North Coast SBDCEureka and Crescent City California

“The SBDC made starting our business exciting. They were instrumental in helping us acquire the necessary licenses we needed and advised us on how to begin a successful business. We have now hired our first employee and could not be more pleased with the assistance we have received from SBDC. We highly recommend them to anyone looking to start a small business.”

Carlos Alejandre

BACKGROUND
Windy Point Fence is a contractor in Humboldt County specializing in fences.

CHALLENGES
With many years of experience in the fencing industry, Carlos and his wife Renae wanted to start a fence business but needed assistance with the planning, logistics, and legal considerations. Carlos had already taken action to obtain his contractor’s license, but he needed to know if he had to wait for the contractor’s license number before he could apply for a business license, employer identification number, and file a fictitious business name. In addition to starting the business, they needed to get business cards and learn more about QuickBooks so that they could fully utilize the functions and track their finances efficiently. Carlos and Renae also had to get the facts about sales tax and decide if they would purchase materials wholesale or retail. Once they started to get more work, they needed to know about hiring an employee.

ACTIONS
They contacted a North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor for the Eel River Valley who assisted Carlos and Renae with their questions, referring them to appropriate government entities as needed. The SBDC also advised them to contact the Board of Equalization to learn the requirements of purchasing materials wholesale and charging sales tax for those materials to their customers. They worked with SBDC to design a logo and business card. For financial tracking, SBDC helped Renae learn how to configure and use QuickBooks to best suit their needs. 

RESULTS
With assistance from SBDC, and an initial $4,500 investment, Carlos and Renae started their business in May 2012. The response has been far greater than they ever imagined it would be, booking up six weeks in advance. They’ve invested in additional equipment and have hired their first employee to work with Carlos, utilizing a temp agency for efficiency rather than hiring someone directly. They are planning to further expand by obtaining financing to build a shop. 

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It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.