The journey of transforming The Barn at Bonner Creek into a successful wedding venue is nothing short of a remarkable tale. From the early stages of excitement and anticipation to the challenges faced along the way, the story unfolds as a testament to determination, passion, and a touch of serendipity.
The venture began with a vision shared by the husband-wife duo, Lisa and Don Rouse, seasoned in the art of flipping houses for over two decades. Their decision to venture into the wedding venue business was not just a side gig; it was a full-time commitment born out of a desire to embark on a new chapter of their lives.
The extraordinary journey started when Lisa's husband, Don, stumbled upon a barn salvage expert's website during an online search. Intrigued by the idea of preserving history, they traveled to Ohio, exploring barns and ultimately chose one that had its roots in 1840.
The decision to transport the barn from Ohio to Houston, Texas was no small feat. The challenges faced during the journey were numerous, starting with the struggle to secure financing. Traditional banks were hesitant to support a project that involved an Amish timber frame barn from 1840 being relocated states away. The hurdles did not end there. Navigating through county regulations and obtaining permits for a project considered unconventional required teamwork and creativity.
"SBDC is a great educational tool and valuable resource, especially for those new to entrepreneurship."
The couple's engagement with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) became a crucial part of this process. Jennifer Finney, an SBDC representative, not only helped in crafting a comprehensive business plan in effort to secure financing from a bank, but also served as a source of encouragement during the challenging times.
In reflecting on the SBDC's role in this journey, the couple acknowledges its significance as an educational tool. For those new to entrepreneurship, SBDC serves as a valuable resource, guiding individuals through the intricacies of business planning and encouraging thoughtful consideration of every aspect.
When Jim Keeter, an experienced entrepreneur with a history of successful ventures, decided to acquire Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, TX, he faced a series of challenges. Although well-versed in business ownership, the purchase price raised concerns, prompting him to seek assistance from the Blinn College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Keeter recognized the need for expert guidance in valuations, constructing a business plan, and securing the necessary financing for the acquisition.
"The support and expertise provided by the Blinn College SBDC were instrumental in turning my vision for Antique Rose Emporium into a reality."
In the spring of 2019, Jim Keeter approached the SBDC, initiating a partnership that would prove instrumental in overcoming unforeseen hurdles. The global pandemic introduced fluctuations in price valuations during negotiations, posing additional challenges. The SBDC stepped in to help Keeter navigate these complexities, providing a comprehensive suite of services. This included analyzing and valuing the opportunity, guiding through the acquisition and negotiation process, creating meticulous financial projections and a robust business plan, and assembling a complete loan package for multiple lenders. With careful consideration, Keeter selected the most favorable loan offer.
Despite the prolonged duration required to finalize the deal, Jim Keeter expressed immense gratitude for the SBDC's unwavering support. The result was a successful acquisition and the establishment of a new business entity. Keeter, now a proud owner, is delighted to have family members actively involved, working at Antique Rose Emporium.
Nathan Yalcin, the owner of a service-disabled veteran-owned security and investigations company, approached the Houston Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with ambitious goals. His company, dedicated to employing a workforce mainly comprised of U.S. military veterans, sought to expand its reach through the acquisition of another security firm. The challenges were multifaceted. Yalcin needed financial support for the acquisition and additional working capital for seamless post-acquisition operations. To navigate this complex endeavor, he turned to the SBDC, recognizing the need for a comprehensive business plan to secure financing and for expert assistance in integrating the newly acquired business.
"Charles Capers and the SBDC played a pivotal role in not only helping us secure the capital needed but also in providing expertise required to grow."
Under the guidance of seasoned Business Advisor Charles Capers, Yalcin received comprehensive assistance. The advisor worked closely with Yalcin to prepare a compelling loan proposal, addressing the capital requirements for the acquisition project. Recognizing the intricate nature of the endeavor, Capers enlisted the expertise of three independent contractors affiliated with the SBDC. Yalcin benefited from consultations with a CPA contractor to review tax returns and share distributions, and with Human Resources and Marketing specialists to facilitate the onboarding process for the acquired business. Additionally, collaboration with a commercial lender, facilitated by the advisor, resulted in the approval of a line of credit to address additional operating expenses.
The collaborative efforts bore fruit. Yalcin successfully secured $250,000 in working capital through the approved loan proposal and invested an additional $200,000 of his own capital to finalize the acquisition. This financial injection resulted in the creation of 43.5 new jobs and the retention of 35.5 jobs within the expanded business entity.
"Navigating the complexities of acquiring another business while securing the necessary funding is no easy feat. Charles Capers and the SBDC played a pivotal role in not only helping us secure the capital needed but also in providing the expertise required to integrate the acquired business seamlessly. Their support went beyond financial assistance — it was a strategic partnership that enabled our growth and the addition of valuable jobs to our workforce, " said Nathan Yalcin, Owner of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Security & Investigations Company.