Absolute Family Plumbing Inc Success Story
SBDC at Daytona helps businesses get started on the right track.
Edie and Clint came to the SBDC office excited and worried about
starting their new venture. Having the experience in the industry
but lacking the business know-how they turned to the SBDC at
Daytona to assist them in their new venture and get them started on
the right track. They took advantage of all the services offered
one-on-one counseling to assist in the development and
implementation of their business plan and training in business
management. The CBA assigned, Doris Bernal assisted with the
business plan and identifying key marketing techniques that would
allow them to grow their business. It was easy to work with Clint
and Edie as they followed the advice of the SBDC and were able to
reach sales of $157,000 and create 2 jobs. The following is the
client's story in their own words: 'Absolute Family
Plumbing Inc. is owned by my wife and me. I am a State Certified
Plumbing Contractor/Master Plumber who was always satisfied with my
job working for a major builder. My wife, Edie had started her own
little cleaning business long ago. She is known as The Cleaning
Lady. Up until 2007, that was our lives. In later 2006, new home
sale began to decline and by 2007 the bottom had fallen out. As a
Plumbing Service Manager, I laid off all but the most necessary of
my plumbers. My crew was reduced to nine men and one office girl.
New home sales continued to fall and my boss and friend called me
into the office at the end of March 2008. I asked my boss to keep
my men and office girl. I had trained them well and I felt
confident that they would continue to serve their customers very
well. I then broke the news to my wife. I was afraid and felt like
I had failed her and my family. Her strength shown through, she
said "looks like we'll start Absolute Family Plumbing a
little sooner than we had planned". We had seen the markets
decline and the cool thing about plumbing is that there are always
things that need fixing. We had planned to start a business but a
lot later than expected. I am a fine plumber and I know pricing.
When it comes to the business of doing business we had no idea what
we were doing and just started filling out the required federal and
state incorporation paperwork. We paid too much for insurance,
organized as a C-corp and other moves I will not brag about. Edie
and I needed training and advice. In May of 2008 I spoke to a
friend Jim Hyde. He advised me to contact Daytona State College and
that they provide training and advise at little or no cost to small
business owners. I did contact them and made an appointment. During
the appointment I met Ned Harper, Doris Bernal and Nancy Franssen.
Ned asked a bunch of questions most of which I had no good answer
for. I told him that I had enough of my own money to start and run
for a while. "Boot strapping it" he asked and after he
explained what that meant, I said yes. He could tell what I needed.
He assigned Doris to explain what a business plan was and what it
was used for. He assigned Nancy to keep me apprised of all relevant
training. They signed Edie and me up for small business classes.
What we learned at small business class helped us discover our
mistakes and correct them. But most importantly, set the stage for
success. We then attended Quickbooks Classes where we met Kent
Shepard, our new accountant. His advice and counsel has been most
valuable. We had set up the business and we off and running. The
calls for service were slow at first because we started the
business many months before we could get an add in the phonebooks.
Our advertising was only in a weekly publication and one newspaper.
I was running out of the money that I had lent to the business. My
faith in the almighty and myself was about what we were running on
for about three months. Then it began to happen. The phone began to
ring. Low money calls and then a good one. It continued. I hired
two young men to help. Customers would call and we would go.
"Be there for our customers and do the job like that toilet
belonged to God", I tell my men. It was only after doing my
end of my first year report did I realize that Absolute Family
Plumbing Inc. had over $157,000 in sales. Emerson is quoted in one
of his many writtings "It is not what lies behind us or before
us. It is what lies inside us". I think I now know what he
means. I should have started this business long ago'.