The Gannon SBDC Helps Roofing Contractor’s New Business Aim High
Posted: August 20, 2018
Jason Klemm served as the foreman of the Barry Smith Slate
Roofing, Inc. crew for 14 years. He knew the customers and
knew the art and science of installing, maintaining and replacing
slate roofs. So, when Smith decided to withdraw from the
business, Klemm saw an opportunity.
What he did not know was how to prepare a business plan and
present it to lenders. That's where the Gannon University Small
Business Development Center (SBDC) stepped in. Klemm's banker, Jim
Jackson, referred Klemm to Gannon SBDC. "SBDC helped with the
business plan. Without them, I had no idea how to put it together.
That was the big difficulty," Klemm said.
SBDC consultant John Fee and Jim Jackson of Marquette Savings
Bank worked together to draft a business plan and prepare financial
forecasts as a platform for financing the purchase of some of
Smith's assets and capitalizing the business. "Projecting is
basically a guessing game," Klemm said. "John worked the numbers
until the bank was happy with them."
The harsh winter of 2017-18 created a high demand for the
specialized services Klemm and his three-man crew provide. The
business has had such a successful first six months that Klemm
joked, "My banker's probably upset that that I'm not going to use
the money he gave me."
And he's in it for the long-term, which is appropriate to the
business he's in. "Slate roofs can last 100-150 years if properly
maintained," Klemm observed.
Klemm's business might not have that kind of longevity quite yet,
but he's clearly off to a good start and grateful for SBDC's
assistance. "I don't think I could have put together the plan that
the bank wanted to see without SBDC. The free service is the best
part about it."