Del Hydrick, founder of Del's Garage, always knew he wanted to work for himself, but it was not until 2014 that the timing was right for him to strike out on his own.
"I knew I could provide better service than the dealership I was working at," he explained. "I always knew I wanted to work for myself, but you get into a comfort zone getting two vacations a year and raising your kids and life goes by. But there comes a time that you are mature in your decision making so that you can take that leap of faith."
Before making a move, Hydrick spent time working on his business plan with the Palm Coast SBDC and gauging the market by speaking with potential customers. A significant factor prompting the move was Hydrick's feeling he could do it better.
"We have a standard here that's well above most in our industry," he said. "I come from the dealership world where you have to have your floors shining, your setup perfect and everything is clean, clean, clean. You want your customer to know you're going to take care of their car as well as your shop. I know my mom can walk into my bathroom and not give me any heck over what it looks like because it is spotless."
It turns out Hydrick was right. He beat his best-case financial projections for year one by 40% and grew 30% over that the next year. Hydrick's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to work hard and get help. "Definitely go to a professional and build a business plan because the plans are built so you know going into it what your chance of success is," he said. "Learn everything about the business you're getting ready to jump into and don't be lazy. Learn something new everyday."