IDIN Oriental Rug Gallery of Polk County
Mousa Djahankhah has spent most of his life in the rug business. Originally from Iran, Djahankhah came to the United States in 1988. “I’m a generation of this business,” he said. “My father, my grandmother and grandfathers were in this business in Iran.”
Upon arriving in the U.S., he continued to hone his rug repair skills and eventually opened IDIN Oriental Rug Gallery in Lakeland, the day after Christmas in 1994.
While visiting his sister in New Jersey recently, he learned about the Small Business Development Center Network. Once he returned to Lakeland, he made some calls and found Javier Marin, certified business consultant for the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, based at the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce.
While he originally sought a loan to help grow his business, he found that there were other ways the FSBDC at USF could help.
“The logical course of action is to help him grow his business even if he’s unable to get financing at this point in time,” Marin said. “We did a business assessment and will continue to work with him to help him reach his goal.”
The FSBDC at USF provides in-depth, no-cost business assessments to qualified, established small businesses. At the completion of the assessment, continued services are offered to help implement some of the strategic recommendations made.
Through working with the FSBDC at USF, Djahankhah has come to realize that there is something more powerful than money when it comes to running a small business. “The business assessment made me learn a lot of things and [Javier] woke me up,” he said. “Sometimes information is more powerful than money. I was just thinking about selling rugs. I’m not a professional in marketing or computers, but we cannot sit down and just watch the door. We cannot just sit here and watch the door and wait for people to buy the rugs.”
Over the coming months, Djahankhah will work with a number of certified business consultants within the FSBDC at USF organization to help achieve his goal of increasing profits 200 percent over the next three to five years.
“I’m going to be working with his new bookkeeper on building a strong financial reporting system that does better reporting than his previous one,” Marin said. “We’re also going to look at employee performance, marketing, his Website and operations. All of these items, put together, should help him grow his business.”
Djahankhah is excited about the future possibilities and all there is to learn. “The Small Business Development Center is the best way to grow and learn,” he said.