SBDC Client Success Story
Evans met with Central Coast SBDC Consultant Jim Weisenstein, who conducted an in-depth business assessment. During the first few meetings, Evans and Weisenstein outlined 2006 financial objectives, developed an ideal client profile, researched existing and potential solar panel suppliers, and reviewed potential lender requirements. Additionally, Weisenstein suggested increasing staff so that Evans could focus on growing the business. Evans met with Weisenstein over the course of a year to assess the financial health of his rapidly growing company.
Within a few months of working with an SBDC consultant, IES was a preferred customer of a new solar panel supplier, and Evans had secured a home equity line of credit. Ten additional full-time employees were added, bringing the total to 16, and IES secured 4,000 square feet of additional shop space. By the end of 2006 (within 12 months), IES exceeded the original goals set with the help of Jim Weisenstein, and the company nearly tripled annual revenue to $3.3 million. Evans was also honored to be a presenter at the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) Tri-County Economic Conference on "Leveraging the Green Economy" in January, 2007.
Independent Energy Systems
Santa Cruz, California
"We knew we needed an additional supplier but Jim really motivated us to make a more concerted effort to secure one. He gave us the basic tools we needed to better utilize our financial model, and told us to set our profitability goals higher.
"Jim also helped us define what made us outstanding versus our competition. This enabled us to strengthen our marketing impact and gain more market share. His assistance was invaluable and long lasting. We are still utilizing today the tools that we learned from Jim as an SBDC client."
Northern California Regional SBDC Network
Independent Energy Systems (IES) specializes in the design, installation and sales of solar electric and thermal systems for residential and commercial properties in Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay area. President and founder Robert Evans began his business in 2001 with the mission of providing the community with an opportunity to participate in renewable energy. In 2006, the California government showed support for this future in renwable energy by passing the "Million Solar Roofs" legislation, which provides $3.2 billion over 10 years in rebates to solar electric system purchasers throughout the state.
Knowing that the rebate program was solid, Evans was ready to aggressively grow his company with the goal of doubling his revenue. The company had a strong backlog of orders but there was a risk of assuring adequate supply of solar panels if he increased sales. Also, Evans needed to develop sound financial projections to present to local lenders wth the goal of securing working capital.