Six months after opening Jepco Enterprises FL in Pinellas County, Jim Pello realized he needed outside assistance to expand. “I saw the need to do some expansion as far as having some additional staff on just to help out and allow us to do more,” he explains. He reached out to the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development for assistance.
“Jim was one of those people who would’ve been capable of creating a business plan without coming to see me,” certified business consultant Kurt Forster says, “but by coming to see me, he was able to get confirmation about what needed to be in the business plan and maybe what didn’t need to be in it.”
The pair worked through the Ultimate Business Plan workbook, completed the Executive Summary and all the narrative pieces, as well as a cash flow analysis, which proved to be especially useful. “This gave me the opportunity to see my real numbers and it helped me get my arms around the whole business and its growth potential,” says Pello.
With a solid business plan in hand, Pello attended the Pinellas CountyFinance Fair, and was later able to secure the funding he needed for expansion. He has since hired two additional staff members and revenues are up 71 percent over the previous year-to-date. “I remember when I met with Kurt the first time,” Pello offers. “I was wondering if it was even really worthwhile to try for a loan. It really helped me get my head wrapped around the nuts and bolts workings of the business, as far as cash flow and the finance side goes.”
Pello plans to continue working with Forster and the FSBDC to plan for and manage the future growth of Jepco Enterprises FL.
Ask Ada McFarley about how she got the idea of forming Never LATE Property Cleaning, LLC and she’ll tell you of the pivotal moment when she took her future into her own hands.
“I was sitting in a job where I had just gotten passed over for a promotion and I was just tired,” she explains. “I wanted to make my own business model where you could make it through the glass ceiling if you were persistent and determined.”
McFarley grew up helping her single mother clean to supplement the household income and used that experience to launch her business. The word “LATE” in her business name represents the initials of her mother’s, sister’s, and daughters’ first names, and it serves as a daily reminder of sorts.
“I have some really powerful names in my company and that makes me show up every day wanting to give it all I’ve got,” she says.
“Pinellas has been an ideal place for us,” explains Anne LaMaire, President of Sea Sub Systems (SSS). “Of course, surrounded by water, we’re in the perfect location for our marine services industry. But we’ve also gained so much by locating in a place with resources to help local businesses succeed.” Click to read more...
Infinite Potential Learning Center Utilizes the Florida SBDC at PCED to Develop and Grow
Sometimes, the ideal business concept springs from life’s challenges. Frustrated by watching students struggle to read, former elementary school teacher Twanna Monroe was motivated to form a non-profit program to build skills in young readers, to better prepare them to enter the elementary grades. Monroe sought the assistance of the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) and, working with Center Director Dr. Cynthia Johnson, soon realized her business model was a better fit as a for-profit enterprise.
“I didn’t know what to do,” explains Monroe. “I didn’t know who to seek out to help with financial planning, to help get a business started from the ground up.”
Acting on a suggestion from her husband (also a client of the FSBDC at PCED), Monroe contacted Dr. Johnson and found in her both an ally and business mentor. Click to read more...