Tag Archives: score clients

Exhibit 3 Fabrications Climbs Roller-Coaster Hills of Small Business Success

Contact: Melinda Zemper May 23, 2014

Phone: (513) 706-3737| Email: mzemper@fuse.net

Exhibit 3 Fabrications Climbs Roller-Coaster Hills of Small Business Success

McDaniel, Johnson, LosekampExhibit 3 Fabrication s, LLC of Erlanger has the ideal formula for its small business success: do good work, maintain client relationships and watch the work stream in. The signage, industrial display and exhibit fabricator has been named a greater Cincinnati SCORE Client Success for growing from three to seven employees in its second year in business.

David “Dude” Johnson of Hebron, Ky., and partners Danny McDaniel of Covington, Ky., and Larry Losekamp of West Harrison, Ind., were all skilled laborers– carpenters, welders and painters– when they decided to start a small business in early 2012. But while they knew construction, they were unfamiliar with how to run a business.

Then Johnson met SCORE counselor Dick Dumaine of Alexandria at a small business seminar. The two connected immediately.

“Dick has played a large part in the success of the day-to-day operations of our business,” said Johnson. “He made me feel like my dream was possible and without him, we wouldn’t have started a business.”

Dumaine helped the partners set up a business plan and kept the men within their budget. “A lot of businesses can make mistakes by trying to grow too fast or by not paying enough attention to cash flow and projected growth,” said Johnson. “He keeps me on course.”

The partners had steady work from the beginning. Better still, they were hired for repeat work from customers and those customers referred more business to them. First year revenue exceeded financial plan estimates.

Customers have included a local hospital; shopping mall; construction company and architecture firm. This spring, the sign Exhibit 3 built for Kings Island’s (KI) new Banshee roller coaster got them a lot of positive attention– so much that they are now in position to become a vendor for Cedar Fair, KI’s parent company. Exhibit 3 will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Sign Builder Illustrated, a national trade publication.

“In our world, doing good work goes a long way,” said Johnson. “Having a good name in the business is everything—with many of our customers, price point is not always the determining factor. It’s will you do a good job and get it done on time. You really have to earn a client’s trust.”

SCORE’s Dumaine owned two companies over his 40-year business career and has been a SCORE counselor for more than six years. SCORE provides no-cost counseling and low-cost seminars for new and existing small business owners.

“We built a business plan that determined the amount of money needed for the partners to start the enterprise, and I worked with them to find ways the startup could be financed without a business loan,” said Dumaine. “A pro-forma financial plan revealed that the venture could be profitable after the first year and the partners resigned their employment to start full time in their company in June of 2012.”

In 2013, Dumaine said he acted as more of a mentor than counselor, helping the men with the many issues they weren’t used to addressing when they worked for someone else.

By the end of 2013, Dumaine said Johnson was able to focus full time on business development and sales. As sales grew, by the fourth quarter of 2013, it was apparent that the company had outgrown its business management system. Dumaine helped set up an accounting system to help the partners track taxable sales and job costs by job; record purchases; and monitor accounts payable.

“I believe it’s fair to say that the partnership formed between SCORE and Exhibit 3 illustrates how SCORE assists dedicated and persistent entrepreneurs,” said Dumaine. “We truly enjoy getting new businesses off the ground and providing new employment opportunities for the Northern Kentucky area.”

For more information about greater Cincinnati SCORE, its counseling, team mentoring, and seminars and workshops, go to www.scoreworks.org or call (513) 684-2812.