Navarro College SBDC Success Stories

A Right Way Window Cleaners

Having grown up in Fairfield, Carrie and Mark Herron wanted to move back to raise their son in a smaller community and be closer to family and friends. In order to do just that, Carrie decided to purchase the business, A Right Way Windows, in March 2012. Her husband, Mark, is both the sales person marketing the business and the technician providing the services. Carrie came to the SBDC shortly after acquiring the business as she was working through the various issues related to owning a business. Carrie had questions about workman’s compensation, sales tax collection, recordkeeping and marketing. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, was able to assist her by providing resources necessary to obtain the answers she needed.

When Carrie realized she needed QuickBooks training, Amy made training videos available to her. In addition, Amy was able to give more personalized, focused training concerning how Carrie’s business could utilize the benefits of QuickBooks. With the training offered, Carrie was able to expand her use of QuickBooks from simply creating customer invoices to paying employees and maintaining her checking account records. Carrie expressed, “The training videos helped me feel confident about using QuickBooks and that keeps our business going on the right track.”

As time went on, Carrie realized that the business needed marketing support. Amy and Carrie worked together utilizing a database to find potential customers for Carrie to send out a mailer. They discussed the use of coupons and other marketing ideas to draw customers to respond to the mailer. Amy explained the services offered by the United States Postal Service that could also assist her in this endeavor. Utilizing the list of potential customers and the USPS services, Carrie successfully completed a marketing campaign and obtained several new and repeat customers to her window cleaning business.

Over the last year, revenue has doubled, and she has hired another full time technician which allows Mark more time to market the business. They have even expanded their services to include painting and deck restoration as needed.

Accessories Etc

Mary Small and her husband, John Gordon Small, purchased an existing gift shop in 2001 during her last year as a school teacher. They shifted the focus from inventory reflective of a typical small-scale gift shop to a focus on higher end dinnerware, kitchenware and linens. In addition, Mary offers several kinds of gift registries to her customers which include wedding, baby and graduation registries. Mary initially came to the SBDC in January of 2011 as she was working through issues related to small business ownership. Since that time, Mary has received advice in many areas of operating her business that include marketing, e-commerce, finance management and loan assistance.

A year and a half ago, Mary purchased and began using QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) to maintain inventory and track sales. Although the system seemed to be relatively easy to set up, add inventory and document sales, syncing it with her QuickBooks financial software proved to be a greater challenge. Mary again contacted the SBDC for assistance. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, helped Mary identify inconsistences in the company’s financial statements that could be tracked back to the POS. In addition, Amy has encouraged Mary to expand her use of POS by tracking the various gift registries within it, so that her inventory and sales are reflected more accurately.

With her POS in place, Mary recognized the need and opportunity to purchase new inventory and improve sales during the seasonal lulls of her business. Instead of adding new debt, Amy explained to Mary how she could obtain a loan that would consolidate the debt she had and provide her with the available cash needed to purchase new inventory. After attending a meeting with Mary and her loan officer, Amy was able to assist Mary in providing the bank with the necessary documents to obtain the loan. Mary expressed, “Amy’s suggestion to take this approach gave me freedom to make more effective business decisions concerning my inventory. It has taken a big weight off my shoulders.”
Mary continues to utilize the SBDC as a necessary resource for small business ownership.

Angelita Vineyard and Winery

If you’re headed south on I-45, be sure to take exit 225 just outside of Corsicana where you’re only a couple of miles away from Angelita Vineyard & Winery. Located on the Cien Fuegos Ranch, Rodney and Beverly Spahn started their vineyard in 2010 with 200 Blanc Du Bois vines. From that first half acre of grapes harvested, they were able to produce 60 gallons of an outstanding wine. By early 2014, Angelita Vineyard covered five acres having more than doubled in size with the addition of another 1600 Blanc Du Bois and 200 Ruby Cabernet vines.

With the success of the vineyard, which was named after Rodney’s mother, Angelita, the couple opened an onsite winery in June of 2014. Designed and built by Beverly and Rodney, the winery had always been part of their vision. While neither of them had prior experience in operating a winery, their success with the vineyard had taught them that careful planning, education and an eye for detail would reduce a lot of the risk in staring a new business. Although both still have professional careers in the airline industry where Rodney is a commercial pilot and Beverly a head flight attendant, they made the time to attend training events that included the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association – Grape Camp, which is a two-day event filled with educational sessions and vendor demonstrations focused on Texas grape growers.

From the challenges they had encountered starting and growing the vineyard, they knew the Navarro College SBDC was a great resource for assisting them with issues related to state and local licensing and name registration. Beverly stated, “When we needed to find out who to contact for trade name registration, licensing or filing permits, the SBDC either had the information or quickly found it.”

After the successful soft opening in June, Angelita Vinyard & Winery had its official grand opening on July 19, which included a ribbon cutting with the Corsicana & Navarro County Chamber of Commerce and was a well-attended, all-day event. The winery is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 8 p.m., with scheduled monthly entertainment such as live music, holiday and seasonal events, and a new wine introduced in the tasting room every quarter.

Ballard Company

Located on South 75 in Fairfield, you cannot miss the newly remodeled office and retail space for Ballard Company. What once was a run-down building has a fresh face and new life thanks to the Ballard’s vision. They purchased the new facility in late 2012 and moved the office out of their home and into the new space. The building also has room for various parts and equipment to be sold on a retail basis, as well as a large area for inventory.

Having owned a HVAC business on and off for years, Elmer and Patti Ballard moved back to Fairfield in 2006 and started it up again. The family-run business also employs their son and his wife (Phillip and Bekah). Bekah now handles the bookkeeping and runs the office.

In February of 2013, Bekah contacted Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, at the SBDC for QuickBooks training. Mr. Ballard wanted Bekah to utilize QuickBooks for inventory as well as invoicing and payroll. Before, they had only used the software for posting checkbook data. Over a period of time, Bekah became proficient in handling the various functions QuickBooks offers for a business such as theirs. She can run reports and research customer history easily and efficiently as she has become comfortable with the software. Bekah says, “With Amy’s help and training, I work confidently in QuickBooks and know that she is a phone call away if I have questions.”

Bekah contacts the SBDC whenever she has problems that she needs help with. Amy follows up with her occasionally to see if there are any current concerns.

Ballard Company continues to be a thriving small business. They are widely known in the community as a business that cares about their customers and takes pride in meeting their customer’s needs.

Blown Away

Blown Away was established in August of 2015 and in one short year has become one of the most successful and well known salons in the community. The salon is located in the historic downtown area of Corsicana and attracts clients from all over Navarro County. Daniel Short has worked with Catrina Washburn from day one guiding her on the path to success.

Catrina reached out to the Navarro SBDC for help with accounting, type of business structure, marketing and managing a business. Daniel has made sure that Catrina had the tools she needed to establish a successful salon and grow to employ 7.5 employees in one year. The Navarro College SBDC guided the client through the process of adding partners to the salon and assisting with accounting and marketing. Catrina has utilized her location and a shabby chic decoration theme to appeal to the tastes of the local clientele. It is clear that Blown Away has taken advantage of timing when it comes to the resurgence of downtown Corsicana. Establishing strong roots early should pay dividends for Blown Away in the long run.

Daniel will continue to work with Catrina to make sure that the business stays on track with financial, accounting and marketing advice.

Britton Meter Supply Inc.

Britton Meter Supply was incorporated in 2004 with the stock owned solely by Mary Beth Britton. Beth’s husband established the business by going door to door and selling water meter equipment. The business has grown to be very successful and was originally established as a sole proprietorship and with thoughts of the future in mind, the business was incorporated and ownership given to Beth due to her husband’s health problems. Beth’s husband and only son passed away in 2014 leaving Beth to run the business with the help of her daughter-in-law and grandson. Mary has risen to the occasion and has remained a solid, successful business owner.

Beth was referred to the SBDC by the Red Oak Economic Director as Beth was considering expanding the business. In addition, she was interested in becoming a Certified Woman Owned Business and wanted to attract Government Contracting.

Director Leslie Leerskov along with Donna Watts, Dallas SBDC Government Contracting, worked closely with Beth to assist her with updating her SAM and Cage Accounts. In addition, the SBDC advisors assisted Beth with completing the application for a Woman Owned Business (WOSB) which was approved in September 2016. Beth has also completed her HUB application and will be reviewing government contracts in the near future.

Beth Britton has also purchased the additional land needed for expansion and has begun the process of clearing the land and will be installing a fence soon. The Navarro SBDC will continue to work with the client and assist with her expansion of the business and her entry into the world of government contracting.

Britton Meter Supply is a family fun business and the Navarro SBDC has enjoyed joining the family and assisting Mary as she reaches all of her goals.

Call 4 Computers, LLC

Rodney and Julie Norton own and operate Call 4 Computers, LLC which began in Streetman in 2002. Eventually, they moved the business to Main Street in Fairfield. They provide various kinds of computer and technical support for businesses and individuals. They are widely respected and handle a heavy work load in the community. Recently, they have hired their son to work for them as well.

Julie contacted the Navarro SBDC in December 2015 because she was aware of the QuickBooks support that the local business advisor, Amy Freeman provided. Julie was concerned that it would be necessary to create a new company file in QuickBooks, because of the numerous errors that had been made in the company file over the years. The bank account was not able to be reconciled and credit cards were not being tracked in the company file. After reviewing the company file and discussing their needs, Amy encouraged Julie to be prepared to create a new company file at the beginning of 2016.

During visits with Julie in January and February 2016, Amy was able to assist them in creating a new company file, connecting the file to their bank and credit card accounts for easier data entry of their accounting transactions. With Amy’s support, they were able to begin new processes and procedures for handling orders and tracking purchases, so they connect correctly to the appropriate bank or credit card transaction.

Julie has been able to successfully reconcile the bank statements each month, maintain the customer files and keep up with deposits in a timely and accurate manner. Reports are produced without effort, and tax records are prepared efficiently.

Julie stated, “Amy’s help has been invaluable. I am so thankful that I contacted her. There is no way that I could have done this without her. Things run so much more efficiently now.”

Amy will continue to provide support as needed for the Norton’s as they seek to streamline their bookkeeping practices and keep up with the heavy work load.

Centex Citizens Credit Union

Janis Massey, CEO of Centex Citizens Credit Union, reached out to the Navarro SBDC needing help with the expansion of the Credit Union to Corsicana. Janis found out about the services of the SBDC when she hired Debbie Wilson to manage the branch in Corsicana. Debbie and the Director Leslie Leerskov work closely together at the Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce. Both Debbie and Janis attended the luncheon “How to Grow Your Small Business” and booked their first appointment with the Navarro SBDC in July of 2015.

Centex Citizens Credit Union’s slogan is “People helping people” and they have been helping people at the Mexia location since 1954. Janis approached the board about expanding to the Corsicana area and the board approved the expansion. When Janis first met with the SBDC, she was seeking help with a strategic plan for the expansion that would include marketing, customer service training for employees and assistance with locating bi-lingual employees.

SBDC Director Leslie Leerskov, with the help of Debbie Wilson, quickly went to work on creating a Facebook account and planning the Every Door Direct Mail Out over three phases. Debbie and Janis both wanted to focus the marketing campaign toward low to moderate individuals. In addition to promoting the slogan, they want to brand the credit union as a “not for profit, not for charity, but for service” credit union. The SBDC pulled demographic reports and located the areas of concentration that the Credit Union wanted to focus on and overlaid them with mail routes via USPS website. The creation of the postcards with the correct EDD logo and size was challenging but something that Debbie and Leslie worked on together for a very successful marketing campaign. After the campaign, Janis and Debbie said that the “Greatest asset of Navarro County SBDC is the Director Leslie Leerskov: Ready at a drop of the hat! Whatever we are, whatever we need – Leslie Leerskov is there to assist. Great ideas, motivated, energetic, optimistic, can do attitude!”

The Navarro SBDC continues to assist the credit union with marking the credit union and also in attracting bi-lingual employees. Centex Citizens Credit Union was selected as Best Credit Union by the Corsicana Daily Sun in the Best of the Best Contest!

Cinergy Cinemas

Consider it a “picture perfect” fit for Corsicana, Texas. Cinergy Cinemas, a hybrid cinema eatery and family entertainment center, features eight giant-sized theatres with state-of-the-art technology and stadium-style seating. In addition to restaurant quality food and beverages, the complex includes mini-bowling and 7,000 sq. ft. of video and interactive arcade games. If all that isn’t enough, there is also the “Cinergy Speedway”, a 14 kart go kart track, as well as a custom-designed 18-hole mini-golf course and shooting gallery game called the Hillbilly Shootout.

Cinergy Cinemas is owned by successful entrepreneurs, Jeff and Jamie Benson. The Bensons used their vast operational knowledge of both traditional cinemas as well as movie grills when creating the Cinergy Cinemas concept. In June 2009, they opened their first Cinergy Cinema in Copperas Cove. Based on its success, they decided to expand and contacted Lee McCleary, Economic Development Director for Corsicana, to discuss the opportunity of locating in Corsicana.

From surveys and needs analyses of Navarro County, Mr. McCleary knew that there was an unmet demand for family entertainment. To confirm market research reports on the potential draw from surrounding counties, he recommended that Jeff contact Robin Lasher, Director of the Navarro College SBDC. Ms. Lasher provided detailed demographic information in addition to relevant industry and financial benchmarking reports that assisted Jeffrey in further analyzing the potential and continued success of locating the theater in Corsicana. Jeff stated, “The information was very useful in confirming the area demand for the hybrid concept. Cinergy Cinemas are the first-of-its-kind in this hybrid class of cinema eateries/family entertainment centers with market analysis indicating that we will draw from as far away as 30 miles.”

The project, funded through an SBA 504 loan and Community National Bank & Trust of Corsicana, will create up to 50 jobs. The Bensons believe hybrid cinemas will become very popular around the country now that they have proven the concept is successful. There won’t be any reason to drive to any other theatre besides Cinergy Cinemas in Corsicana. As Jeff and Jamie say, “Eat, Drink & be Movied!”

Cothran Ag Services

Wade and Lisa Cothran began Cothran Ag Services in 2006 and originally provided one service which was planting Trifton 85 Grass which is better for feeding cattle. Their first customers were friends and associates from the Big Brown Mine. The business gradually branched out into pipeline maintenance and employs 15 full time and 3 part-time employees. They run the business from an office in the barn on their ranch.

Lisa contacted the Navarro SBDC in December 2015 because another client had encouraged her to contact the SBDC for QuickBooks support. After Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, reviewed their QuickBooks Company File and learned about the way that the business utilizes the software, it became clear that too many errors had been made in the company file for them to reconcile the bank statements or even produce accurate reports from the software.

During several visits with Lisa in January and February 2016, Amy was able to assist her in creating a new company file and adding in any old customer balances. With Amy’s support, she has been able to successfully reconcile the bank statements each month, maintain the customer files and keep up with deposits in a timely and accurate manner.

In April, they were able to obtain a Line of Credit utilizing a CD as collateral and obtained a loan for a major piece of equipment for the business. Although the business still continues to feel the negative impacts of the down turn in the oil and gas industry, they are working to expand their business services by offering pest control services in the near future.

Lisa stated, “Amy has been an angel sent. We couldn’t have made it without her. She has been a great resource for assistance.”

In the future, Amy will continue to provide support and resources to Wade and Lisa as they seek to increase sales and make their bookkeeping practices more efficient.

Cotton Kisses Boutique, LLC

Raquel Glicksman established ​Cotton Kisses Boutique in January of 2015 as an online boutique which now has a storefront located in downtown Corsicana. The boutique has been a dream of Raquel’s since she was a young girl and Leslie Leerskov – Director of Navarro SBDC, assisted her on making her dream come true. The boutique was originally established as a partnership which was dissolved in March of 2015. The SBDC assisted Raquel as she navigated the SOS Direct Website and completed the necessary paperwork needed to change the LLC to a single member.

The SBDC was instrumental with assisting the client in regard to establishing a budget, a bookkeeping system, a POS system and marketing. Raquel attended the Navarro SBDC Luncheon “How to Grow Your Small Business and she is bursting at the seams. The boutique has expanded over the past months utilizing all of the space on both floors within the building. The boutique has become one of the established fashion destinations in Corsicana and on Instagram mailing items across the United States. Owner Raquel Glicksman expressed her gratitude to the Navarro SBDC stating, “Thank you so much to the Navarro College SBDC for helping me open Cotton Kisses Boutique. My success is due to the continuous help and support from Leslie and the SBDC team. Every small business owner needs to utilize this great, free service”.

Cotton Kisses provides clothing, jewelry and shoes for women. Raquel tries to make sure that the products that she sells are not sold at any of the other local clothing stores. Both Raquel and Keenya Brown, sales, are ready to completely outfit a lady with not only clothes, but accessories’ as well. Cotton Kisses was awarded two Best of Best Ribbons from the Corsicana Daily Sun Contest, one for Best Boutique and one for Best Women’s Wear.

Fairfield Chamber of Commerce

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is a very active force in the small, rural community located in Freestone County. From the Annual Show of Wheels in September, the Harlem Ambassador Event in February or the Eggstravaganza in the spring, the Chamber purposefully works to enhance the colorfulness of the community. These activities regularly hosted by the Chamber promote small businesses in Fairfield. Brenda Pate, the Executive Director for the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, originally came to the Navarro SBDC in 2012 for QuickBooks training and support. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, has provided QuickBooks direction consistently over the last four years.

In the summer of 2015, Brenda began talking with Amy about obtaining a loan to repair the log cabin style building the Chamber owns. They discussed how much that would cost and considered other areas of improvement that could be included in the loan such as new flooring and lighting in the board room. Amy explained that it would be a good idea to refinance the remaining balance on the commercial loan that the Chamber presently had on the building at the same time. Amy demonstrated for Brenda how to utilize an amortization calculator to determine her payments. In future appointments, discussion was had about obtaining enough money to upgrade the signage outside to a modern, electric sign.

When two local banks came back with offers, Amy assisted Brenda in comparing the opportunities, so that Brenda could present them to the board. Ultimately, the board was able to obtain a $61,000 loan. The Chamber remodeled the board room, obtained the electric LED sign, repaired the log cabin exterior and refinanced the original note.

Brenda stated, “Through Amy’s knowledge, I have been able to grow and gain confidence in the financial aspect of this position. Small business Chamber membership has been retained and expanded through the ideas that have been discussed between Amy and me. Through brainstorming efforts with Amy, the Chamber has started activities such as the Surprise Patrol, Cash Mob and Morning Joe. We have developed a great friendship.”

Amy will continue to provide resources for Brenda as the Chamber expands its influence in the community.

Fairfield Homes & Land

As you exit off of I-45 and go west on Highway 84, you will see the sprawling business of Fairfield Homes and Land on the left. With an impressive number of manufactured homes on-site to choose from, interested buyers will find great customer service and knowledgeable staff ready to assist them with their decision making. Dwayne Somerville and Jay Welch purchased Fairfield Homes & Land in October 2012. They offer manufactured homes built to the purchaser’s specifications or homes ready to deliver available on-site. An impressive show room allows shoppers the opportunity to experience the many choices available to them in purchasing a modern manufactured home.

In January 2013, Dwayne approached Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, with the SBDC. As an owner of a newly acquired business, his goals were to increase traffic flow from outlying communities and attract more qualified buyers. Amy analyzed his current website which was more like an on-line brochure and provided several suggestions and observations about the site. Amy encouraged him to adjust the site to become a lead generating site with opportunities to obtain new customer data.

Currently, the business’s website offers numerous floor plans for on-line shoppers to analyze as they make their decision. Professional photos and an easy to use website design allow shoppers to get a realistic vision for their new home as they reflect on their choices. The information found on the site is update to date as they revise it weekly. The website offers buyers the opportunity to educate themselves as they make their buying decision. A brief form on the “Contact Us” page allows the business to capture new customer data from interested shoppers.

Since their initial meeting, the SBDC has assisted Dwayne in examining his financial position and analyzing his cash flow. With this review, Dwayne was able to obtain a loan to purchase the land and building as well as expand the business to include RV parts and service all on the same property. Dwayne said, “The SBDC’s insight into my financial position provided me with an invaluable understanding of how to take my business to the next level.”

Frazier & Frazier Industries, Inc

Located in Coolidge, Texas, Frazier & Frazier Industries, Inc. is an ISO certified gray and ductile foundry established in 1972. As the economy began to collapse, the company was trying to secure funding, but the outlook was bleak. Foundries nationwide had closed as a result of the recession and foreign competition, but Charles Frazier, the company’s President, was determined to keep his doors open. In addition to the close community ties it had established over the past 37 years, the company was a major employer in Coolidge and Limestone County.
The thought of laying off 300 employees was not an acceptable option.

Mr. Frazier contacted Congressman Chet Edwards to discuss the possibilities of securing a government guaranteed loan. During a meeting with Congressman Edwards, he was referred to the Navarro College SBDC in Corsicana, Texas. Robin Lasher, SBDC director, met with Mr. Frazier and recommended the company consider a 504 SBA loan. However, it was later determined that the company should pursue a USDA loan.

To qualify and be approved, the company completed a very thorough and rigorous application based on a point system that included a background check of Mr. Frazier’s personal, military records and prior business experience. Along with his personal guarantee and considerable
personal assets that were required as collateral, he was also required to demonstrate the company’s capability to repay the loan, viability of markets and technical expertise that confirmed both competent leadership and management. Mr. Frazier explained, “It’s not about accumulating a bunch of points. To secure a government guaranteed loan requires a lot of documentation, and you must know everything about your business, especially the financials.” He also stated, “This was no cakewalk, and we appreciate the support and help of the SBDC.”

Frazier & Frazier was successful in securing the USDA loan and saving 300 jobs while also assuring the viability of the small rural community that relies on this company. The estimated economic impact of payroll, supplies and purchases re-circulating in the local economy is projected to reach $150 million a year, impacting several counties.

Hood Service Company Air Conditioning

Keith Tyrone Hood established his business in November of 2015 as a sole proprietorship. He quickly started growing and knew that he would need to establish an LLC to bid on the large contract jobs. Tyrone saw the Navarro SBDC sign and came in to seek assistance with changing to a Limited Liability Corporation. Tyrone noted that the “Navarro SBDC team quickly and efficiently assisted me navigating the SOS Direct website and changing the ownership structure of my business with ease and provided all of the services that I needed for free! The SBDC team is awesome and a much needed service for business owners in our community!”

The SBDC team has assisted Tyrone with his application and also with establishing his accounting system utilizing QuickBooks. In addition, Leslie has worked closely with Tyrone to market his business via Facebook and videos to show how he assist his customers. Tyrone consistently utilizes Facebook with his videos, ads and pictures that are quickly gaining the attention of all Navarro County residents.

The business has been awarded the contract for the hospital located in Corsicana and the business has grown from 1 to 3 full time employees. He has also purchased one additional vehicle to help meet the demands of his customers. In addition to installing and repairing air conditioning, Tyrone recently received his PAC Certification and is authorized to clean commercial exhaust systems.

Tyrone has many years’ experience in the Air Conditioning business and is looking forward to doing things his way as he expands his family oriented business.

iMow Texas

Sara and Joni Nevill came to the Navarro SBDC interested in opening an Asian, women-owned lawn care business. They specifically wanted to know about HUB programs and government contracting opportunities. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, answered their questions regarding LLCs versus sole proprietorships as well as directed them to the Texas Comptroller’s website to learn about sales tax requirements for lawn care businesses. Amy encouraged them to register the business name with the county and open a business checking account.

At their next appointment, Sara and Joni had officially started the business and purchased lawn care equipment. They had begun providing lawn care services to a few neighbors and friends. They discussed several things such as social media marketing for name recognition and looked up HUB and CMBL business lists in Texas utilizing the Texas Comptroller’s website. They immediately began the process to apply as a HUB business and paid to be on the CMBL.

Amy met again with Joni specifically relating to government contracting and provided him with a variety of certification options out of the Dallas Fort Worth Area and e-mailed the capability statement instructions and examples to Joni for them to begin working on together. Amy explained that acquiring local smaller government contracts i.e. school districts or small municipalities would be a way to begin having successes with government contracts without having to go through all of the DFW certification processes.

They have recently been working on a significant bid to do lawn care with the city of Waco. Joni stated, “Amy assistance was helpful in getting on the Centralized Master Bidders List. Amy’s support provided the opportunity for us to receive invitations for four or five dozen bid opportunities we wouldn’t have had otherwise. We see the Navarro SBDC as a valuable resource for our business.”

Amy and the Nevill’s already have plans to continue meeting in the new fiscal year to work on the bid opportunity with the city of Waco and a new contract with the city of Huntsville.

Kwik Kar

Kwik Kar Lube is a household name with a solid reputation in the State of Texas. Kwik Kar provides automobile maintenance services to individuals and businesses alike. Their reputation is that they take quality care of the vehicles being serviced and get the work done quickly. There are many Kwik Kar’s around the state and new locations seem to pop up monthly. This is what attracted John Terminella to start his own Kwik Kar location.

Mr. Terminella came to the SBDC looking to start the oil change business not having any experience in the industry. Business Advisor, Daniel Short, assisted the client in creating a pro forma for the new business in an effort to convince a local bank to lend on the project. After a long six month process, a local bank decided that the loan was too large for them to lend on due to the lack of experience in the industry. Mr. Terminella was referred to another lender that approved the loan within a week of completing the package.

Following the loan approval, John had many issues that needed to be worked through that required the assistance of the SBDC. There were zoning and utility issues that had to be resolved prior to being able to open. We worked hand in hand in making sure that each step was completed appropriately so that John could open his new small business. He stated, “Without the SBDC and Daniel, I would not have been as prepared as I was to open. In addition, there is no possible way we would be producing at the level we are today without the SBDC.”

Mr. Terminella’s Kwik Kar has continually grown in production and revenue and is above breakeven just a year after opening. One of the recommendations made to Mr. Terminella was to set up a management company and lease the space from one business to the other. So, in essence breakeven is actually a profit of the monthly rents collected by the management company. John Terminella continues to use the services of the SBDC and sings the praises of the center to other individuals that he comes in contact with.

Landmark Protective Services

Landmark Protective Services, Inc. is a privately owned corporation that was established in January 2010 and is fully licensed by the Texas Commission on Private Security. Client was referred to Navarro SBDC in February of 2010 from Best Southwest SBDC and the clients have worked closely with the SBDC for the past 6 years. Mr. Kellis started his career in security in 1986 at the age of 18 years old. He became a full time sheriff and worked in law enforcement for several years. In 2002, he saw an opportunity to start a security company to meet the needs of several local businesses in his community. In 2004, he had 2 employees, grew to 13 in the next year in 2005. With this growth, he left his full time job as a sheriff and went to work full time at Landmark Protective Services which has now grown to support 91 employees and the gross revenue has more than doubles.

Landmark Protective Services provide their customers with “Peace of Mind’ by providing qualified security associates with a passion for excellence and a dedication to professionalism. They offer on-site security associates and professional investigation services for our client’s corporate office building, retail centers, multifamily residential developments, medical facilities, manufacturing and warehouse facilities and other commercial properties.

Daniel Short, Business Advisor, worked closely with Landmark Protective Services located in Ellis County to assist the company with an SBA loan in the amount of $250,000. Landmark Protective Services is a security patrol business that services the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Daniel counseled Carolyn Kellis and worked with Veritex Bank to ensure that the loan moved forward and help the owners allocate the funds. This loan enabled the business to retain 83 jobs. In addition, Daniel has worked with Carolyn Kellis on being more efficient financially in the future. Carolyn stated, “Daniel was a huge part of my success in obtaining our SBA loan, I could not have accomplished this goal without his expert advice. Daniel was there to make recommendations and review information before it was submitted to our Loan Manger which gave me confidence that the information submitted was in the correct format to expedite our loan. I would highly recommend all business owners to take advantage of this free service because this type of guidance is priceless”.

MiTa’s Coffee Lab

Trisha Thielen Stewart located the Navarro SBDC office via our website. She first visited the SBDC in February of 2015 full of great ideas and a very detailed, thought out business plan. Trisha worked for Cargill Foods as a sales representative covering SAM’s Club and Wal-marts. Her dream and passion was to open a coffee shop here in Corsicana offering really great coffee and healthy breakfast and lunch alternatives. Over the course of the next year, SBDC Director Leslie Leerskov and Trisha worked together visiting other coffee shops and looking at local properties in search of the perfect location. Trisha stated “Not having been a business owner prior to opening MiTa’s, I found myself at the SBDC. Leslie and the team did a fantastic job providing guidance and relentlessly researching answers. With their support and positive energy, I knew I was on the correct path! Thank you Navarro SBDC”!

In October of 2015, Trisha finally found a home for her coffee shop. She immediately hit the floor running preparing to open in December. She resigned from her position at Cargill in November to focus all of her attention on the renovations. The renovations took longer than expected but worth the wait. MiTa’s Coffee Lab is not just a coffee shop, it is an experience!

Trisha opened her lab this past March. The name came MiTa came from a combination of her and her husband Michel’s name (Michael & Trisha) and Lab was selected because she believes a truly good cup of coffee requires creation and concoction and that they are truly mixologist in a lab. Customers who walk in immediately feel at home in the warm, inviting environment. The lab is clean and modern yet retains some of the historic feel of the downtown community. MiTa’s offers coffee, tea, home baked goods, breakfast tacos, sandwiches and quiche. Trisha has quickly became the “go to” place to meet up with friends, have a business meeting or just to hang out and work on your computer. MiTa’s Coffee Lab won three Best of the Best Award from the Corsicana Daily Sun in her first year of business. The Lab was selected for Best Cup of Coffee, Best Atmosphere/Place to Relax, and Best Lunch!

Navarro College Beautique & Books

Navarro College opened a new boutique named after the college mascot Beau. The retail establishment opened in April 2015 and offered college clothing and Starbucks Coffee. The college hired Terri Mitchell to manage the Bookstores and the Boutique. Terri requested that she be allowed to become a client of the Navarro SBDC as she needed assistance with preparing a realistic cash flow and expense report.Daniel Short worked closely with Terri to create a new budget, expense report and projections for the remainder of the year and also the next year. Daniel also created a spreadsheet to help client calculate the COGS for the different drinks that allowed for the customer to increase cost as needed. Terri Mitchell stated that “Daniel Short from the Corsicana SBDC was very instrumental in helping the Navarro College Beautique & Books set up a cost analysis and Cash flow sheet to add to our business plan. His help was very appreciated and I would recommend the SBDC for anyone trying to open small business.” Not only did Starbucks break-even, they showed a slight profit. Starbucks and the Navarro SBDC not only share a building, they have worked together to keep the Starbucks open for the students at the college.

Red Oak Chiropractic & Therapy

Red Oak Chiropractic and Therapy has been a staple in the Red Oak area for quite some time now. The business provides a full scope of wellness services to help the individual recapture or maintain a high quality of life. Several doctors have come and gone in the practice as part of normal expected turnover and changes in individual aspirations. The clinic has been set up to be run by a practicing chiropractor who essentially is in charge of the practice but pays a fee to the actual owners of the business. This setup has been satisfactory for all the practicing chiropractors until the most recent one decided to make a run at purchasing the practice.

Dr. Brenda Ross came to the clinic three or four years ago and began immediately building a rapport with the client base, the owners of the business, and the community as a whole. Month over month, the clinic was growing in revenues and other key benchmarks. Everyone involved in the business was happy with the results, but in order to expand the way she wanted, Dr. Brenda had to try and own a practice of her own.

After approaching the SBDC, Dr. Brenda decided that it was time to approach the owners and try and determine a fair purchase price. After some negotiation, a price was agreed upon and then the real fun began. The loan process became a bit arduous when a few local lenders were unable to overlook some flaws in the proposal. These flaws were not going to go away so we needed a lender to understand and think alternatively. Ultimately, Community National Bank in Red Oak was able to complete the loan by using a partial owner finance and a second lien commitment from the sellers. The loan finally closed long after the initial proposal was presented, but the bottom line was that Dr. Brenda now had her own chiropractic business and she would be able to expand on her terms.

Dr. Brenda had some very glowing things to say about the SBDC. “I was recently faced with an opportunity I very much wanted to take advantage of, however I was unsure of how to proceed. Thank goodness I had been introduced to Daniel Short with the Navarro Small Business Development Center. If it hadn’t been for him, his expansive knowledge, and pleasant and professional manner, I might have missed out on a wonderful opportunity. I had no idea of the services the SBDC offered and how they could help me deal with a few obstacles and challenges. Because of Daniel, I was able to evaluate my position, evaluate the business, make informed decisions and therefore take advantage of the opportunity before me. He has become my new best friend. Thank you Daniel and NSBDC.” Working with clients like Dr. Brenda is what makes being a Business Advisor so rewarding.


Bobby Vickery has worked with the Navarro SBDC since October of 2013. He started his company in 2009 to provide environmental consulting services to small businesses. He has been successful with his endeavors and his small business has not only grown in the number of employees but he has also expanded and purchased another small business.

“Thank you and your team for all of the services that the Navarro SBDC has provided for Texas Environmental Training & Compliance (TETC). With your help TETC has acquired a small business, DOT Dynamics, and tucked them into our company. Since 2014 we have grown from 6 employees to 9 employees. The SBDC has been instrumental in introducing TETC to Navarro College and we have developed a partnership to offer online Safety Classes through the college to provide continuing education courses. This is a win/win not only for TETC and Navarro College but for the community. This partnership is expanding and has a lot of near future opportunities! SBDC has also opened doors for us with the new Corsicana/Navarro Chamber of Commerce President and we have been able to sponsor four of their events. SBDC also helped our office personnel with Quick Books training. TETC appreciates your accessibility and quick turnaround on issues that come up from time to time.” Mr. Vickery originally came to the Navarro SBDC in October of 2013 in search of help identifying training opportunities for training based on industries served by the TETC and for help with developing an opportunity to work with Navarro College. The Navarro SBDC has had a great client relationship with Bobby and worked with him on QuickBooks training, expansion, research and demographics and helping solidify the partnership with the college. The SBDC looks forward to helping Bobby in the future as he continues to grow his business and offers more services to the community, small business owners and the local college.

The Tuscan Touch

Although Carrie Herron had been a licensed massage therapist since 2000, she had only worked for other massage therapy businesses. In June 2012, Carrie came to the SBDC as she was contemplating opening her own business in downtown Fairfield. She wanted to offer Swedish, Deep Tissue and Stone Massages. Carrie desired advice concerning a business name, signage, marketing, use of space and adding retail merchandise.

Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, assisted Carrie in brainstorming ideas for her business name as well as provided resources and advice concerning the signage for the business. They discussed merchandise ideas such as massage oils, music CDs and healthy product lines which would complement the business and could be sold in the waiting area. Other things that were discussed included website design, Facebook and the use of QR codes to direct customers to her internet addresses. Carrie explained, “Amy is very resourceful. Whatever I have had questions about, Amy is able to find the answer. She is my go to person.”

Carrie’s grand opening in August 2012 was a huge success. With a pergola outside and a refreshing, fountain by the door inside, she was ready to welcome her clients. A beautiful mural painted by Carrie’s mom adorns one wall. All of the changes in the space create a soothing place for people to relax and enjoy their massage experience. Great signage on the front of the store and additional signage on the back door announces the business. Carrie has a professional website that she is able to access because of her membership with a massage therapy association. She has professional brochures accessible to clients and gift certificates available.

Over the last year, Carrie has doubled her clientele. She even has some businesses that invite her to offer chair massages to the employees as a moral buster. This has been a unique way to obtain repeat clients who then make appointments for a full massage at a later time. Carrie has been able to recoup her initial investment and startup costs and enjoys owning a thriving business.

Willow Basket Bread Company

Lea Anne Somerville has been baking yummy breads and pastries for friends and family for many years. She prides herself on milling her own stone ground wheat each day just prior to making her delicious creations. Although she began selling some of her items in August 2015, Lea Anne came to the Navarro SBDC when she was considering turning the hobby into its own business. After speaking with Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, Lea Anne realized that she was ready to make that move and begin the official process of business ownership.

After Lea Anne registered her business name and opened the checking account, Amy Freeman provided Lea Anne with websites to research sale tax collection as well as LLC information. In addition, Lea Anne employs her husband in the business as he assists her with baking and selling. They have discussed many marketing options for the business such as Facebook and website design utilizing She has attended a few farmer’s market type events as well as provided food for weddings and showers.

Lea Anne is in discussion with a couple of local women’s boutique owners who are considering carrying her baked goods in their stores. Currently, Lea Anne is operating her business under the State of Texas’ Cottage Laws. However, she is planning to move a portable building onto her property, installing a commercial kitchen and creating an LLC for liability purposes. Her hope is to begin selling her pastries and bread over the internet.

Lea Anne stated, “Amy Freeman has motivated me to move forward and make decisions that I otherwise might have been complacent about. By providing me with the next steps to take and a time line to work toward, I have begun reaching the first goals that I established for my business.”

Amy will continue to provide resources and support for Lea Anne as the business expands over the coming months and years.