Center: SBDC in Elyria at Lorain County Community College
Client: Woof House (dog boarding kennel)
Bob Sell had been dreaming about owning his own business for years. After spending 10 years working a second job at a kennel in Pennsylvania, he decided to find a kennel to buy. After a long search, he found a kennel in Sheffield Village, OH and began working with John Guidone, a local commercial bank officer at Lorain National Bank. Mr. Sell had everything he needed to qualify for an SBA Small Business Loan with LNB, except a business plan. He had never written a business plan, and didn’t know where to start. John connected Bob with Kim Plzak, Director at the Small Business Development Center at Lorain County Community College. The fact that Bob was out of state did not deter him or the SBDC! Kim and Bob scheduled several phone meetings and exchanged information via email. The SBDC obtained research to assist and communicated regularly with Bob. Bob worked many hours, with the assistance of the SBDC, to write his plan. About two months later, Bob’s plan was complete.
Bob said ‘I had no idea how to write a business plan, or where to start. I really appreciated John referring me to the SBDC at LCCC. Writing a business plan can be very overwhelming. The SBDC was great! They walked me through the process, gave me samples, and helped with the market research. Without Kim’s help, it would have been very difficult.’ Daniel E. Klimas, LNB President & CEO says “LNB is proud to be called a community bank. Our goal is to help small and medium sized businesses with all their financial needs. As a Preferred SBA Lender, we can expedite the loan request, or as in Bob Sell’s case take the extra time and lend advice and counsel.”
In late October 2013 the good news arrived that Bob’s SBA loan was approved! Bob moved to Ohio in January 2014 with his new business loan finalized. Now, Bob owns and operates his own business –a dream come true!
Bob offers some wisdom to new entrepreneurs: ‘Although this process was long and difficult, it was worth it! I have never been so happy to finally own my own business!’
This success story has gained interest from the Cleveland SBA office and they have chosen it as one of their local success stories. The photos attached were taken by the SBA and feature, Bob Sell, owner and Kim Plzak, SBDC Director.