Success Story

Man standing in front of business store front

R&J Power Equipment

Any question I had, she was able to guide me in the direction I needed. She basically helped with everything. I don’t think this would’ve happened without Cheryl’s help.

As an Air Force Veteran working for a big corporate business for over 30 years, Ralph Sevearance knew one day he wanted to be a business owner. Both he and his son Josh knew the owners of a local business and began discussions about buying the business. They understood the type of business and were excited at the fact they could one day be business owners.

Step one in purchasing a business was to find a business; step one completed. Step two, go to the SBDC so they could get help with the rest of the process. That is exactly what Ralph and Josh did; they   contacted Cheryl Lynch, the Florida SBDC consultant located in Putnam County. Lynch helped Ralph and Josh understand what was necessary to find financing, the requirements and research they had to do for a business plan, and the necessary steps they would have to take to close the deal. Along the way, the plans changed, and Ralph was going to be the sole business owner instead of partnering with his son.

“Cheryl held my hand through the whole process. It took us six years, from the start of this idea of buying a business to closing the deal, but she stood by us all the way to help and answer questions,” says Ralph. “She helped me plan and get ready for my new venture. Writing a business plan is no easy task, but Cheryl was there to ensure we had all the required information the banks would be looking for. She also opened my eyes to what being a small business owner was going to be like. She helped with all the paperwork with the lending institution and was able to put me in contact with the right resources I needed. Any question I had, she was able to guide me in the direction I needed. She basically helped with everything. I don’t think this would have happened without the help of Cheryl”.

According to Cheryl, “When I first met with Ralph and Josh, I had to explain the learning curve they were going to encounter and tried to point out to Ralph the similarities and differences of big business verses small business he would encounter. Guiding them along with the business plan and walking them through the process to obtain financing was very eye opening.” Says Cheryl, “Although it was a work in progress for six years, and plans shifted, I think both Ralph and the sellers were ready at the right time, and that is crucial for a smooth transition.”

On January 1, 2019 Ralph become the new owner of R&J Power Equipment located in Palatka. Step three; continue working with Cheryl from the Florida SBDC for ways he can grow the business.

R&J Power EquipmentRalph Sevearance

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