Boxes on Wheels Gets $25,000 SBA Loan to Meet Growth

Successful business expansion requires both strategic decision making and adequate funding to meet the demands of growth. For an up-and-coming business like Boxes on Wheels, managing both of those tasks simultaneously is crucial. That’s why business owner Al Reed sought the services of the SBDC at USF. By leveraging the expertise of several Certified Business Analysts at the Tampa SBDC office, Reed doubled his customer base, implemented targeted operational controls and secured a $25,000 SBA guaranteed loan.

“It is always encouraging seeing people with the ambition and drive to start a company, especially when the climate for small businesses is so challenging,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor). “I also am encouraged by the Small Business Development Center’s dedication and commitment to local job creators. With their expertise, counseling and seminars, they are playing an active role in helping Tampa Bay’s innovators and businesses.”

“Mr. Reed’s story is a powerful testimonial to the incredible work done at the USF Small Business Development Center. The tools offered at the SBDC give Tampa Bay businesses a competitive edge and it makes me proud to have such a wonderful asset in our community. I hope more people follow Mr. Reed’s lead and utilize the resources available to be successful.” – Representative Grant, 47th District

Florida House Representative James Grant, 47th District, had a similar response to Boxes on Wheels’ growth. He said Reed’s story is a powerful testimonial to the incredible work that’s done through the SBDC as a tool to give Tampa Bay businesses a competitive edge. Grant said he continuously shares with business leaders his hopes of more businesses following Reed’s lead in utilizing the resources available to be successful.

Mixing it up with marketing, cash infusion, and Quickbooks

In November 2010, Reed met with SBDC marketing specialist Bill McKown to discuss improving his point-of-sale materials and evaluating two market segments. They worked together to determine how to best control inventory and assess ways to make the store-door-delivery process more efficient. After multiple sessions over the next few months, Reed was able to focus on his most promising market segment. This enabled him to cement an agreement with one of Florida’s leading storage management companies. Landing this new account’s 30 locations pushed Reed’s dealer outlet count to over 100 locations across the Tampa Bay area. “It’s like having an expert advisory board for your company,” said Reed. “And, I don’t suggest going into business without having the proper mentorship and guidance — from startup to successfully growing a business.”

During this time, Reed met concurrently with SBDC finance expert Marty Zients. He needed an infusion of cash to handle the additional inventory purchases required to secure the ever-growing list of dealers. Zients walked Reed through every detail of creating a winning loan package and assisted him in securing a $25,000 SBA loan in March 2011.

It’s like having an expert advisory board for your company. And, I don’t suggest going into business without having the proper mentorship and guidance — from startup to successfully growing a business.

Small_Business_Success_Boxes_on_Wheels_TNReed attended additional consulting sessions with SBDC Certified Public Accountant Mario Iezzoni, who worked with him on setting up QuickBooks to capture and measure inventory, and utilize its invoicing component.

Reed attended additional consulting sessions with SBDC Certified Public Accountant Mario Iezzoni, who worked with him on setting up QuickBooks to capture and measure inventory, and utilize its invoicing component.

Reed is a strong supporter of the SBDC. He said the SBDC provides a balance of expertise and knowledge from different business analysts who have started and sold successful businesses. His business has taken a positive direction in a slow economy because of his persistence to never give up and dedication to continue taking advantage of the SBDC free counseling services to help grow the company.
“Reed is the epitome of an entrepreneur,” said McKown. “His passion and can-do attitude is infectious. He is a hard worker who is constantly looking for ways to improve his business and is not afraid to seek knowledge and experience.”

Boxes on Wheels
Boxes on Wheels is a minority-owned enterprise that sells recycled, over-run and misprinted boxes at a discount. Since Reed only accepts inventory with superficial “flaws,” he is afforded an opportunity to offer top quality boxes at substantially reduced prices to moving companies, storage companies and retail stores. This discount is ultimately passed along to consumers who take advantage of these low-priced moving boxes and storage boxes. Reed’s idea of providing an outlet for these imperfect boxes is a win for the box manufacturer, a win for the storage company, a win for the consumer and a win for the environment. Go to www.boxesonwheels.com for more information about Al Reed’s business.