Longwood Small Business Development Center supporting new & existing businesses 2017-11-21T18:39:42Z http://sbdc-longwood.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Colin Werth <![CDATA[Longwood SBDC welcomes consultants in new regional structure]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=7717 2017-11-17T21:01:08Z 2017-11-17T20:55:41Z The Longwood Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) has adopted a new regional approach that utilizes experienced, independent consultants to better serve the small businesses in 19 counties and six independent cities in South-Central Virginia.

“Where we had five specific office location before, we’ve created  three sub-regions,” Longwood SBDC Executive Director Sheri McGuire said.…

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The Longwood Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) has adopted a new regional approach that utilizes experienced, independent consultants to better serve the small businesses in 19 counties and six independent cities in South-Central Virginia.

“Where we had five specific office location before, we’ve created  three sub-regions,” Longwood SBDC Executive Director Sheri McGuire said. “We’ve shifted Mecklenburg and Brunswick into our central region covered from Farmville. Lin Hite manages client services in our western region as regional director. Ellen Templeton manages client services in our eastern region as regional director.”

In addition to LSBDC’s staff of regional directors and general business analysts, the independent consultants will provide a broader menu of services and higher level of skill sets.

New to the LSBDC consultant team is Jon Van Cleave, who has 25 years of experience with the global corporation, Reynolds Metals/Alcoa, as well as working as an independent consultant.

“Billion-dollar companies put a lot of money behind financial planning and analysis. Small businesses need the same analysis — just on a smaller scale,” Van Cleave said.

“I do financial planning and analysis including business evaluations and acquisition integration, product and customer profitability analysis, and budgeting and forecasting.”

Van Cleave, who has been traveling on a weekly basis for the past seven years, looks forward to settling in Farmville. He and his wife are currently renovating an older home on High Street.

“I’m looking forward to focusing on Virginia,” he added. “I’m the kind of consultant that likes to work side-by-side with a client — not just come in, advise and leave. I want to work as a partner.”  Van Cleave will be available to work throughout the SBDC territories.

Michael Duncan and Kelvin Perry continue to serve as independent consultants in the western region and are available for online consultations throughout the territory as necessary.

“Michael Duncan specializes in manufacturing and operations for existing businesses ,” McGuire explained. “Kelvin Perry, who works for the City of Danville in the economic development office, also works as an independent consultant  for LSBDC on an as-needed basis.”

“I provide counseling to start-ups or for clients who want to grow an existing business,” Perry said. “I meet with clients in Martinsville after hours, but I’m flexible.”

Randy Lail provides independent counseling on a volunteer basis.

“He’s a retired CFO for Peebles Department Store whose specialty is retail and finance,” McGuire said.

A recent addition the LSBDC office in Farmville is Brandon Hennessey, who completed his MBA at Longwood University. As business analyst, Hennessey assists clients with marketing, financial analysis, and developing a business plan.

“I can give clients a good practical abstract of where they’re headed and what actions they need to take to be successful,” Hennessey said. “Developing interpersonal relationships with my clients is important to me — I want them to feel comfortable in discussing their plans and problems.”

McGuire sees the regional structure with new consultants and analysts as a way to provide greater service to small business owners in the LSBDC service area.

“We believe that providing specific and specialized resources to grow existing businesses can create an even greater impact in the community,” she concluded. “Assisting start-ups also remains an important part of what we do.”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Southern Plenty, SBDC and a plan — a recipe for success]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=7682 2017-10-10T17:55:41Z 2017-10-10T17:55:41Z South Boston’s Southern Plenty is a café that lives up to its name. Advertised as “nourishment for the body and mind,” the Main Street business offers a variety of southern-style menu items — and plenty of other choices as well.

“I opened Southern Plenty eight years ago as a bookstore,” Mary Bagwell said.…

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South Boston’s Southern Plenty is a café that lives up to its name. Advertised as “nourishment for the body and mind,” the Main Street business offers a variety of southern-style menu items — and plenty of other choices as well.

“I opened Southern Plenty eight years ago as a bookstore,” Mary Bagwell said.

“Then I met my husband, Don, and expanded,” she added with a smile.

She’s been adding new things ever since.

A second-floor renovation currently is underway. Helping to fund the project was a $10,000 grant Mary received in the SoBo Start Up grant competition. The expansion plan includes more seating, a bakery for specialty cakes, a wine bar and a gallery for local artists.

“Lin Hite, Regional Director for the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC), taught the SoBo business boot camp,” Mary said. “He was wonderful — everybody connected to the program was wonderful.”

A small business owner for years, Mary had never written a business plan. For her, the plan was an eye-opener.

“Mary’s been through a lot of businesses, but she’s never had any business education,” Don said. “Writing a business plan supplemented her understanding of her own business and the restaurant business in general.”

“That really brought together all my ideas,” Mary added. “Also financially it was good to see where we’re at and where we’re going. It made me feel like I had a hold on the reins in this wonderful evolving business.”

In addition to food, Southern Plenty offers a variety of artwork, craft item and specialty foods.

“Just look around,” Don said as he pointed to an array of gourmet items. “This is not what you’d expect to find in Southside Virginia.”

Although she’s not from the south, Mary designs her menu with southern palates in mind.

“I also use a lot of local produce,” Mary added.

Today the menu includes a root veggie stew.

“I think the restaurant is successful because Mary is such an eclectic thinker,” Don added.

Mary is excited about her upstairs bakery. Named “Pleasantries,” her new line will include cakes made to order, ice cream sandwiches featuring with homemade cookies, fine chocolates and fruit bouquets.

While this product line seems assured of success, Mary noted that new ideas often come with risks.

“I’ll risk $500 on a new item,” Mary noted. “If it doesn’t work out, I put it on sale and take a new direction.”

SBDC classes, Mary noted, helped her see her business growth.

“When I opened, it was just me and my ex-husband, and I think we had seating for eight,” she said. “Now I have six employees — eight counting myself and Don — and can seat 60.”

This year Mary expects Southern Plenty to realize a 15 to 20 percent increase in volume.

“With SBDC classes and a business plan, I could see I’d done the right things,” Mary concluded. “Business boot camp brought it all together. It was wonderful!”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Coffee shop takes a bow — with bows]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=7676 2017-10-10T21:58:53Z 2017-10-10T17:45:02Z Brittany Adamson came to South Boston with plans to open a children’s boutique; instead she found a town that wanted a coffee shop. Adamson came up with a winning compromise — Joe & a Bow.

Shortly after she came to town, Adamson heard about SoBo Start-Up, a six-week business development boot camp.…

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Brittany Adamson came to South Boston with plans to open a children’s boutique; instead she found a town that wanted a coffee shop. Adamson came up with a winning compromise — Joe & a Bow.

Shortly after she came to town, Adamson heard about SoBo Start-Up, a six-week business development boot camp.

“Lin Hite taught the class,” Adamson said. Hite is Regional Director for the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “We went to classes for six weeks and then presented our business plans. Six of us received a grant for $10,000.”

Adamson entered the competition to start a children’s boutique, then decided to switch to a coffee shop. She discussed her options with the town manager, and he advised — do both! Adamson took his advice; Joe (coffee) and a Bow (hair bows) it would be!

With the $10,000 grant in hand, Adamson set out to find a building, preferably mid-downtown. When she walked into the Old Star Laundry, circa 1900, it was love at first sight.

“The owner had spent two years restoring the building,” Adamson said. “The roof had caved in, and the floor at that time was gravel.”

Adamson and her husband did some painting in the restored building, added a kitchen and coffee bar, and they were ready for business.

“When we opened, we started with coffee,” she said. “We like to do things one step at a time. That way we stay on top of things, and we’re never at a loss financially.”

Adamson was able to open her business without a business loan.

“To date we have no debt,” she said.

When she wrote her business plan Adamson estimated where her business would be in six months.

“It only took us a month to get there,” she noted with a touch of pride.

Joe & a Bow, continuing to expand its menu, now offers soups, sandwiches and a salad bar.

“You can eat here every day for under $10,” Adamson said.

In addition to food, there’s an inviting array of children’s items — and the signature hair bows. Customers often browse in the front of the shop while waiting for coffee or a sandwich.

“We added a children’s play area and organized a morning mom’s group,” Adamson added.

Although it wasn’t in the original plan, Adamson opened a second Joe & a Bow location recently in Halifax.

“We started with five employees, and now with both locations, we have 12,” she noted.

Joe & a Bow’s owner credits Lin Hite’s boot camp classes for helping her start a successful business in the area.

“The section on marketing and advertising was incredibly useful, and the tools for keeping good books was really good, too” she said.

Adamson continues to take advantage of what she considers the most valuable resource provided by SBDC — networking.

“SBDC brought in CPAs and accountants,” she said. “Now I have a whole networking community — that’s really valuable to a small business owner.”

“Our town has many small businesses — you see the owners working in their stores every day,” Adamson concluded. “I love being a part of that.”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Red Owl Cleaning Service – Client Celebration]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=7649 2017-09-05T19:48:21Z 2017-09-05T19:44:17Z CONSULTANT Longwood SBDC
CLIENT SINCE 2015
INDUSTRY cleaning services

Deidrich HayesDeidrich Hayes started Red Owl Cleaning Service, LLC with a dream and the determination to succeed.

“I always wanted my own company,” Hayes said of his decision to leave his job as training specialist for Crossroads Community Services.…

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CONSULTANT Longwood SBDC
CLIENT SINCE 2015
INDUSTRY cleaning services

Deidrich HayesDeidrich Hayes started Red Owl Cleaning Service, LLC with a dream and the determination to succeed.

“I always wanted my own company,” Hayes said of his decision to leave his job as training specialist for Crossroads Community Services.

Hayes’ first stop was the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where he attended a class on starting a business.

“The SBDC consultants were very knowledgeable and helpful,” he says. “They pushed me to be professional.”

Red Owl opened for business in July 2015.

“I wish I had done this sooner,” Hayes said of his new role as business owner. “It’s the American dream.”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[4 Ways For Busy Business Owners To Keep Up With Bookkeeping]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=5393 2017-07-12T20:44:46Z 2017-05-25T19:50:02Z bookkeepingOne thing an accountant hates to see coming is a client with a box. When an accountant sees a box, the bill goes up. Accountants are paid by the hour, and going through a year’s worth of receipts takes time. This is why small business owners need to make time for record keeping.…

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bookkeepingOne thing an accountant hates to see coming is a client with a box. When an accountant sees a box, the bill goes up. Accountants are paid by the hour, and going through a year’s worth of receipts takes time. This is why small business owners need to make time for record keeping.

Here are some great tips to establish a record keeping system that works for you:

Get organized!

Start by developing a system for organizing receipts, bank records and warranties for equipment. It can be a simple as dozen 8 by 10-inch envelopes, one for each month. Once you have source documents organized, you don’t have to keep them in reach. Just close them up, and you’re done.

Have a backup plan.

Before you throw those documents in a box or envelope, have some type of listing. Organize your documents and have a record-keeping system — it can be as simple as a ledger or a computer file. It’s also wise to back that data up in another location.

Seek assistance.

The worst scenario is not completing the first two tips. A business owner who doesn’t have time for bookkeeping should consider outsourcing. Hiring an accountant or other professional relieves stress and often saves money in the long run. The main thing is — bookkeeping needs to be done. Make a habit of record keeping.

Establish a CPA relationship.

It pays to have a CPA you can call for business advice. A CPA can look at a major purchase from a tax-wise perspective and provide legal representation on IRS issues. It never hurts to have a CPA look over what you’ve done. These professionals stay up to date on the latest laws — it’s always good to have expert advice.

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Meet Ellen Templeton]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=4001 2017-02-27T22:14:27Z 2017-02-23T00:47:06Z templeton picEllen Templeton, new director of the Crater Small Business Development Center of Longwood University, believes her job is all about being positive.

“When you work with small businesses, you have to smile,” she said. “Their enthusiasm is contagious.”

Working as an economic developer for ten years in Hampton, Templeton often countered negative comments like, “There’s too much traffic here,” with her own take.…

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templeton picEllen Templeton, new director of the Crater Small Business Development Center of Longwood University, believes her job is all about being positive.

“When you work with small businesses, you have to smile,” she said. “Their enthusiasm is contagious.”

Working as an economic developer for ten years in Hampton, Templeton often countered negative comments like, “There’s too much traffic here,” with her own take. “That’s because a lot of people want to be here,” she said. “That’s an example of how to look for the positive in a community.”

Director of Crater SBDC since November, Templeton is well suited for the job. She started her career in commercial real estate before moving on to a Virginia Economic Development Partnership job in Richmond. She later started her own insurance company.

“Throughout my career, I found that I gravitated toward small businesses,” she said. “When you work with big businesses, you help to create jobs but never have a chance to interact on a day-to-day level. Working with small businesses is more personal — you really get to see and feel that impact.”

Another facet of Templeton’s positive approach is seeing each community’s uniqueness. Crater SBDC covers Colonial Heights, Emporia, Greenville, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George County, Surry and Sussex.

“Every one of these communities is fabulous,” Templeton said. She is currently meeting with Chamber of Commerce and economic development officials in each area. “I see them as our partners and allies — our goals are the same.”

Templeton has compiled some tips for new and existing clients; these are three she considers important:

#1 Learn before you leap

Have knowledge about what you want to do. If you want to be an artist and can’t draw stick people, that might be a problem. Templeton’s experience as a small business owner is a valuable tool in advising clients. “Talking about a business and doing it were two very different things,” she said. “A business plan serves as a guidebook, but there are things only experience will teach you.”

#2 Love what you do

Passion is important for any small business owner. “If you lack passion, you’re going to do just what you have to do,” she said. “Then it becomes work — it shouldn’t be that way!”

#3 Honesty’s the best policy

“If someone tells me they don’t want to invest the time to make a business plan, I ask them, ‘Then why do you want to invest this money?’ It’s not fair to mislead clients. I love their excitement, but we’re here to help them succeed.”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Business of the Year Builds on a Plan]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=3983 2017-02-09T20:19:43Z 2017-02-08T20:55:48Z Amie Boone with receptionistAmie Teague Boone was still in elementary school when she started making plans to start her own business. Recently the Piedmont Regional Feeding & Oral-Motor Clinic Boone established was named the 2016 SBDC Southern Region Small Business of the Year.

“At the age of 10, I started writing to universities asking how to become a speech pathologist,” she says.…

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Amie Boone with receptionistAmie Teague Boone was still in elementary school when she started making plans to start her own business. Recently the Piedmont Regional Feeding & Oral-Motor Clinic Boone established was named the 2016 SBDC Southern Region Small Business of the Year.

“At the age of 10, I started writing to universities asking how to become a speech pathologist,” she says. “After I went to 4-H Camp that summer and learned sign language, I decided I wanted to be a deaf interpreter. Gallaudet University sent a brochure that said deaf interpreters work closely with speech pathologists. That’s what I decided to be.”

After earning her Master of Arts in Communication Sciences & Disorders from UNC Greensboro, the Danville native worked for five years as a clinician. “I felt I needed that real world experience before starting a business,” she says.

In 2006 Boone decided to step out on her own in a specialized field. “It was just me when I started the business,” she says of the Piedmont Regional Feeding Clinic. “There are only a handful of feeding clinics in the nation not attached to a hospital or university. We work with different things—it might be a baby having trouble with swallowing, patients with autism who can’t stand textures in the mouth, or someone who’s had a stroke and can’t swallow.”

Amie boone with diplomaTo get the right start for her business, Boone contacted Longwood SBDC consultant Diane Arnold. “When I took her class on how to write a business plan, I was seven months pregnant and started having contractions in class,” Boone recalls. “Everyone asked if I wanted to leave, but I stayed. I wanted to write that plan!”

Boone credits SBDC with helping her business weather the recession in 2008. “During that time, funding cut off just like that,” she says. “I was able to persevere because SBDC gave me the resources and knowledge to keep going—and I will always be grateful.”

Another setback occurred three years ago when Boone’s husband of 14 years developed leukemia and passed away. “My team of employees kept the business going,” she says. “At that time I also realized our business was no longer following our original plan, so we started a vision implementation to get back on track.” A chart with the company’s vision is now displayed on the conference room wall. “Everyone can see why we’re making the decisions we make and what’s next. That keeps all our employees invested,” Boone says.

“PRFC started in 2006 with just one employee—me. Now we have 26 full-time and three part-time employees. I’m very proud that PRFC was named the 2016 SBDC Danville Region Small Business of the Year.”

—Amie Boone

Several years ago PRFC moved to a new location that allowed the business to expand. “We recruit from all over the country,” Boone says. “We bring master’s and doctoral level people to this area.” PRFC currently employs 26 full-time and three part-time employees.

“SBDC has been a big component in helping me get the resources and knowledge I need,” Boone concludes. I might not be here today without them!”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Corner Kitchen Realizes Small Town Dream]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=3947 2017-01-26T19:32:10Z 2017-01-24T20:40:23Z Sam and Laurie AllenLaurie Allen always said she’d marry a chef. Four years ago she did and in the process realized another dream when she and husband Sam opened their own restaurant in Blackstone.

“Sam grew up in Blackstone, and I’m from Vermont,” she says.…

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Sam and Laurie AllenLaurie Allen always said she’d marry a chef. Four years ago she did and in the process realized another dream when she and husband Sam opened their own restaurant in Blackstone.

“Sam grew up in Blackstone, and I’m from Vermont,” she says. “We’ve been in the restaurant business for years, but Sam’s dream was to have his own restaurant.”

A chef trained in French cuisine, Sam acquired his culinary training at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI).

“We were co-owners of a restaurant in Chapel Hill with two other gentlemen when we heard about the Blackstone restaurant for sale,” Laurie says.

The Allens decided to buy the Blackstone restaurant for two reasons — to be near family and to own their own business.

“We‘d lived in cities for 15 years, so it’s really nice to be in a small town,” Laurie adds. “We love it!”

Laurie admits that making the change from an urban to small town business model did take some adjustments.

Sam and Laurie Allen“Blackstone and Chapel Hill are very different places,” she says.

The first step was to rename some of their menu choices.

“It was a challenge at first to try new things here,” she says with a smile. “A classic French name can be hard for the servers to pronounce, so a lot of times we just change the names on the menu. If it sounds too ‘hoity-toity,’ nobody wants it. We didn’t want that kind of feeling.”

To help the couple get off to a good start, Sam’s mother recommended a visit with the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

“We ended up chatting with SBDC consultant Gary Shanaberger, and he gave us a lot of information on a number of things,” Laurie says. “The business part of a company is something a lot of people don’t know. SBDC’s program was a huge help to us.”

Shanaberger helped the new business owners develop their business plan.

“That’s the most difficult part of starting a business,” Laurie says

Although the Allens did not take out a loan since they felt they had saved enough to make their business work, the business plan SBDC helped them create proved helpful.

“The business part of a company is something a lot of people don’t know. SBDC’s program was a huge help to us.”

— Laurie Allen

“It showed us what we needed to look for as far as numbers go and what we were projecting,” she says.

The Corner Kitchen, which has eight to ten employees, has seen a significant increase in business since opening in June 2015, especially on Saturday nights.

“This year we had a steady stream of customers during the Christmas parade and a packed house after,” Laurie says. “Last year, not so much.”

The Allens credit their success to experience and the assistance provided by SBDC.

“Opening your own restaurant can be a scary prospect, so to have help from SBDC was amazing,” Laurie concludes. “We’ve been welcomed by the community — that’s very exciting for us.”

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[Tax Tips for Small Businesses]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=3929 2016-12-18T19:59:14Z 2016-12-18T19:59:14Z Anna FalkensteinFor many small business owners, tax season can be the stuff of nightmares. If April 15th makes you cringe, help is on the way. Anna Falkenstein, a senior stakeholder liaison for the Small Business/Self Employment Division of the IRS, shares her insider tips on handling your small-business taxes like a pro.…

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Anna FalkensteinFor many small business owners, tax season can be the stuff of nightmares. If April 15th makes you cringe, help is on the way. Anna Falkenstein, a senior stakeholder liaison for the Small Business/Self Employment Division of the IRS, shares her insider tips on handling your small-business taxes like a pro. Her division focuses on providing outreach and education to partners in the industry, such as chambers of commerce, and organizations like Longwood’s Small Business Development Center.

Falkenstein emphasizes that tax law is revised on almost a yearly basis. Staying informed of these changes is key to tax prep success. Falkenstein recommends familiarizing yourself with IRS website and regularly checking for tax law updates. One of the biggest overall changes that will affect all taxpayers are updates to the ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) program. ITINs are used for those who don’t have a social security number and aren’t eligible to apply for one. Changes to the law require that new applications for an ITIN numbers will need to be submitted to the IRS prior to filing time, as well as renewals of previous ITIN numbers. More information on if or how this will affect you or your business specifically can be found on the IRS website.

In addition to the changes in the ITIN program, according to Falkenstein there are a few noteworthy changes to watch for this year that will directly affect small businesses.

“The Work Opportunity Tax Credit was extended through 2019. Section 179 business expenses were permanently extended as well as the exclusion of capital gains for small business stocks held for more than 5 years. I recommend you check the IRS website to see if your small business is eligible to take advantage of this provision,” says Falkenstein. “Due dates for business returns were updated for 2016 also. It is best to refer to the return instructions for 2016 to determine what the newest due dates are. Corporations and partnerships were both affected by this change.”

She also encourages small business owners not to hesitate in asking for help.  “There are many organizations available to assist new small business owners,” she says.

Staying organized is critical. Falkenstein advises small business owners to “keep accurate and organized records. Label your receipts and organize them so you can easily determine if a receipt is an office expense or an operating expense, even if it came from the same supplier,” she adds.

She also advises filing your return on time, even if you aren’t able to pay the whole amount. “By filing in a timely fashion,” Falkenstein says, “you will avoid the Failure to File penalty which can be up to 25% of the tax due.”

Lastly Falkenstein says to stay alert for scammers. Small businesses are common targets. Some prevalent tactics are requesting fake tax payments over the phone, “verifying” tax return information over the phone and targeting payroll and human resources personnel posing as a boss or exec to obtain W-2 information on employees. She advises using the IRS website to stay up to date on the latest scams making the rounds.

These simple tips should help de-stress tax time for your small business. For more in-depth information on a wide variety of tax related topics, check out the IRS Video Portal at www.irsvideos.gov. It provides specific topics for small business owners on collections, audits, tax liens, the Affordable Care Act and more.

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Colin Werth <![CDATA[The Jury’s Inn and the Verdict is Good]]> http://sbdc-longwood.com/?p=3851 2016-11-15T20:21:36Z 2016-11-15T20:19:55Z Victoria Revilla
Victoria Revilla wanted to live downtown, so she started a hotel business.

“I bought this building in 2008,” the retired Army colonel said. “I was stationed at Ft. Lee three times and liked the Petersburg area. So I asked myself — ‘what should I do now?’”

The answer made sense — why not a downtown hotel?…

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Victoria Revilla
Victoria Revilla wanted to live downtown, so she started a hotel business.

“I bought this building in 2008,” the retired Army colonel said. “I was stationed at Ft. Lee three times and liked the Petersburg area. So I asked myself — ‘what should I do now?’”

The answer made sense — why not a downtown hotel?

“Everybody was building apartments,” Revilla said. “And I wanted to live downtown where the action is.”

Revilla’s plan was to open a six-bedroom boutique hotel like the ones popular in Europe, particularly Spain and France. To enhance her space she also purchased the lot next door. Since the 1850s-era building was in Petersburg’s historic district, the first step was restoration. That, Revilla soon learned, could be costly.

“When looking for funding, I went to the Richmond Economic Development Corporation to apply for a small business loan,” she said. “They referred me to the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC).”

Revilla had a business plan but found that it needed to be presented it in a certain format. She enrolled in SBDC’s free classes and “started learning about all the things I needed to do.”

Revilla acquired a business loan from Virginia Community Capital, a revitalization group that was expanding into Petersburg, and quit her job as a contract employee for the Army to take over the building renovation.

“My architect has been with me since 2011,” she said. “I’m the designer, and after he does the drawings, we sit down and talk about it.”

Revilla admits there were difficulties along the way.

“You run into some bad people,” she said. “They underestimate to get the job and then did poor work. But I never gave up on it.”

Instead Revilla asked herself — what do I need to do to get over the next hill?

The answer was SBDC. Now that her business is established, Revilla plans to keep that connection.

“As I move on to my next phase and repackage my financial situation, I’ll go back to SBDC,” she said.

Revilla’s two-year goal is 70 percent occupancy for her hotel business and event space. Equipped with a full commercial kitchen, The Jury’s Inn also includes an event room that will seat 30 with room for 40 in the courtyard.

“I’m an event planner by trade,” Revilla said.

Revilla, who also works with the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), networks with young officers who are leaving the military.

“They’re looking for ideas — if I see something of interest I send it out to them,” she said.

Revilla advises prospective business owners to attend SBDC classes.

“You have to have a plan,” Revilla said. “I know I’ve learned a lot.”

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