Going it alone as a small business owner can be a prescription for hard times. There are daily challenges, fires to put out, employees to manage, customers to satisfy, and opportunities to leverage or miss out on. The rewards and satisfaction from owning your own business are also bountiful, but are much easier to come by when you have assistance. Cassandra Daniel, the owner alongside her husband Mike Ballard of Mt. Dora, FL-based metal fabricator MBD FAB LLC, recognized that help from outside their company could be beneficial and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County for its expert, no-cost business consulting, training, and access to market research. They are glad they did.

MBD Fabricators is a full-scale fabrication and manufacturing company offering complete services from concept to installation. Using Mike Daniel’s extraordinary creativity and expertise in tandem with state-of-the-art equipment to meet customer specifications, the firm’s attention to detail ensures that a project meets its customers’ needs and exceeds their expectations. “What sets us apart,” describes Cassandra Daniel, “is we’re smaller and able to deal one-on-one with our customers. Say you have an idea, and you bring it to us. We can take it from idea to completion because we have in-house CAD drawers, and my husband is a phenomenal fabricator.”

“I originally sought assistance from the FSBDC because my husband and I had a vision for the growth of our company but weren’t quite sure how to basically tie all the knots and lay all the lines for that growth to come to pass,” recalls Cassandra. “As a new entrepreneur, I needed somebody to help me understand what I already knew, to be basically a confidence boost, and the FSBDC has definitely been that for us.”

“To be completely transparent, I was a little nervous when meeting my FSBDC consultant for the first time,” admits Cassandra. “I knew we needed the help but didn’t know what to expect. But I took the leap of faith and met with SBDC consultant John Doramus. He is super personable and just sat down with us to learn about us, about our company, and about where we want to take it. We talked about our dreams, our vision, our goals and he helped us put a game plan in place to get there. It was amazing.”

Working with FSBDC consultant Doramus, the Daniels were able to get a better grip on their company and chart a course forward. “John helped us fully understand where we sit in our business and what the next steps should be,” explains Cassandra. “He has taken us to the point where we’ve gotten all of our paperwork together to apply for and be approved for a bank loan to buy new equipment that we need to double our revenues within the next 12 months and we’re super excited about it. He also helped us look at the different products we manufacture and determine which were high profit and which were holes in the boat letting all the water in. As a result, we’ve made changes in our product lines that is really going to be key for us going forward.”

Today, thanks to seeking guidance and to accessing the FSBDC’s support, MBD FAB LLC has new equipment, a new facility, and new opportunities. “The FSBDC helped us open doors we didn’t know we needed or wanted opened, and see things in a different light,” Cassandra Daniel concluded. “It was definitely worth it to work with FSBDC.”

For information about MBD FAB, please visit https://mbdfab.com/.