Photo:(l to r) Rafael Martinez Pratts (FSBDC at UCF) with Brenda and Leon Clement
Too fast growth, too few funds
Brenda and Leon Clement never expected the business they started in their garage — Midstate Caulking & Construction Services — to grow faster than they could finance. “We expected to be small and stay small,” says Brenda; conditions determined otherwise. Midstate weathered the ’08 recession, and over the next six years the Clements saw demand from commercial properties for their caulking, waterproofing, stucco and deck coating services grow fast. Too fast, says Brenda. “In construction, you pay your people and expenses before you get paid. When you’re growing fast, it can be tough to manage that float. We needed more money to finance our growth.” So with help from a consultant at the FSBDC at UCF, the Clements identified financing options and developed a plan. In the end, Brenda walked into the bank she had selected, fully prepared, and came out with the funding Midstate needed to grow.