Smart business owners have a saying: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” They recognize their strengths and their limitations and, paradoxically, in so doing position themselves and their businesses for growth and success. Seeking help to refine the areas where they find themselves to be weak is considered “wisdom’ by most people, and precisely what Todd Stebleton, owner with his wife Natalie of Universal Pest Control, did when he turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC), a sub-center of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
Serving Volusia and Flagler Counties, Universal Pest Control is a full-service pest control company that prides itself in its customer-oriented philosophy built on integrity, honesty, and openness. Offering a wide range of residential and commercial pest control programs, Universal Pest Control protects its clients’ homes, businesses, campers/RVs or boats from termites and other pests, including bed bugs.
“We saw a lot of opportunity for the company,” recalls Stebleton, “but I wasn’t sure how to achieve the growth we wanted. I don’t have a lot of history running a business and felt the need for some guidance. When I shared my concerns with a friend, he referred me to the FSBDC because he’s had great luck with their services. I contacted them and received immediate help. I felt like I’d fallen into some very capable hands.”
At the FSBDC, Stebleton worked with consultant Margaret ‘Maggie’ Incandela who mobilized all the center’s services for him, including its no-cost, expert consulting; business training and seminars; and access to market research and data. Incandela also provided significant assistance in obtaining critical capital including a line of credit and a bank loan that funded an acquisition of a lawn and shrub care business and allowed Universal Pest Control to expand its services.
“My experience with the FSBDC has been broad and advantageous, but I have benefited most from my work with my consultant Maggie,” says Stebleton. “She’s helped me understand my financials and focus where I needed to. From a marketing standpoint, I’ve been able to identify new avenues for my particular business thanks to her. Most important, she and the FSBDC challenged me to be a better businessperson overall and I think that’s what they have helped me become. I feel inspired to go to work now. It used to be that my business ran me; it was a grind. Now I come in enthusiastic and ready to go.”
“Since starting with the FSBDC, my business and I have grown in many different ways, and not just financially, although that’s certainly been a plus” Stebleton continued. “We have achieved the controlled growth we wanted: running at 10% year-to-date which is far better than last year, no question. But I’ve also seen advances in my management and the efficiency of the business. Working with the FSBDC has been very positive. It’s offered me great opportunities to grow.”
For information about Universal Pest Control, please visit https://bugandtermitecontrol.com/.