“Thanks to the CEO XChange and my colleagues there, combined with the consulting support of George Tewari from the FSBDC, we have seen our profitability grow to the industry standard,” Walsh continued. “More importantly, our margins have increased 30 – 40%. Revenues have been growing while at the same time expenses have been managed down. It can all be credited to the FSBDC and CEO XChange.”
“I’d say to any business owner considering the CEO XChange: ‘It takes some guts to participate but it’s worth it. Managing yourself is one thing. But being held accountable to 12 – 13 other business owners – all who are in the same boat you are – holds you to a different level, to a higher standard. I encourage anyone who’s interested in improving their business to join the CEO XChange.”
Learn about Florida SBDC at Daytona State College (www.sbdcdaytona.com) and Client Delicia M Haynes, MD from Family First Health Center (www.familyfirsthealthcenter.com):
1. In 2009, Delicia launched the first Direct Primary Care Clinic in Volusia and Flagler Counties. Unlike traditional insurance based primary care clinics, Family First Health Center members enjoy same or next day appointments, longer unrushed time with the doctor, convenient virtual visits and basic labs for a monthly membership fee. The idea for his company came after Delicia realized she couldn’t find another practice that matched her vision, so she set about creating her own. She chose Volusia County because she completed her residency in Family Medicine here and knew it would be easier starting a practice in an area where she already had established relationships.
2. The FSBDC has helped Delicia by introducing her to other entrepreneurs who she has learned from and been able to find unique solutions to her business challenges. Delicia believes the time she takes to work with the FSBDC has been instrumental in helping her work ON her business instead of just IN it. Since becoming more active in the FSBDC, Delicia has benefited from customized workshops like the Business Model Canvas, Key Performance Indicators and Goal Setting. Delicia wholeheartedly recommends business owners use the FSBDC because she witnessed firsthand the opportunities it has provided her company.
3. Delicia’s entrepreneur advice is “don’t wait until you feel like you have it all together to start making connections and talking about your aspirations, even if you’re an introvert. Take time to get to know other connectors and entrepreneurs because they really do cross pollinate each other.”
Learn about Florida SBDC at Daytona State College (www.sbdcdaytona.com) and Client Todd Stebleton from Universal Pest Control (www.BugandTermiteControl.com):
1. Todd Stebleton became involved in Universal Pest Control in 1995 when he transitioned from his municipal government position to join his parents in what became their family business. In 2006, Todd and his wife Natalie took full ownership of the company when they bought the business from his parents. Universal Pest Control offers general pest control programs, termite treatment programs and fumigation services for your home, business, boat or RV. The company is known in the community as being honest and reliable with the competitive advantage of being able to solve pest control problems for your family safely and with high regard for the environment.
2. Universal Pest Control has been working with George Tewari and his team of consultants at the FSBDC for several months thanks to another business owner recommending to Todd that he utilize the FSBDC’s no-cost programs and services. In just a few short months, Todd has realized the benefit of having certified business counselors analyze his business using an outside perspective. FSBDC Director George Tewari helped by running customized workshops including the business model canvas and key performance indicators to identify business gaps and streamline business processes which has led to a more efficient company and better productivity. Todd is now aware of the goals he needs to achieve to grow his business and his confident he can reach them with the help of the FSBDC.
3. Todd’s entrepreneur advice is to make sure you maximize all the resources available to help you start and grow your company. Organizations like the FSBDC will challenge you as an owner and will help your business reach its full potential. All you need to do is be willing to put yourself out there and engage with these resources and you and your business will begin seeing results immediately.
Bill launched Solar-Fit in 1975 in Holly Hill, Florida after having attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach Campus where he studied aviation. His passion for the environment along with his background in engineering lead him to be an early solar energy user and advocate. Believe it or not, solar energy was very popular in the 1980’s due to a 40% tax credit offered to consumers by the government. Back then, Solar-Fit actually manufactured the solar systems on-site to fit each customers’ needs. Solar-Fit has been in business for 41 years, has 25 full time employees and is the oldest active solar contractor in the state of Florida.
Solar-Fit has been working with George Tewari and his team of consultants at the FSBDC at Daytona State College for 6 months thanks to Nick Conte from the City of Holly Hill recommending the FSBDC’s services to Bill. The FSBDC Daytona has helped Bill by providing an outsider’s perspective on his business and this has resulted in constructive feedback and recommendations to improve processes and grow profitability. Bill highly recommends FSBDC Daytona Director George Tewari because every business needs someone from the outside to come in and bring fresh perspective and new ideas.
Bill’s entrepreneur advice is to make sure you have a game plan in mind before going into business. There’s a lot of surprises along the journey that are interesting and your plan will help you to navigate them while staying focused.
Learn about Florida Small Business Development Center (www.SBDCDaytona.com) and Client Bill Payne from Drive Group, LLC (www.DriveGroupLLC.com):
1. Drive Group LLC was started in 2005 by Bill Payne with a focus on providing web design, search engine optimization and online advertising services to companies large and small. Today, the company works with clients from all over the country from their office in Ormond Beach. Drive Group’s goal is to help you succeed in business through your website using measurable results.
2. Drive Group has been working with the FSBDC at Daytona State College since 2013. The FSBDC has provided Bill with the push he needed to expand his business and clarified what he needed to do to make it happen. This included helping Bill secure an intern from Daytona State College who still works for the company today. Bill highly recommends FSBDC Daytona because the assistance helped him recognize the areas where he actually needed help.
3. Bill encourages other entrepreneurs to fully understand the number of different hats you’ll be wearing when you get started. He recommends the book “Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager” to help with bench-marking and identifying triggers for when things might be going south in your business.
Learn about Florida Small Business Development Center (www.sbdcdaytona.com) and Clients Branden and Stephanie Calnan from Oceans Dance Studio (www.oceansdancestudio.com):
1. Branden began teaching dance in the area in 2012 and Oceans Dance Studio was founded in 2013. Inspiration, combined with Branden’s back-ground in entrepreneurship having run a family farm and his own brewery and carpentry businesses led them to open the studio in downtown Daytona Beach. The reason they chose downtown Daytona is because of the significant foot traffic Branden realized while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach Campus as a student. The company has 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees.
2. Oceans Dance Studio has been working with George Tewari and his team of consultants at the FSBDC at Daytona State College since May 2016 after Stephanie did a Google search for “business assistance.” The FSBDC Daytona has helped Branden and Stephanie manage through a significant internal challenge, re-brand the company, pivot the business model and determine growth opportunities. Both Branden and Stephanie are very happy that George Tewari has been able to help point things out that they couldn’t see. They recommend other entrepreneurs contact FSBDC Daytona because you get to leverage someone who has already been there and done it.
3. Branden and Stephanie’s encouragement for other business owners is to design your business model around the activities that fulfill you and make a profit. Don’t let the customers completely drive your business otherwise you’ll always do that instead of what is really meaningful to you. In addition, be willing to give back because you’ll always receive more than you can imagine in return.
Learn about Florida Small Business Development Center (www.SBDCDaytona.com) and client Shailesh Patel from Dredging & Marine Consultants (www.DMCES.com):
1. DMC has been in business for 14 years, has 4 offices in Florida with its headquarters in Port Orange and employs 10 people. DMC is a civil engineering and environmental consulting company with a focus on navigation and restoration dredging projects, water front development and structures such as boardwalks, docks, piers, marinas, ramps, shoreline protection and wave breaks. Some local projects they’ve worked on include 1,100 linear feet seawall at the Daytona Speedway, Riverside Park in Port Orange and the fishing pier structure under the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge on Orange Avenue.
2. Shailesh has been working with the FSBDC at Daytona State College for two years through the CEO Xchange program. He has also received assistance on how to better understand the implications of financial decisions, corporate culture and how to implement and bench-marking against competitors. Shailesh highly recommends other businesses to meet with the FSBDC because you get to share information with like-minded individuals who provide a safe environment but hold you accountable.
3. Shailesh’s entrepreneur advice is to never be shy. Always ask questions if you don’t know how to do something or what it means. Also, have a good understanding of your numbers in your business and how to manage them. It’s important to know the difference between cash flow, sales, profits, payroll expenses, etc.
Learn about FSBDC Daytona (www.sbdcdaytona.com) Client Brazilian Stylish Waxing (www.brazilianstylishwaxing.com):
1. Silas Santos and Vanuzia Santana are the company owners and they relocated from Atlanta to Port Orange in 2015 with the desire to build a business for themselves while having a beach lifestyle. Their company specializes in Professional Brazilian Wax body and facial hair removal using high quality natural products while offering the best price in town. Their goal is to wow their clients and they’ve received 100% positive feedback.
2. FSBDC at Daytona State College Director George Tewari has been assisting Silas and Vanuzia for eight months on the development and execution of their Strategic, Business and Marketing Plans. They discovered the FSBDC Daytona through the City of Port Orange website and both highly recommend other business owners to get engaged with the programs and services offered. Their insight is that the FSBDC at Daytona State College is a good resource for guidance, ideas, feedback and instructions.
3. Silas and Vanuzia believe that being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Many people prefer to go to work and not have to worry all the time. Living the entrepreneur life means you are always thinking about your business and working hard at it.
Learn about FSBDC Daytona (www.sbdcdaytona.com) Client Daytona Diner (www.daytonadiner.com):
1. Linda Toffolon is the co-owner and operator of the Daytona Diner located along South Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach Shores. The Diner employs 8 people has been a staple in Daytona Beach for 20 years having been previously located in downtown Daytona Beach. Linda relocated the diner to its current location two years ago and remained true to its roots by continuing to offer famous burgers, homemade pies and plated-sized pancakes.
2. The FSBDC at Daytona State College has been assisting the Daytona Diner for more than four years. Linda originally found the FSBDC Daytona by searching online for business plan assistance and financial guidance. Through working with FSBDC Daytona Consultant Van Canada, Linda was able to secure a loan to complete the build out of her new restaurant. She highly recommends other business owners meet with the FSBDC Daytona because they provide a guiding hand during times of uncertainty.
3. Linda’s insight for other entrepreneurs is that the journey is a long process and issues will definitely come up along the way. As a business owner you have to really want it so you can push through times of difficulty and keep going
Learn about FSBDC Daytona (www.sbdcdaytona.com) Client Sea & Sol Shades, LLC:
Caelan Hickman, and business partners Matthew Cresenzi and Matthew Morris, first connected during an engineering class at Daytona State College in the fall of 2015 where they were challenged by their professor to develop a product that could be commercialized and sold in the marketplace. Using their engineering backgrounds they invented and designed a one-of-a-kind parasol with the consultation of Cathy Campbell. After competing against other local college teams in the Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge, their product was selected as first place winner, which included $10,000 and one-year office space and support at the UCF Business Incubator – Volusia County.
2. The FSBDC at Daytona State College has been assisting Sea & Sol Shades for 3 months on sales and marketing strategies and making connections with local product manufacturers. In addition, the FSBDC Daytona arranged for a speaking engagement at the 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach to hone presentation skills and garner customer feedback. Caelan has been very pleased with the assistance provided by the FSBDC Daytona so far and is impressed with how quickly they’ve able to get things done.
3. Even though it’s early on in Caelan’s entrepreneurship journey, he’s realized not everything you need to know is online. You get so much more by actually going out and talking to people in-person. Furthermore, once the journey gets started it really becomes a constant thing in your life. You’re always learning, answering calls, responding to emails and a whole lot more.
Learn about Florida Small Business Development Center (www.SBDCDaytona.com) and client Daniel Nunkovich from Infinite Electronics Recycling, LLC (www.ierusa.com):
1. IER provides responsible, reliable and secure methods for recycling or re-marketing obsolete, end-of-life electronics equipment for government agencies, public and private corporations, non-profit organizations, educational facilities and financial institutions. The company was started in November 2014, is based in DeLand, FL and has two other offices in West Virginia and Maryland. IER is certified in RIOS, R2, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, which means they are committed to doing things the right way.
2. Daniel has been working with the FSBDC at Daytona State College for one year and discovered their services through Nick Conte and the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce. FSBDC Consultant Van Canada has helped Daniel and IER with business awareness, connections to local website developers and people/businesses who can use IER’s services. In addition, the SBDC has offered many workshops that have provided value to IER since launching the business. Daniel highly recommends FSBDC Daytona because they’re easy to access, open to helping and go above and beyond to stay in contact.
3. Daniel’s entrepreneur advice is to know there is going to be ups and downs especially with a new business. Determination is critical to moving forward throughout the journey. Daniel encourages entrepreneurs to reach out to the community of resources, stay in contact with everyone you meet and never stop improving your knowledge and expertise.