Success Story…Bicycle Alley

 

“It was just perfect,” says Terry Enos owner of Bicycle Alley. “The OSBDC provided us with the tools, and three months later we had a business plan.” Enos had years of experience in the corporate world but wasn’t sure how to bring his ideas into focus. “Carlos asked all the right questions,” says Enos. “Carlos Amaya and the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center showed me the ropes and gave me the structure I needed to open my business.”

Terry had been interested in the world of bicycles for many years and had a head full of ideas about what the perfect bicycle shop in Oklahoma City should look like. He started researching and visiting other shops throughout the United States, talking to owners and customers to find out what made a good shop successful.

Enos discovered the OKSBDC would help him build a business plan that he could take to the bank. Under Amaya’s guidance, Terry put together a package that helped him secure the loan he needed to make his dream ready to roll.

Bicycle Alley opened in April of 2007. The shop boasts six employees and ample space for a specialized inventory that caters to even the most discriminating client. With specialty items you can’t find anywhere else in the area, they also offer on-site repair service.

As soon as Terry opened his doors, Carlos knew they had a winner. In a few short months, Terry has beaten every sales projection and was voted “Best New Business” by the Oklahoma Gazette.

“Terry’s extensive research and knowledge of the industry impressed me,” says Amaya. “He had the commitment and drive it takes to follow through.” The OSBDC worked with Terry to develop a network and find mentors within the industry. “He realized you have to plan, plan, plan. It takes more than just opening the doors and expecting business to walk in. Terry was ready to do the work and do it right.”

“Carlos still checks on me. He is interested in my daily success stories and is always ready to help when I have a question. The OSBDC showed me how to get from A to Z. The level of understanding they offered was invaluable. You won’t be alone. They can help a little or a lot.”

Success Story…TnT Quick Stop

 

Dustin Sheppard was no stranger to entrepreneurship when he decided to start a new venture in Roff, Oklahoma. Dustin had grown up watching his father run a family dairy farm. The purchase of one truck to help with hauling soon turned into more trucks, and that snowball eventually found the family out of the dairy business and running a successful trucking line.

Dustin was hooked and learned everything he could about the industry, finally ending up with his own string of trucks. As the business grew for Dustin and wife Christy, they realized they could streamline their business by providing the fuel for their own trucks.

As a graduate of East Central University in Ada, Dustin was aware of the business assistance offered to the community through the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center. When Dustin told his family he was interested in a starting a new venture, his mother suggested he get help from the OKSBDC located on the university campus.

“They were awesome. If it hadn’t been for Ann, we would still be doing paper work,” Sheppard said. “We recognized that the Sheppards could apply for a community express loan and we started the paperwork immediately,” said Ann Ritter, OKSBDC Business Advisor. “We helped them put together a business plan and cash flow projections to complete their loan package.”

The couple qualified for the SBA loan which gave them the working capital they needed to open the doors to T&T Quick Stop. “The kids now have a safe, clean place to eat. We’re really excited about the possibilities. We are putting in a smoke pit and hope to be serving B-B-Q soon,” said Sheppard. “Direct access to fuel for our growing truck line has boosted our profitability and given us the satisfaction of helping the community at the same time.”

“The OKSBDC team was a lifeline. They walked us through the process, helping with the strict licensing required for dispensing gas and serving food. I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about a new business -call the OKSBDC. They will help you get it done the right way.”

Success Story…AEA Environmental Services

 

After eight years in business Elijah Adoeye, owner of AEA Environmental Services, thought it was time to expand his market. He started looking into the possibilities of a federal program for minority contractors and soon discovered plenty of obstacles that included a complex application process and stiff competition.

When asked about the challenges of qualifying for 8 (a) certification through the Small Business Administration, Elijah chuckles, “It was not easy at all. The process is a challenge and we could not have done it without help from Oklahoma Small Business Development Center.”

One of Elijah’s employees told him about the OKSBDC located on the campus of Rose State College in Midwest City. Mike Cure, the Center Director, talked with Elijah about his goals for AEA, “We suggested he apply for 8(a) and Hubzone certifications. Elijah was not familiar with the process, and we recommended he work with Marvin Fisher at the Langston University OKSBDC.”

“Mr. Fisher helped me tremendously through the cumbersome application process. We achieved certification, but i was surprised at how long the process took. They have stuck with me through it all. We are different from most cleaning companies. We not only offer janitorial options, we deal with hazardous waste,” says Elijah.

After 20 years as a microbiologist in the medical field Elijah said “I was always looking for an opportunity to work on my own, and the cleaning service seemed like a great opportunity to utilize my background and training.” AEA is now certified to work government contracts in the area of hazardous and non-hazardous waste management. The company also performs waste removal, disposal, commercial cleaning, final construction cleaning, Phase 1 environmental inspection, mold sampling and remediation and lead-base paint abatement.

“Within two months, I got a call from Mrs. Woodfork about a federal contract she thought would be perfect. We submitted a bid and won because of our environmental background. Ms. Woodfork and Mr. Cure worked together to help put the bid together, and we won the contract. Cure also recommended we get certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. That was successful and we are looking forward to bidding on other government jobs through the Department of Transportation. Although the process has been challenging, the expertise of the counselors has been invaluable. They are constantly reviewing our operation and our position in the market to make sure we are getting the greatest advantage.” — Elijah Adeoye

Success Story…Davis Welding, LLC

 

In 2007, Scott Davis needed a way to haul large round bales of hay without investing in a large tractor or putting a hay spike in the back of his truck. Using his 25 years of welding skills and experience, Davis went to work and built the “Stick Wagon” hay hauler. “I came up with it out of necessity,” says Davis. The Stick Wagon is uniquely designed to be used with an ATV such as a 4-Wheeler or a John Deere Gator, small garden tractor, or other small motorized vehicle that normally could not be used to move large round bales of hay.