.  “I did everything at the previous company, except be an owner,” recalls Rivera. “And I had never bought a company before. When I did, I wanted to make sure I had solid advice about what to expect, what to look out for and how to negotiate the purchase. That’s when I contacted the FSBDC.”

At the FSBDC, Rivera took advantage of a variety of services, initially its no-cost, expert business consulting and then later its government contracting (through its affiliate, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center) and Advisory Board Council programs. “The SBDC opened my eyes to a lot of the nuances of getting into a business, and then of running one,” Rivera says. “There’s a lot of things involved that people don’t realize. It’s not just putting your name on the door and turning on the lights. There’s a lot more to it.”

“The FSBDC let me know what to look for, things I should be doing to get off to a good start. They helped me fill the gaps,” Rivera continued. “What really helped me was that they guided me in becoming a little more professional in how we presented ourselves, in our marketing, in our contracts and with our most important resource: our people.”

“Everything about working with the SBDC has been positive, to be honest with you,” concluded Rivera. “Their consulting helped me through the due diligence and purchase of my company; their PTAC group helped guide us through getting our veteran certification; and their Advisory Board is helping me right now be a better, smarter and more effective business owner. It’s only been three years, and we’re already a multi-million dollar revenue company.”

For information about Control Engineering Group, please visit https://control-eng.com/.


About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2019, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $62.3 million in capital formation; $213.2 million in government contract awards; and 125 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 of professional business consulting to over 12,500 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 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