2016 Annual Report
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The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) network is fully committed to its mission of advancing the stateâ€™s economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses. The SC SBDC is a cohesive network providing clients confidential access to the combined wisdom of 51 professionals located in 21 centers throughout the state. This collaborative approach establishes the SC SBDC as the preeminent provider of pro bono consulting services including business and strategic plan development, cash flow management, access to capital, loan packaging, diversification strategies and marketing/promotion, to name a few. Underpinning these core competencies, the SC SBDC conducts affordable workshops, is a gateway to resources and champions specialty programs that foster exporting, technology development, government contracting and manufacturing.
South Carolina Small Business Development Centers by region Gr
o lb ro
Clemson Greenville Spartanburg Greenwood
Florence Myrtle Beach Rock Hill Georgetown* Cheraw* Union*
Georgetown Orangeburg Barnwell
SC State Region
Center includes a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) *Part-time Satellite Center
Aiken Beaufort Charleston North Charleston Columbia Hilton Head Newberry Sumter Lexington*
Thank you to our host universities.
The Citadel Coastal Carolina University Florence-Darlington Technical College
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Lander University Newberry College Spartanburg Community College
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From Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce, SC DOC
SC SBDC News
From Michele Abraham, State Director, SC SBDC
From Dr. Roger Weikle, SC SBDC Consortium Chair
About Us/Advisory Board
Seminars and Sponsors
In appreciation of Frank L. Roddey for his leadership and support in the creation of the SC Small Business Development Centers
Visit us! SCSBDC.com Like us! Facebook.com/SCSBDC Follow us! Twitter.com/SCSBDC 225395_SCSBD_2016 annual report.indd 3
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Bobby Hitt Secretary of Commerce SC Department of Commerce
Dear South Carolina Small Business Development Centers,
$4.5 billion in government contracts and obtain
While industry giants often dominate the headlines,
In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing
more than 97 percent of all private employers in
and enhancing our partnership with the SC SBDC.
South Carolina are small businesses. Recognizing
After all, Team South Carolina’s support of small
this, Team South Carolina works hard to support
companies is key to ensuring that the Palmetto
all of the small businesses that operate across our
State remains ‘Just right’ for businesses of all
state. As our boots on the ground, the S.C. Small
shapes and sizes.
Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) are a critical partner in these efforts. With 21 locations
almost $52 million in capital infusion in 2016.
and more than 50 experienced professionals, the SC SBDC provides free, private consulting and a variety of educational programs to new and existing companies in all 46 counties. As a major proponent of the team-first approach,
Robert M. Hitt III Secretary of Commerce SC Department of Commerce
I know that S.C. Commerce is fortunate to have a proven partner in the SC SBDC. With a 38year track record of supporting small business in South Carolina, the organization continues to have a major impact. Last year alone, the SC SBDC assisted 5,228 entrepreneurs, resulting in 1,364 jobs, 157 new businesses and $61 million in revenue increases. Additionally, the centers’ specialists helped South Carolina businesses win
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Michele Abraham State Director SC Small Business Development Centers
Dear Fellow South Carolinians, Every day, with assistance from the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC), our clients push the boundaries of innovation and challenge the limits of what’s possible. This annual report contains a selection of success stories that exemplifies the impressive results that can be achieved when SC SBDC business consultants collaborate with clients to help them achieve their goals. We also shine the spotlight on SBDC programs, services and the people who help make our clients successful. The SBDC is honored to be recognized by the Office of the Governor as a key partner in the state’s small business development initiatives. We also are privileged to be part of Team South Carolina as we work together to drive economic growth and prosperity. We do not take these distinctions for granted. On the contrary, we have worked diligently to earn and uphold our reputation as a leading small business resource serving the entire state. Each day we come to work inspired to make a positive impact on the lives of the clients we serve. Day-in and day-out we embrace challenges, approaching them as opportunities to become more agile, enterprising and efficient. We are committed to being excellent stewards of our funds as we strive to accomplish our mission, realize our vision and achieve our goals. We all know that small business is critical to our state’s and nation’s economies. The SC SBDC is a visionary organization with its eyes trained on the future. As pioneers, we predict trends before they become commonplace. This enables us to provide proactive insight that nurtures the growth of our clients, mitigates risks that can undermine their progress and prepares them for the journey that lies ahead.
I am extraordinarily proud of the SC SBDC team for what it accomplished in 2016; as you can see from the numbers in this report, we helped make a significant impact on the state’s economy. This doesn’t happen by accident, but comes from having a well-defined vision and distinct priorities combined with a skilled, tightknit team that works together to achieve our mission. I greatly appreciate the responsibility and commitment that every member of the network demonstrates. Their passion for guiding small businesses to success is widely recognized and their wealth of experience helps clients as they advance keen ideas from the drawing board to the board room. The SC SBDC is blessed to have many esteemed advisors and advocates such as our advisory councils, university hosts, elected officials, SBA and partners who support our efforts. They say it takes a village to raise a child; many entrepreneurs will say that it takes a robust community to grow a business. Finally, I would like to especially thank our clients for entrusting the SC SBDC with their livelihood and their dreams. As their champion, we believe in doing everything within our power to place their aspirations within reach. We believe in our clients and their ability to achieve whatever they can imagine. Sincerely,
Michele Abraham State Director SC SBDC
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Roger Weikle SC SBDC Consortium Chair
Dear Clients, Friends and Stakeholders, This will be my last submission and letter in the SC SBDC Annual Report. One of my great pleasures and constant sense of pride has been the privilege of serving with the network staff and recognizing the impact this organization has on small and growing businesses. After more than 40 years in South Carolina, forty-one at Winthrop and two more at USC, I will retire at the end of June. I look forward to staying busy promoting SC in the economic development arena as well as quality in business schools through my work with AACSB International. I will miss the day-to-day interactions with people I admire and respect. What I will not miss is the eternal pressure of a calendar set by someone else to include things for which I might have little enthusiasm. Fortunately, that has never been the case with the SC SBDC. It is my pleasure to introduce Dean Barbara Adams from South Carolina State University as the incoming chair of the consortium. The appointment typically spans two years and rotates through the four member school deans. Dr. Adams has been involved many times over the years and will do a great job of helping the organization through the accreditation process this fall and with other adaptations stemming from changing times.
needs. Launching new businesses is certainly a vital part of the networkâ€™s job. Whether it is expanding geographically, pursuing government contracts, developing new products or establishing a global supply chain, the network is eager to assist. Again, it has been a pleasure to work with this fine collection of small business advocates in many SBDC activities over the years. I can think of no more committed group of professionals; I can think of no more efficient use of national and state resources than those used to support the SBDC. The university partners are stronger as a result of this consortium. SC SBDC programs and centers are national award winners whose impact statistics are comparable to any in the country. The network is effective, efficient and an asset to the state. I commend them on their service record and integrity. Finally, I want to thank you for your support throughout the duration of my term and ask that you afford Dean Adams the same level of cooperation today and well into the future. Sincerely,
Roger D. Weikle, Ph.D. Dean of the College of Business Administration Winthrop University
Since its founding over 38 years ago, the SC SBDC has evolved significantly. Its mission and service agenda have expanded to include a wide variety of affiliated organizations and today it is a genuine partner in economic development in South Carolina. The four regional offices are well coordinated and efficiently share resources and expertise to meet their clientsâ€™
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Weâ€™re big on small business. The SC SBDC understands that the needs of our clients are as varying as the industries their businesses serve. An entrepreneur who is merely testing the waters or just starting a business requires assistance altogether different from a client with an established company. Consequently, the specific services consultants provide typically correlate to one of the four phases of the business development life cycle (pre-venture, startup, existing, mature). Ultimately, consultants provide support based on one overarching consideration: client needs.
Stages of the Business Development Lifecycle Examples of Services Provided by Phase
> Entrepreneur Assessment > Feasibility Analysis > Franchising Basics > Financial Planning > Business Structure and Licenses
> Business Plan Creation > Bookkeeping: QuickBooks > Marketing/Social Media > Managing Business Operations > SWOT Analysis
> Expansion/Diversification > Government Contracting > Strategic Planning > Exporting > Marketing > Expansion Loans
> Succession Planning > Exit Strategy > Business Valuation > Buying and Selling a Business > Debt Restructuring
Advisory Board Steve Bailey, CEO and Chairman, Merus Refreshment Services Jason Premo, Vice Chair, President and CEO, Premo Ventures JoLee Gudmundson, President and Owner, Gudmundson Consulting Cal Bruner Jr., Commercial Realtor, Century 21 The Moore Group Gary Breit CLP, Director, Technology Business Development, City of Charleston Dr. Alonzo Johnson, President and CEO, Agape Certified Nursing Assistant Academy Frank Knapp, Jr., President and CEO, SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce Jim Rohrer, Senior Credit Team Lead, TD Bank Ashley Teasdel, Senior Program Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, SC DOC Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes, Owner, Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast Greg Hyman, Owner, Hyman Vineyards Neil Rashley, Jr., Senior Vice President and Counsel, SC Bankers Association Ray Reich, Downtown Development Manager, City of Florence John Walter, President and CEO, PMG Management Group and Owner, Clemson Cleaning Co. Robert (Rob) F. Youngblood, President, York County Regional Chamber of Commerce Honorary member, Elliott Cooper, District Director, Small Business Administration Page 4 225395_SCSBD_2016 annual report.indd 7
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The SC SBDC Pays Tribute
Dean Roger Weikle Winthrop University
Elliott Cooper SBA, South Carolina District Office
The SC SBDC would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Roger Weikle, Dean of the College of Business Administration at Winthrop University, for his generosity and selfless support throughout the years. Dr. Weikle is a respected colleague who has repeatedly shouldered the mantle of chairing the Consortium (Clemson, SC State, USC, Winthrop) that hosts our program. The SC SBDC network is stronger today because of his unwavering support and guidance. When reflecting on Dean Weikle and his myriad contributions, his associates consistently described him as: Energetic…Inspiring…Wise… Passionate…Dependable. We extend our best wishes to Dean Weikle and hope he enjoys both the special initiatives he will continue to promote and the more leisurely pace of a retiree. He’s going to be a tough act to follow.
The SC SBDC salutes another long-time advocate as he prepares for retirement in late spring. Mr. Elliott Cooper, the District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Carolina District Office in Columbia joined the organization in 1991 and each day thereafter has strived to champion the cause of small business. He has consistently offered sage counsel to the SC SBDC, facilitated collaborations and promoted the value of the network throughout the state. In recognition of Mr. Cooper’s lifetime of extraordinary service, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster presented him with The Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor. Although Mr. Cooper is leaving the organization to savor the benefits of retirement, the SC SBDC, SBA and many others will continue to profit from his contributions for years to come.
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Spotlight on Current Initiatives
Technology Commercialization The SC SBDC champions innovative thinkers through its leading-edge Technology Commercialization Program. Designed to serve the multi-faceted needs of innovators and startups, the Technology Commercialization Program helps its clients develop and prototype new products, form partnerships, access capital, conduct market research and, ultimately, place inventions in the hands of consumers. A key need of entrepreneurs and early stage companies with new technologies is securing funding-the SC SBDC Technology Commercialization Consultants can help. These advisors are experts in helping clients find and obtain funding through grants such as SBIR and STTR programs, contract awards as well as through angel investors, venture capitalists and other resources. Bottom line, the SC SBDC enables clients to take an idea or revolutionary discovery from concept, through the various phases of development and scale-up to its introduction into the marketplace.
Boots to Business and Boots to Business: Reboot Through its veterans’ business programs, the SC SBDC supports transitioning service members as they consider the merits of owning a small business. In 2016, hundreds of veterans attended at least one of the SBDC’s 30 veterans’ business workshops. These programs address topics ranging from evaluating the viability of business concepts to business structure options and tips for writing an engaging business plan. Currently, three accredited business consultants assist veterans applying for either VeteranOwned Small Business (VOSB) or ServiceDisabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification. The SC SBDC’s support of veterans’ programs has helped catapult the state to the number one spot in a nationwide survey recently released by the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business. The SC SBDC is also developing a new course series for veterans with established businesses who want to take their company to the next level.
I strongly encourage transitioning service members who are considering the merits of owning a business to make visiting the SC SBDC their top priority. Your veterans’ business programs, consulting services and workshops not only provide them the knowledge they need to make an informed decision; but they also give them easy access to capital and other valuable resources. Rickey Johnson CRMC Manager, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
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Win-Win! Students Gain International Experience Developing Export Plans for South Carolina Companies The SC SBDC and Professor Wolfgang Messner of the Darla Moore School of Business collaborated to assist South Carolina companies while creating applied learning opportunities for students enrolled in the school’s Global Competitive Analysis course. “Since the initiative hinges on attracting South Carolina companies willing to participate, the SC SBDC contacts clients who have expressed an interest in expanding their business footprint. We then pair the company with a student team that will assess their capacity to compete globally,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. Eight teams of international business students worked alongside SC SBDC business consultants to engage the client, analyze the company’s industry, conduct a market analysis and deliver export recommendations via a formal presentation. Geoff Foster, CEO of Core Technology Molding Corporation, a Spartanburg Area SBDC client and BMW supplier, was extremely impressed by his team’s presentation and intends to implement some of their recommendations. Foster is not alone in expressing his gratitude. “Clients are consistently impressed by the caliber of the final reports the consulting teams produce,” said Abraham. “The Global Competitiveness course transforms lives by equipping students with the hands-on skills, leadership experience and confidence they need to succeed following graduation,” said Messner. “The close partnerships developed by the SC SBDC with the business community make these career-shaping opportunities possible.”
A Woman’s Business 2016 Conference The Winthrop University campus provided a perfect setting for “A Woman’s Business!” 2016 conference. First Lady of Winthrop University Laura Mahony provided opening remarks for this all-day event which addressed a variety of business issues. One session, entitled “Being a Disruptive Woman,” encouraged attendees to challenge the status quo and demolish any barriers impeding their ability to soar to new heights. As a counterbalance to this discussion, “Breathing Space,” demonstrated inhaling and exhaling techniques designed to reduce stress and promote self-awareness. In addition to compiling an all-star roster of speakers, conference organizer Carol Daly, a consultant with the Rock Hill Area SBDC, offered SC SBDC woman-owned business clients an opportunity to be “in-kind sponsors” by donating promotional items. This mutually beneficial endeavor afforded the sponsors unprecedented visibility to their target audience while providing conference attendees a fun-filled goody bag. The conference was so successful it spawned an affiliated program called “Conversations for Women,” a networking group created by and for women entrepreneurs. “Conversations for Women” aims to foster collaboration, encourage Thank you for hosting such an amazing conference. I’m excited to mentoring, raise put into practice everything I learned. Yes, the event was educational; awareness of recently but I also had a wonderful time. Please keep me informed of future launched woman-owned workshops/events. SBDC: You Rock! businesses and provide a forum for sharing best Sonja Nunez, Conference Attendee practices.
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The SC SBDC Partners With Google to Put Local Businesses on the Map Google’s innovative Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program–an extension of its Get Your Business Online initiative—is enabling small businesses to establish a web presence using free products such as Google Maps. As an Official City Partner, the SC SBDC collaborates with local organizations to ensure small businesses are taking advantage of these web- and location-based marketing opportunities. Spearheading the SC SBDC’s involvement is Nancy Williamson, certified business advisor for the Newberry Area SBDC. The SC SBDC helps local businesses connect to more customers by hosting workshops using materials provided by Google. In addition to showing them how to get on the map, we provide attendees: • Support with creating a proper and complete listing • Detailed instruction on how to log on to their account and update their listing • Tips for maximizing their exposure and deriving all possible benefits their listing can provide • Guidance on how to use the smart phone app to update their listing on-the-go • Expedited verification on their listing In 2016, Nancy hosted a total of nine workshops in locations throughout the state. Her goal for 2017 is to conduct 10 or more workshops.
Beth Smith Named SC SBDC 2016 State Star Beth Smith, manager of the Spartanburg Area SBDC, was named the 2016 South Carolina State Star by the SC SBDC network. This noteworthy achievement is based on her exemplary performance, enthusiasm for representing the network in the business community, contributions to local economic development and longstanding service to the SC SBDC. Smith has been managing the Spartanburg Area SBDC located at Spartanburg Community College since 2011. In the past year alone, she conducted more than 1290 counseling sessions, assisted 195 clients and hosted workshops attracting more than 200 attendees. Moreover, her clients collectively generated nearly $3 million in investments and created or retained 122 jobs. “Beth is a respected and highly productive consultant,” said South Carolina SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. “In addition to helping small business owners chart a path to success, her commitment to local economic development initiatives yields valuable dividends for both the Spartanburg community and the clients she advises.” Brenda Wieland, owner of Horse of My Heart, LLC, credits Beth for “taking the time to get to know me to ensure my business reflected both my prior work experience and interests.” Having benefited from Beth’s personal approach and expertise, Wieland joins a long roster of grateful clients in praising Smith for “her gift for getting to the essence of what an entrepreneur needs to launch a successful business.”
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Construction Training Center Columbia Area SBDC Client Minority-Owned Business
Building a Stronger Workforce The Construction Training Center (CTC), originally located in Blair, S.C., was launched as a sole proprietorship in 2000 by John E. Cammon to provide unemployed or underemployed individuals with training that would lead them to long-term, high paying construction-related jobs. Six years later he re-established the company as a non-profit organization. Then, in 2009, he dissolved the non-profit and restructured CTC as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Making the journey with the client as it transitioned from one business model to another was Scott Bellows, a consultant with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)—a program embedded in the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC).
Industry: Post-Secondary Training Institution Challenge: Transition from a non-profit to a forprofit company to foster growth Approach: Develop and clarify CTC’s strategy so it could acquire the capital needed to fund the company’s launch and continue growing
As CTC evolved, so did its needs. In response, SBDC/PTAC consultant Scott Bellows provided the client with a host of additional services including IT support, facilitating communications with potential investors, compiling budget projections and QuickBooks training. Today the CTC is certified by the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education as a nonpublic post-secondary institution licensed to award certificates in construction.
Results: • New Business Started • Financing Obtained: $15,000 • Jobs Created/Retained: 7 full-time • Sales Increase: $350,000
CTC’s trajectory from its humble beginnings to the success it is today was fraught with set-backs. Nevertheless, CTC has emerged triumphant. An example of the company’s resiliency occurred in 2015, when historical flooding damaged several of its buildings. In the wake of this devastation, instead of capitulating, the CTC leadership team used this as an opportunity to relocate from its rural setting to a converted shopping mall in Columbia. This new, more prominent site combined with CTC’s recently granted Title IV funding Services Provided: authority, has increased student enrollment significantly. To date, more than 300 CTC students, including 26 veterans, have earned their construction certification. > Strategic Planning Bellows, who has attended several commencement ceremonies, says it is gratifying to see the pride on the faces of extended family members. “Many of the graduates are the first in their family to have achieved this level of education and the promise of a brighter future it bestows.” On many occasions throughout our nine-year collaboration the SBDC has been our only hope, providing the support we’ve needed to overcome a seemingly endless onslaught of obstacles. Walter English Construction Training Center CFO, CTC
> Government Contracting > Bookkeeping > Procurement Assessment > Fiscal Management
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Three Spirits Brewery Rock Hill Area SBDC Client Minority-Owned Business
Medical Doctor Heeds Lesson from Ebenezer Scrooge Tabu Terrell, owner of Three Spirits Brewery and Tap Room, made a life-altering choice eight years ago: he walked away from his job as an emergency room physician to open his own brewery. His love for the craft began as an escape from the rigorous demands of medical training. When Terrell decided to upgrade his avocation to an occupation, he enrolled at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago where he earned his master brewer certification. Tabu contacted the Rock Hill Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) after having his loan request turned-down by five financial institutions. There, he met with business consultant Forrest Norman who listened attentively while Terrell described a litany of pressing needs. To resolve the client’s concerns, Norman conducted market research, prepared a financial model, developed a business plan and coached Terrell on how to build a better rapport with loan officers.
Challenge: Overcoming five loan rejections and a series of costly obstacles (insufficient capital, cost overruns, delayed equipment delivery) to launch a successful new business Approach: Coach the client on how to build a better rapport with commercial lenders, develop a more detailed business plan, revise—and then resubmit—the client’s loan application
Results: After helping Terrell secure the capital he needed, • New Business Started Norman continued working with the client for more than seven years as he searched for a site, • Financing Obtained: $549,000 negotiated leases, purchased equipment, secured • Jobs Created/Retained: 4 full-time and 10 part-time permits/licenses and transformed a vacuous 12,000-square-foot warehouse into a cozy establishment. Unfortunately, Terrell (through no fault of his own) was beset by complications that delayed everything from equipment delivery to licensing and construction, and resulted in cost-overruns totaling nearly $335,000—almost double initial projections. Despite this onslaught of frustrating and expensive set-backs, Terrell held fast to his dream. When asked about the brewery’s name, Terrell said that Three Spirits was a nod to “A Christmas Carol,” one of his favorite stories. “Ebenezer Scrooge was a good guy who focused on the wrong things in life,” said Terrell. “It took three spirits to remind him of what was important. For that reason the story serves as a constant reminder of what my life would have been like had I continued to focus on the wrong priorities.” When Tabu first walked through our doors in 2008, he had a vivid picture of his goal. What he needed was a well-defined business plan to map his journey from starting-point to his intended destination. Forrest Norman, Rock Hill Area SBDC Business Consultant
Services Provided: > Entrepreneur Assessment > Business Plan Preparation > Market Research > Loan Application Preparation > Fiscal Management Page 10
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J.I.T. Manufacturing, Inc. Charleston Area SBDC Client Woman-Owned Business
A Small Company with Big Aspirations Founded in 1992 by husband and wife team Vickie and Reggie Wyatt, J.I.T. Manufacturing is a woman-owned small business that has evolved from a startup operated from their front porch into a flourishing metal fabricator with commercial, military and aerospace clients. The founders attribute J.I.T.’s success to its 40 employees. Every day, J.I.T.’s dedicated workforce strives to honor the company’s three-fold customer promise: quick quote turnaround, fast production capabilities and guaranteed quality workmanship. The result: a large community of satisfied customers driving repeat business and generating Industry: Metal Fabrication, Manufacturing referrals. As a testament to J.I.T.’s outstanding customer service, its first client continues placing Challenge: Sales failed to keep pace with financial orders 25 years later.
With a corps of customers driving repeat business, the advantage of being located in a HUBZone, and a passionate team of technicians; the J.I.T. management team was dismayed when sales failed to keep pace Results: with financial projections. To help them redress this • Five Government Contract Awards: $429,000,000 anomaly, they turned to the Charleston Area SBDC where they met Linda Blanton, an award-winning • Jobs Created/Retained: 40 full-time government procurement technical assistance (PTAC) business consultant. Linda worked closely with the client, recommending ways for them to increase their customer base, identifying untapped markets and establishing them as a formidable contender for government contracts.
Approach: Leverage the client’s 8(a) eligibility to compete for government contracts
“I was inspired by J.I.T.’s ‘do whatever it takes’ mentality,” said Blanton. “They were wholly committed to reinvigorating sales and restoring J.I.T.’s growth rate to its former, unflagging pace.” Nominated “Best Small Business” in South Carolina, J.I.T. Manufacturing embraces the maxim that less is more. Competing against goliath-size companies, the bantam-weight J.I.T. considers its smaller size an asset. With less overhead the company can reduce production costs. Its smaller size spawns agility. Most significantly, its modest 40-person workforce comprises big talent with even bigger ambitions.
Services Provided: > Business Needs Assessment > Performance Measurement
Vickie Wyatt, J.I.T. Manufacturing President, named Small Business Person of the Year by the national Small Business Administration (SBA)
Thanks to Linda and the 28-plus hours she invested in us, J.I.T. won five substantial contracts in 2016 totaling $429,000. Dan Hunter VP of Manufacturing, J.I.T. Manufacturing, Inc.
> Government Contracting > RFP Response Preparation > Network Expansion
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Extremiti3D™ Charleston Area SBDC Client
A High-Tech Approach to Fabricating Lower Limb Prosthetics There are 1.5 million lower limb amputees in the U.S., growing by 110,000 annually. Unfortunately, nearly 75 percent of the prosthetic sockets currently being manufactured rely on antiquated, imprecise fabrication methods that produce uncomfortable sockets. These statistics captured the attention of Barry Hand, a mechanical engineer with over 30 years in medical device product development. “Having worked in 3D printing for nearly three decades, I believed its technology could be adapted to enhance the fit of prosthetic sockets and cosmetic covers,” said Industry: Manufacturer Hand. His assumption proved correct.
Challenge: Raising capital to launch business and completing the patent application Approach: Develop a comprehensive technical and cost proposal then apply for SC Launch SBIR matching grant Results: • New Business Started • Government Contract Awards: $155,455 • SCRA/USC Grant/Awards: $56,000 • Jobs Created/Retained: 2 full-time and 2 part-time
Barry contacted the Charleston Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance with launching a business, raising the capital to support that undertaking and filing a patent application. Based on these needs, Barry was introduced to SBDC Technology Commercialization Business Consultant Dr. Jim Wasson.
While helping Barry with business planning, Wasson also found a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant opportunity with the Defense Logistics Agency that was a perfect fit for Barry’s technology. Wasson then helped Hand develop a technical and cost proposal resulting in a Phase I contract award. Barry plans to use the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) funding to subsidize market research and product development. To date, Jim Wasson has provided more than 140 hours of free consulting to Barry Hand. The result: Extremiti3D™, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reify, LLC. The company’s state-of-the-art solution not only produces better fitting lower limb prosthetics, it also reduces the amount of time spent creating a single prosthesis by 80 percent and decreases production costs by 57 percent. This is great news for the company’s target market which comprises 8,300 certified prosthetists located at 70 VA hospitals and 3,000 clinics across the U.S.
Services Provided: > Product Commercialization > Strategic Planning > Go-to-Market Strategy
I am confident that without the guidance and support provided by Jim Wasson, I would not have been awarded the contract funding I needed to launch my business. Barry Hand Founder/President, Extremiti3D™
> SCRA/SBIR Grant Application > Business Plan Preparation Page 12
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Balls, Bats & Gloves, LLC Myrtle Beach Area SBDC Client Veteran-Owned Business
Torrential Rains, Flash Flooding and a Brutal Hurricane Fail to Dampen Owner’s Ambitions In the aftermath of an unprecedented series of natural disasters, Ron Humphrey, owner of Balls, Bats & Gloves, LLC, struggled to keep his head above water.
Approach: Review SBA rejection letters to identify shortcomings, analyze P&L data, and revise the client’s application accordingly
The October 2015 storm was the most prolific rainfall event in the history of the United States. Located in Conway, Balls, Bats & Gloves was at the epicenter of this natural disaster and suffered significant losses: a forced closure spanning six-weeks, destroyed merchandise, canceled orders, disabled computer equipment and irreparable property damage. Humphrey desperately needed an SBA disaster relief loan to get his company back on terra firma so he contacted the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC where he was introduced to business consultant Janet Graham.
Results: • SBA Disaster Recovery Loan: $60,000 • Sales Increase: 21% ($98,484) • Jobs Created/Retained: 3 full-time
“By the time I met with Ron in January 2016, he had applied twice for an SBA disaster relief loan and been denied on both occasions,” said Graham. “If the SBA rejected his third submission it would essentially drive the company out of business.”
Industry: Sporting Goods Challenge: Client applied twice for an SBA Disaster Relief Loan and was denied on both occasions. Up against SBA’s rule limiting businesses to three attempts the client was down to his final appeal
In Ron’s case, the third time literally was the charm. After obtaining Janet’s extensive assistance with identifying and correcting a number of shortcomings in the loan application, the SBA awarded him a $60,000 disaster relief loan. With this hard-won infusion of capital, Ron now had the means to create a positive cash flow, sustain the business until it was fully restored, replace lost inventory and mitigate revenue short falls resulting from lost sales. In total, Services Provided: the storm cost Ron nearly $40,000. “Throughout the entire frustrating ordeal I was determined not to be waylaid by obstacles, > Disaster Recovery but rather seek paths around them,” Humphrey said. “More often than not, it was Janet Graham who led the way, serving as both guidepost and trailblazer. I trusted her > Financial Review completely.” I will forever be indebted to Janet Graham for saving my business. I was on the brink of losing everything I had worked for over the past 10 years when she took the helm. Today, nearly 13 months later, not only is my business alive, it’s recuperating nicely. Ron Humphrey Owner, Balls, Bats & Gloves, LLC
> Revised P&L Projections > Accessing Capital > Compiled Loan Packet
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Lush Nail Lounge Orangeburg Area SBDC Client Woman-Owned Business
Young and Determined Sharnise McMichael is a woman with many passions and the tenacity to accomplish whatever she pursues. As a student at Claflin University, Sharnise decided to become a nail technician to support herself, pay for college and save money to invest in her own business. While carrying a full course load, Sharnise not only completed the state-mandated training required to earn her nail technician certification, she also gave birth to twin daughters. Yet despite her demanding schedule, Sharnise— Industry: Nail Salon fueled by her passion and boundless energy— succeeded in all her endeavors.
Challenge: Provide guidance to ensure client accomplishes her goals in a time frame consistent with her expectations Approach: Develop a five-year strategic plan that prioritizes the client’s ambitions and provides clear direction on how to move forward Results: • New Business Started • Sales Increase: $60,000 • Jobs Created/Retained: 3 full-time and 4 part-time
Shortly after graduating, Sharnise fulfilled a lifelong dream when she launched Lush Nail Lounge in downtown Orangeburg. “As a young entrepreneur, launching my own business was extremely challenging,” McMichael said about opening the salon. “Nonetheless, with my faith in God and determination, I made it happen.”
“My primary aim in working with Sharnise was helping to channel her enthusiasm and prioritize her business pursuits,” said Gary Robinson, McMichael’s business consultant with the Orangeburg Area SBDC. “After several meetings we decided she next should focus on leveraging social media to solidify her presence in the Orangeburg business community and expand her client base.” Thanks to Gary, Lush Nail Lounge experienced a dramatic surge in clients. Gary was introduced to McMichael by Adolphus Johnson, a partner of the Orangeburg Area SBDC and executive director of New America Corporation, a non-profit organization committed to renovating properties in downtown Orangeburg. Johnson owns the building where Lush Nail Services Provided: Lounge is currently located. Today, Sharnise sees limitless opportunities and is eager to embark on her next ventures > Strategic Planning which include: developing her own line of products to be sold worldwide, re-locating to a larger site, conducting workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs in the cosmetology > Marketing industry and participating in civic organizations devoted to fostering economic growth in downtown Orangeburg. The social media strategy Gary developed to promote my salon worked better than I could have imagined. Thanks to his efforts I had a dramatic increase in clients—and quickly outgrew the space I’m leasing. Sharnise McMichael, Owner, Lush Nail Lounge
> Social Media > Lease Negotiations > Business Plan Preparation Page 14
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CoCo Bon Chocolatier Clemson Area SBDC Client
The Sweet Taste of Success In 2001 B.C. (Before Chocolate), David Saidat was a computer consultant who helped companies build websites. Then, in 2002, David’s world turned on its axis when Fannie May filed for bankruptcy. “I was stunned,” said David, who’d had a lifelong love affair with the iconic company’s candies. In an effort to fill the void, David summoned his kitchen skills and devoted himself to recreating his beloved chocolate confections. “At that point, all I knew about chocolate was that I loved eating it,” David said. After much trial and error, David felt his recipes could contend with anything currently Industry: Artisan Chocolate Boutique on the market. So, he conducted focus groups—or, as his family referred to them, cavalcades of chocolate. Challenge: Client lacked a basic understanding of how The feedback was unanimous; David’s bonbons were to launch a business. Needed additional assistance with ready to go pro.
completing loan applications and securing the financing to underwrite the transition of his startup from a wholesale business model to a bricks-and-mortar retail establishment
Approach: Work with client to develop a sound business plan, evaluate operating costs and submit the finalized loan application to several lenders Results: • New Business Started • SBA Loan from SC Community Works: $25,000 • City of Anderson Loan: $25,000 • Grant from City of Anderson: $12,000 • Jobs Created/Retained: 2 full-time and 2 part-time
David admits the prospect of launching a business was intimidating. “I knew enough to know what I didn’t know,” he said. For support, David contacted the Clemson Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in July 2015 where he was introduced to SBDC business consultant Ben Smith. With Ben’s assistance, David learned how to launch a business, analyze the marketplace and prepare loan applications to obtain the capital he needed to lease a 1,546 sq. ft. space in historic downtown Anderson.
The establishment David created is an homage to 1900s Americana—reminiscent of a turn-ofthe-century emporium. Services Provided: The setting transports you to an era when Gibson Girls reigned supreme and Ragtime topped the > Entrepreneur Assessment music charts. CoCo Bon’s pièce de résistance, however, is its treasure trove of chocolates. Each display case is a beguiling masterpiece—you simply cannot resist pressing your face against the glass to behold David’s confections in all their glory. > Feasibility Analysis After meeting with Ben I realized he possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of how to best expand the footprint of my nascent business,” Saidat said. “I relied on his expertise to shift my wholesalefocused operation to a retail enterprise with a storefront presence. David Saidat Founder and Owner, CoCo Bon Chocolatier
> Loan Application Preparation > Retail Gap Analysis > Cash Flow Management
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SC SBDC offered 238 workshops and seminars in 2016 Part of the SC SBDCâ€™s mission is to make vital training available to small business owners at a reasonable cost. In 2016, more than 2,200 entrepreneurs attended one of the 238 different series offered by SC SBDCs across the state. Some of the most popular seminars were: QuickBooks Steps to Starting a Business Website and SEO Training How to Grow Your Existing Business Get Your Business on Google Maps Government Contracting NxLevel for Existing Businesses Boots to Business Vetrepreneurs Financing Your Small Business IRS Tax Workshop Marketing Your Small Business Small Business Healthcare Each center maintains a list of itâ€™s upcoming workshops and seminars at SCSBDC.com. Click on the Business Seminars tab on the left menu to view all educational opportunities.
Thank you to the generous sponsors of our 2016 annual statewide conference. Breaking Barriers 2016 BUSINESS CONFERENCE
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2016 South Carolina Small Business Development Centers Annual Report