Construction company utilizes Florida SBDC at USF as business partner

Ferrill Construction of Hillsborough County

Ferrill Construction knows the importance of having a partner like the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida.

The company, started 17 years ago, has been utilizing the certified professional business consultants at Florida SBDC at USF since 2008. Back then, they were seeking guidance on doing business with the government. That led to business certifications and additional revenue.

“Our business has grown since working with the SBDC in that we have all of our certifications,” Heather Ferrill said. “We have our city, state and county certifications as a minority business. We have a contract with the City of Tampa and we administer their façade grants. It’s a great way for us to get out in the community.”

Since then, the Ferrills have utilized the Florida SBDC at USF for a variety of resources, including marketing and financial analysis and prep as the business has grown and changed. “We worked a lot with the late Jim Parrish and he was such a wonderful man and he really helped us grow our business,” Ferrill added.

Most recently, the company was offered the opportunity to participate in Student Teams at University of South Florida. This offered the duo an opportunity to have fresh eyes on the company as a group of graduate students at Muma College of Business evaluated the business with the supervision of their professor and Yanina Rosario, associate director at Florida SBDC at USF.

“I think the Student Team really helped our business and gave us a fresh perspective,” Ferrill said. “They took a lot of time to look at our business and see how it could improve and then made some great suggestions.”

Working with an organization that has contributed to the bottom line of Ferrill Construction’s success, has allowed Ferrill to relish in what many entrepreneurs seek. “I think my biggest success so far is getting to work in a job that I like so that I can have a life that I love. I really care about the people I work with and…I think that’s important to really like who you work with and what you do.”

With the construction industry booming right now, Ferrill says they are just trying to ride the wave. “We work in South Tampa. We just went to St. Pete which was one of the suggestions of the Student Team. We had already started in that market and they reinforced that it was a good decision, so we’re doing two custom homes there right now.”

The company is also utilizing David Ferrill’s background as he sat on the Architectural Review Commission for many years and is knowledgeable in historic renovation. “It’s one of those things we’d love to do – to go into old houses and make them new again and make them fit their new families,” Heather said. “We work in the Ybor Historic District…and we do a lot of in the Hyde Park Historic District as well.”

While the company continues to grow and expand, Heather is confident the Florida SBDC at USF will always be a partner. “As our business grows, we’ll continue to use the SBDC for advice on how to manage our money. When we make high-level business decisions, we usually come to them to make sure that they’re good decisions.”

She also encourages others to do the same. “Please call the SBDC. Why wouldn’t you do it? It doesn’t cost you any money and there’s just so much that can help you grow your business here so please take advantage.”