Wilson Equipment, FSBDC, Valerie Wilson, Hunt Dawkins

New Ownership at Ocoee’s Wilson Equipment Etc. Receives Valuable Assistance from the Florida SBDC at UCF

FSBDC Assists with Purchase and Addition of Financial Controls

November 23, 2015


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

Orlando – Buying a business can be fraught with risks, even if you already work for the company. And that was the case for Valerie Wilson. She and a partner owned Wilson Equipment Etc., a company in the business of selling water filtration systems for food service equipment. The filters perform a crucial function by removing the taste and odor of chlorine from the water used by equipment like ice machines, steamers and soda systems while at the same time reducing or eliminating the amount of scale build-up inside the machines which reduces their efficiency. The partner wanted to sell her half of the company and Valerie was interested.

As she looked at purchasing the business from her partner, removing or at least minimizing the risks in buying were a top priority for Valerie.  Questions like “is it the right price?”, “are the cash flows adequate to cover a loan?”, “how do I obtain a loan?”, “am I prepared to run this business alone?” describe the risks she saw that needed answers. Fortunately, Valerie knew where to turn.

Based on her own previous experience, as well as that of her father from years ago, Valerie turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF. Initially she wanted help with producing a business plan, but then the opportunities offered by the FSBDC quickly turned her initial goal into much more. And Valerie couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“My experience with FSBDC at UCF has been very positive on multiple fronts,” says Valerie. “My FSBDC consultant, Hunt Dawkins, was my cheerleader. He helped me determine a fair value for the company, see opportunities for growth, and find ways to make myself a better business owner. We developed strategies to make the business more profitable and put in place financial controls like budgets and forecasts that made the numbers make more sense for me.”

And the results have been extremely positive. Valerie was able to buy the company. Profits are up at Wilson Equipment Etc. and she has put the company on a consistent growth path. She has found new ways to leverage the fact that hers is a certified woman-owned business. By partnering with a much larger manufacturers rep company who could take advantage of her company’s woman-owned status and who could add her filters to a vast product list that will be put in front of customers that would probably not have found Wilson Equipment Etc otherwise, Valerie has found an important new sales channel for her products.

When asked what she would say to other entrepreneurs and business owners considering seeking assistance from the FSBDC, Valerie didn’t hold back. “The FSBDC is a great resource. Do it. Run to them,” she says. “I myself have referred people to the FSBDC and gotten nothing but great feedback. When I bought the company, my role changed from sales to business owner and it was the FSBDC gave me the business knowledge I needed and taught me how to run a successful business.”


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
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com