Specialized Florida SBDC Services
Disaster Relief Assistance
When disaster strikes, Florida businesses can find the assistance needed to recover through the Florida SBDC Network's Business Disaster Recovery Services. Help includes no-cost assistance applying for state and federal disaster loans. View the Disaster Services Flyer for more details on these services.
Services for 2nd Stage Companies
Special Services for 2nd Stage Companies also are available through the Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College. A 2nd Stage Company is one that has been in business more than three years, has five or more employees and has reached at least $500,000 in sales per year. Additional options include international trade services, growth acceleration services and the UCF-connected Small Business Institute, plus more choices. View the Special Services flyer for more information. Also review the cases studies below for a look at 2nd Stage benefits in action.
2nd Stage Success Stories
Environmental Protection Apparatus Manufacturer Finds Success
Jennifer Vargas, President, and Luis Vargas, Vice President, lead and are co-owners
of Enviro-USA American
Manufacturer LLC, who make containment booms for the oil industry, silt or turbidity curtains for the marine construction industry and seaweed barriers for the tourism industry. Their collaboration with the FSBDC, through which they received assistance with an Advisory Board Council, export marketing, government contracting and consulting support, has paid rich rewards.
"They dived deep into our issues," said Luis Vargas. "In the export marketing plan, we learned what countries to target and so much more. With our financials, they opened our eyes and pointed out where we needed to focus. On the marketing side, they got us down into the nitty-gritty to grow our revenues." Since working with the FSBDC, Enviro-USA has been able to double its factory space, its work force and its manufacturing capacity. Their revenues have also increased more than 90 percent, and profits have grown by 1,000 percent.
Rockledge-Based Marine Product Company Thriving
Hyperform, Inc. is an all-American success story. What started out as a maker of products for the surfing industry, like surfboard fins and traction pads, has transformed itself into a hugely successful manufacturer supplying, as its primary business, the marine industry with innovative, functional and aesthetically pleasing PE/EVA non-skid decking products. They worked with the FSBDC to implement an Export Marketing Plan, which provided comprehensive industry and market analyses, target market recommendations and country-specific market entry strategies.
"Thanks to the Export Marketing Plan, we didn’t take a shotgun approach," said Chief Operating Officer Serenity Gardner. "We looked at markets one-by-one and decided which areas we wanted to target and which ones we didn’t. It allowed us to go into new markets with a good plan and a strong understanding of what we would be dealing with."
Brevard Business Targets Latin American Market
Mainstream Engineering’s president and founder Dr. Robert Scaringe has built a successful, diversified corporation offering research and development project work; military, commercial and retail products; professional engineering services and lean manufacturing. When he wanted to take his solutions global, he turned to the FSBDC's International Trade Services team for assistance revising the company's Export Marketing Plan.
The company accessed data that would have been extremely costly to obtain without FSBDC’s services, including market size, competitive information and other international marketing metrics to identify sound economics and what countries made sense, even adding countries that Mainstream’s team hadn’t considered. "The Export Marketing Plan told us what we needed to know," said Scaringe. "How big the markets are, which countries are growing, which countries aren’t, where it’s safe to do business and where it’s not."
Florida Small Business Person of the Year Expands Overseas
Carol Craig is CEO of Craig Technologies, an engineering, technology and manufacturing business that she founded in 1999 and has built into a company with approximately 430 employees and $40 million in revenues. Over the past 15 years, as the company’s reputation for delivering high-quality products and exceptional customer service has grown, Carol has reinvested profits that enabled the company to add product lines and divisions – all based on Craig Technologies’ ability to support projects from concept to real-world application with end-users in mind.
Backed by a desire to expand, Craig Technologies also partnered with the FSBDC, supported by Enterprise Florida, to develop an international marketing strategy that targeted foreign markets, and recommended market entry strategies and opportunities for identifying trading partners. "The plan gives a really good basis and foundation for our global push," Carol says. "We can now go to the international markets with confidence and be far more competitive."
Melbourne Stone Company Partners Long-Term with the FSBDC
In December of 1997, Jim and Penny Martin, Mike Martin, Howard and Sue Rothman, and John and Mary Bonenberger founded Holy Land Stone Company, LLC - a business that produces authentic products made from imported Jerusalem stone and markets them to retail stores, hospital gift shops, funeral homes, cemeteries, long-term care facilities, hospice organizations, QVC, churches and online stores.
After struggling through the first years of business, the company turned to the FSBDC in Melbourne, who offered them expert guidance with regard to marketing, sales and financial capital needs. As Penny Martin explains, “This relationship with the SBDC has continued throughout the years and has proven to be a significant resource. In addition to the direction gained through SBDC-sponsored training events, the networking opportunities available to small businesses are invaluable."