Pre-Planning Leads Successful Launch-and-Growth Strategy
Deciding where to begin is often challenging for people starting a business. The Davis brothers of coastal Georgia decided to take that first step by putting together a solid, well-researched business plan to launch their ideas and outline their next steps.
Still actively employed, they quickly realized it would be a challenge to respect their commitments to their employers and put together a feasible plan without proper guidance. So, Jimmy Davis approached a local bank and was directed to consultant Valerie McElveen at the UGA Small Business Development Center at Georgia Southern University.
“We knew we would need funding, and we needed support to put together a solid business plan to secure the support of the bank,” he said. “Val worked with us and got us through the projections and business plan.”
Over the course of several weekends and late nights in 2017, the Davis brothers’ vision began to take shape.
By 2019, Davis Brothers Logistics was ready to launch. Jimmy left his former employer and pivoted quickly, hiring four contractors and leveraging a thriving ecosystem of partners, creating a broad capability in export/import packaging and logistics without overextending the brothers’ embryonic business model.
“When I left my job, I was ready to call my lenders, take out a small line of credit and get started. I do not think we could have done that so quickly without the projections and business plan we developed with Val’s support,” he said.
Davis Brothers Logistics provides export packaging, project cargo, warehousing and other logistics services. Working closely with its network of trucking firms, riggers, freight forwarders, and cargo Inspectors, it offers additional services that give it a competitive edge.
By the end of 2020 – its first year – Davis Brothers Logistics had grown to more than $1 million in revenues with a rapidly expanding client list.
“Many times, people come to us after they’ve already had a job change,” McElveen said. “Jimmy was proactive. He saw where the business was going and didn’t waste any time. He had everything ready to go because we had planned everything out. Being prepared enabled him to hit the ground running.”
McElveen continues to assist the brothers with questions about accounting and bookkeeping, human resources and buying versus leasing office and warehouse space.
After initially renting 25,000 square feet, the business now operates in a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and is looking for more space.
“Truthfully, I would tell anyone who wants to start a small business not to do it without going to the SBDC,” Jimmy said.