Florida SBDC

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem, left, talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson. LINDA GONZALEZ

BY KATIE MULDOON

What began as a simple inquiry regarding attracting and acquiring government contracts has quickly grown into a high-value business model for Kimberly Amsalem and her company, Graphic Designs International.

Founded in 1994, Amsalem acquired the Stuart-based company in 2019. It specializes in creating and installing high-profile and dynamic fleet graphics for first responder vehicles, including police and sheriff, ambulances, aviation units, fire trucks and private security. Amsalem has since expanded the business nationally and become certified as a Women Owned Business and Women in Business Enterprise.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Marketing Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

Under Amsalem’s leadership, GDI has become the premier emergency responder vehicle graphics company in the United States, dedicated to assisting police departments and local municipalities in creating effective, budget-friendly graphics for their fleets.

Originally seeking to expand the organization’s sales and national presence, Amsalem contacted the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, specifically the center’s Procurement and Technical Assistance Center [PTAC] government contracting specialist, Scotty Wilson.

With assistance and guidance from Wilson, GDI has developed a national business strategy that includes the creation of a Bid Match account and profile. Bid Match is a high-value government contracting tool provided by America’s PTAC and the Florida SBDC at IRSC that pulls local, state and federal contracts together for client review and potential response.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Since creating its profile, GDI has been awarded numerous contracts from first responder organizations from across the country resulting in business and revenue expansion.

Beyond winning bids, Wilson and Amsalem are working to acquire a second Women Owned Small Business Certification from the State of New York. Amsalem also is planning to hire a few more employees to enhance productivity and delivery times.

“I don’t know where I would be without Scotty; he has been my advocate. I feel like I have an assistant,” Amsalem said. “He is helping me to get in several different states and get on their approved vendor list.”

You can learn more about Graphic Designs International by visiting www.gdigraphics.com or calling 800.344.6853.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Ready to grow your business? Contact your local center at [email protected] or call 336.6285.

About the FSBDC at IRSC
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College is a part of the Florida SBDC Network, which provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as the provider of small business assistance, the network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West. Since 1976, its partners have helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support and success of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators. It is funded in part by the Small Business Administration, the Defense Logistics Agency, the State of Florida and other private and public partners with the University of West Florida serving as its designated lead host institution. It is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

BY KATIE MULDOON

The Florida Small Business Development Center, hosted at Indian River State College, recognizes the top priority for small business owners is to run the business. Dedicating time to attend business training and professional development education is an almost impossible task for small business owners.

However, significant benefits and opportunities can and do exist for those who participate in continuing business education. Regular participation in business training programs can provide critical and valuable information to owners seeking to grow and expand their businesses and revenues.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Administrative & Outreach Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.  

The FSBDC at IRSC provides high-value training programs throughout the year that focus on vital business issues including social media marketing and financial management. The center also offers Start-Smart, a class for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Attending business training programs is tough — but what’s not tough about owning a small business. The question is: What would you do to potentially grow revenues and earn more profit?

Here are some of FSBDC’s training opportunities:

DIGITAL MARKETING BOOT CAMP
This three-day program is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing students, managers, and others seeking to strengthen their digital marketing presence, effectiveness and strategy. The focus will be on creating a positive digital presence on social media and establishing a digital marketing strategy. Some of the subjects to be discussed include:

Leanna Haag

Leanna Haag, FSBDC digital media consultant.

• What a buyer’s persona is and how one can be created for a service or product
• Drafting a marketing plan
• Implementing your marketing plan on social media
• Defining your target market
• Tailoring your marketing message
• Creating a call to action

Conducting the class will be Leanna Haag, an FSBDC digital media consultant. Haag, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Central Florida, has acquired years of marketing experience working for corporations to develop and execute tactical marketing plans at the regional and national level.

Haag launched her digital media company, See Level Marketing, in 2009 to assist regional businesses in managing their online presence. She has worked with all types of businesses, including local governments, to improve their search engine ranking with website development and search engine optimization, internet advertising, email marketing, online directories and development of tactical internet marketing plans. She recently accepted the digital media consultant position to help local businesses begin the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PROFIT MASTERY
The financial management training program is the Profit Mastery course. This 16-hour course offers the participant high-level training to better understand and manage their business financials.

Partnering with multiple local lenders, the FSBDC at IRSC has scholarships to cover the $499 course cost. Business owners who attend are encouraged to include their bookkeepers, payroll execs, managers, and others who may benefit from strengthening their financial management skills.

Steve LeFever, founder and chairman of Profit, is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

The programs are led by veteran business consultants possessing extensive knowledge of financial management. Consultants Frank Fink of Vero Beach, Michael Bernard of Port St. Lucie and Clifton Vaughn of Fort Pierce coordinate classes across the Treasure Coast with programs planned in every county throughout the remainder of the year.

START SMART ORIENTATION
Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners are encouraged to participate in monthly Start Smart Orientation programs. This two-hour workshop provides a fundamental overview of what it takes to start a business in Florida. It is designed for potential entrepreneurs in the pre-venture or startup phase of establishing a new business. It is the first step in your journey toward reaching your business goals with the guidance and resources that are available through the FSBDC at IRSC.

To register contact your local FSBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call 772.336.6285.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

Interruption of supply chain is painful for companies and consumers

Interruption of supply chain is painful for companies and consumers

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

If your small business is experiencing supply chain interruptions, you are not alone. Not a week goes by that I don’t hear about another small business experiencing supply chain issues.

Throughout the Treasure Coast, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with their clients’ demands. One in particular has been put on a wait list for more than15 months as it waits for a key component [truck chassis] for the equipment it manufactures.

Duane Reiff

Duane Reiff is president of Global Source International Inc., where he provides outsourced VP of sales consulting to small and medium companies. He also serves as a manufacturing specialist for the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, where he helps with the Treasure Coast Manufacturers Association. Reiff is a successful international business leader with more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing and service markets. He has traveled to more than 45 countries and understands the complex global marketplace. As an outsourced VP of sales, he implements highly effective sales strategies and executes sales plans to help companies achieve profitable, sustainable revenue growth.

These wait times are creating many problems including cash flow, productivity, long lead times, lower margins and loss of business.

SURVEY SAYS
According to a recent Federal Reserve survey of 1,104 CFOs across 14 sectors, small businesses have lots of company. Among large and small businesses, nearly 90% said they face extraordinary cost increases because of supply constraints with more than 60% expecting the trend to persist at least into the fourth quarter of next year.

Companies are dealing with higher prices by reducing profit margins, cutting costs, substituting or eliminating products, adding contingency clauses to contracts and turning down work, according to the survey by the Fed district banks of Richmond and Atlanta and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

They are also diversifying supply chains, attempting to increase inventories, switching to suppliers closer to the U.S. and moving products by air instead of by ship. Still, according to economists, those adjustments “will likely increase the cost of production over a longer period of time.”

Supply chain issues are weighing on sales, with 55% of the CFOs reporting lost or delayed sales equivalent to an average of about 5% of 2021 sales revenue, according to the survey. Smaller companies reported an average 7% reduction in sales revenue.

Seven out of 10 companies are struggling with supply constraints that are increasing costs, delaying production and shipping, and impairing efforts to meet demand, the survey found.

“After squeezing profit margins, the only place these pressures can go is into higher selling prices,” economists wrote.

WAITING GAME
So, what are small businesses doing about it?

Some are trying to wait it out. They are also looking beyond their usual channels to find relief. When companies are able to get supplies, they are likely paying more and they either absorb the added cost or pass on the cost to consumers. Some businesses have started adding supply chain surcharges to the bill.

“What has worked for the last 20 years, will not work for the next 10,” said Duane Reiff, president of Global Source International Inc. and a manufacturing specialist with the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

“Companies need to be innovative and look at other options through this global supply chain breakdown. Companies can look for other manufacturers in their geographical area to help in the production or supply of key components and they could possibly source another option for the manufacturing needs they require to fulfill customer orders.”

The good news: Price increases due to the supply chain are likely temporary. But how long is temporary?

“Many companies have not passed on all of their direct and indirect increased costs and are settling for a lower margin,” Reiff said. “Companies need to keep a close eye on their costs and pass on as much as possible to their clients to preserve their own margins. This will help in their cash flow situation.

“This supply chain breakdown will eventually be corrected, but the strong and innovative companies will flourish and come out on the other side with increased market share and profitability.”

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program

 

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) will hold another round of Financial Training, formally known as Profit Mastery, on the IRSC Blackburn Campus in Fort Pierce starting Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 6:00 P.M. EST.

This is an eight-week program offered to the public at no cost to participants. Local lenders have graciously partnered with the Florida SBDC Network to scholarship financial training and management across the Treasure Coast region. Valued at $499, the Florida SBDC at IRSC is encouraging business owners to register not only themselves but their bookkeepers, payroll execs, and others who may benefit from strengthening their budgetary knowledge.

Business owners, key managers, entrepreneurs, business advisors and others whose decisions have an impact on a company’s financial performance should consider participating. The Profit Mastery program is designed to enhance the financial management skills of all business managers.

To register please email [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285

Steve LeFever, Founder, and Chairman of Profit Mastery is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

Sessions held in Fort Pierce by the FSBDC at IRSC are facilitated by business analyst, Clifton Vaughn. Vaughn is a Graduate of Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, and the St. Thomas University has over 40 years of business experience working in South Florida as an auditor, financial controller, financial planner, and small business owner and operator. During his years as a business professional he spent time in the airline industry, construction, consulting with small business owners, and teaching business and accounting courses at Johnson & Wales and St. Thomas Universities. Clifton has served on the Boards of Directors of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the Miami-Dade Partnership for the Homeless.

To learn more about the program itself please visit www.profitmastery.net To register or inquire about future sessions in other counties, contact your Florida SBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285.

 

 

Profit Mastery Training Program

Jan. 10, 2022|

Tips for Managing Cash Flow

Tips for Managing Cash Flow

 

Michael Bernard

What’s the No. 1 reason small businesses fail? Cash flow, not lack of profits.
About 80% of small business failures happen because of poor cash-flow
management.

Mike Bernard, a consultant at the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College and a financial specialist, says he hears it all the time from his clients: “My business made a profit last year, but I don’t have any money to pay my bills.” Bernard notes that many of his clients have sizable sums of their operating cash tied up in Accounts Receivable or Inventory.

 

Remember, cash flow is not the same as Profit. Are you profitable but still struggling month to month in managing cash flow? You are not alone. Managing when money enters and exits a company is crucial to
business survival and growth.

Bernard, a Financial Analyst, stated, “A lot of businesses can sell their products, but they don’t understand their working capital cycle. A company, as we teach in our Profit Mastery seminars, can sell itself right out of business.” As businesses continue to grow, they must control their cash flow. For example, business owners get excited when they get a government contract. However, they need to understand the specific terms attached, like not being paid for 60 to 90 days. Meanwhile, you have to buy inventory and pay your fixed overhead
expenses. Can you sustain that?  If you cannot and do not get additional capital, sometimes it is better not to pursue the contract. What else can you do so your business does not become a statistic? The first and perhaps most important is to set aside time in your week to think about your strategy and try to understand your financial information. Small businesses are so much into day-to-day operations that they do not think enough about the cash flow cycle. You have to be constantly vigilant about looking
for ways to improve your cash flow. It is the lifeblood of your business.

“A business owner needs to regularly review and analyze the business’ financial statements and working capital cycle,” said Bernard. “Is this the best you can do, or are there additional strategies and tactics to generate and improve cash flow?” Bernard also notes, a thorough review of the business’ payables and receivables can uncover opportunities to shorten the operating cycle.

A Few More Ideas:
- Every industry has its own set of Metrics. The FSBDC at IRSC has a database of
these metrics to help you analyze how you are doing compared to your industry.

- Make it a daily routine to review the business’ actual daily cash balance.

- As you recognize potential cash flow problems, create strategies that correct the
problems.

- Accounts Receivable: Consider granting discounts for prompt payment. Such as 2 – 10 Net
30 (2% discount if paid in 10 days, or full payment in 30 days). Also, ensure that your terms are not too long and that your receivables are quality accounts to keep delinquencies down.

- Accounts Payable: Be careful on the payables side, also. Buying inventory that does not move becomes stale and then obsolete.  In addition, this time, you want terms on your side – as long as possible to pay and negotiate
volume discounts.

- Inventory: Compare inventory turn rate to the industry average (Metrics) to see how you compare. Remember, inventory that does not turn fast enough is money left on the shelf that could be in your pocket. Have a sale for slow-moving inventories or donate it to a non-profit for a tax write-off, and negotiate just-in-time contracts so that you can
keep as little inventory on hand as possible.

- To increase cash flow from sales growth, open newer, less costly distribution
channels, increase prices where you can and introduce new technology to help
reduce sales costs.

- Spend and collect with care.  Watch overhead costs, always negotiate on price.
Give credit very carefully but collect very aggressively.

This article is provided by the Florida SBDC at IRSC, the small business development Center within Indian River State College’s School of Business. The center’s team of business experts works one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners each year by providing confidential, no-cost consulting. The center’s mission is to help treasure Coast businesses grow and succeed.

Jan. 10, 2022|

SBDC network urges business owners to have a plan to deal with hurricane damage

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, urges small business owners to prepare for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and extends through November.
Jul. 19, 2021|

Experienced manufacturing specialist joins SBDC consulting team

Manufacturing specialist Duane Reiff is the newest member of an expanded business consulting team at the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
Jul. 12, 2021|

SBDC, Rubio to host virtual conference to help owners navigate pandemic challenges

May 18-19 — A no-cost event hosted by the Florida Small Business Development Center [SBDC] Network and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Apr. 30, 2021|

Qualifying requirements outlined for second round of Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

Update Jan. 20: The Economic Aid Act, signed Dec. 27, includes additional funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This article includes information about the targeted EIDL grant application process provided by the Small Business Administration.
Feb. 24, 2021|

Tips to help working from home be a success for management and employees

Is remote work here to stay? The jury is still out on what the post-COVID world will be like, but some workers already are asking for a permanent work from home policy, or at least the flexibility of a hybrid office-home situation.
Feb. 24, 2021|