Lake County Home Services Company Moving Ahead with Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF – Lake County
May 6, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu
John Doramus, Consultants, FSBDC at UCF – Lake County, 352.404.7338 or John.Doramus@ucf.edu
Orlando – Managing growth can present major challenges for a small business owner. What starts as a good idea can turn into a great concept that customers flock to, sometimes even resulting in related new opportunities that can’t be passed up. Before you know it, your business has grown into multiple divisions with complicated finances and additional bookkeeping requirements. That’s when you need help. Finding himself in such circumstances, Steve Stiffler, CEO of White Pelican Holdings, began looking for that kind of support and found it at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County.
White Pelican Holdings is a home services company offering a broad range of assistance to homeowners and businesses primarily in The Villages® Communities, but also in Lake, Sumter and Marion counties. The company is family owned and hands on, with an emphasis on personal service across the board.
Comprised of four divisions – Cleaning, Home Watch, Realty, and Vacation Rentals – White Pelican provides property management, real estate brokerage, residential & commercial cleaning, and golf cart rescue & transportation services, among others. “Your One-Stop Shop for all your property management and home services needs in The Villages® Communities” is how they like to describe themselves.
While Stiffler is proud of the managers he has on his team running those divisions – “Our people are good at what they do and we let them do it,” he asserts – there became a point when he wanted additional help managing it all, especially the finances. “I found an advertisement for the FSBDC that talked about its no-cost, expert consulting, business training and market research resources,” he adds, and thought at the time, “Wow, that’s something that could really help us.”
“Our problem was that I’d had several accountants over the past years, and they’d never really figured our business out,” Stiffler recalls. “They couldn’t get us on track to know where we were financially. That’s when I picked up the phone and called the FSBDC and found John Doramus, my FSBDC consultant here in Lake County.”
“The FSBDC and John have helped me because he is a ‘Go To’ person who has experience where I do not,” says Stifler. “They have resources they can tap into to help your business. Our big thing was accounting, and they really helped us out in that respect. The SBDC and John also helped me find avenues for getting COVID-19 SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program money. Without those, we wouldn’t be here today.”
“Working with the FSBDC and John Doramus has been unbelievable,” Stiffler continued. “They provided us with the advice and tools necessary, not only to be more profitable but to grow our business. We’ve added eight employees in the two years we’ve been working with the FSBDC, as well as having our profit margins increase. They have been a tremendous resource for us in trying to right our ship. Kudos to the FSBDC.”
“What I’ve learned from the FSBDC gave me the tools necessary to be successful” Stiffler concluded. “If you do what they tell you to do and use what they have to offer, there’s no way you can’t be successful.”
For more information about White Pelican, please visit https://whitepelicanhomeservices.com/ .
— FSBDC —
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 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,800 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $92.4 million in capital formation; $92.7 million in government contract awards; and 86 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 2020, Florida SBDCs provided 162,476 hours of professional business consulting to almost 23,900 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $335 million in government contracts acquired; and $385.8 million in capital accessed.
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.