The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) annually recognizes one local small business as its Rising Star client. The TSBDC defines a “Rising Star” as a business that:
- Has a clear and structured growth strategy for the next 12 months;
- Implements advice and resources from their TSBDC consultant;
- Invests back into their own business.
Their Rising Star for 2022 is Renew Exterior Services, a veteran-owned business that specializes in exterior cleaning and lighting services for residential homes and commercial businesses throughout the Tennessee Valley and North Georgia. Specifically they offer soft washing, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and installation of holiday lights.
Owner Brandon Beavers first visited the TSBDC in August 2021 searching for someone who could understand his vision and help him to achieve it. He began working with Sarah Mattson, one of the TSBDC’s Senior Small Business Consultants.
How did the TSBDC help Renew Exterior Services?
“While I consider myself someone who’ll figure it out eventually, Sarah saved me valuable time and helped me to be effective and efficient with my time,” said Brandon.
When Brandon needed additional seed funding to get his business off the ground, he and Sarah collaborated on assembling a more thorough business plan to entice lenders. With that plan and four months of additional revenue in hand, he applied and was approved for a TVFCU “Idea Leap” loan.
“The loan allowed us to rebrand, purchase better equipment and uniforms, advertise more aggressively, attend conventions to access training, and more,” said Brandon. “Sarah also coached me on how to foster a healthy work environment and retain talent. My employees routinely come to me with questions or concerns, which demonstrates how comfortable they are in approaching me. I give them my full attention and follow up. If we can’t keep employees, we set ourselves up to fail.”
In September 2022, the City of Chattanooga hosted a Purchasing Expo to help small business owners establish relationships with City departments so they might eventually become registered vendors or suppliers. Sarah urged Brandon to attend–the result being, Renew Exterior Services won a municipal contract and is now registered as an eligible vendor for future business.
Each TSBDC client receives undivided, customized assistance when meeting with a consultant. When asked about his experience with Renew’s consultant Sarah, Brandon shared: “Because this business means so much to me and I get excited about it, it’s the focal point of many of my conversations. I’ve learned to tone that down with friends and family so I can dedicate attention to their needs as well as my own. But when I meet with Sarah, the focus is all on me and my company. I get to bounce ideas off her, articulate my struggles, and share in my wins.”
The TSBDC helps small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs to succeed each and every day by providing quality consulting services, free of charge. Learn more at tsbdc.org/chattanooga.