“I feel like our business went into COVID with a plan and accurate financials based on a foundation that was built in our SBDC class.”
– Andy Stearns My Lucky House
As Andy Stearns recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, he was motivated to look for a different way to build a company that could ride out financial storms. He decided to revisit real estate with a fresh perspective, and purchased a small vacation rental company in Bend in 2011. Initially a ‘one man show,’ Andy diversified his business, adding real estate management and long-term rentals to the mix. Very quickly he created a sustainable and thriving company, and by 2014 he had hired employees. As his team grew, Andy turned to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help with operations, and in 2019 he joined Jim Wilcox’s Small Business Management Program (SBM). Andy credits being in the SBM program during 2020 as a huge factor in weathering the pandemic. He returned to the program in 2021, this time accompanied by his top team members who had seen the difference that solid advising made.
About the relationship with the SBDC and his business adviser, Andy says, “The information and concepts Jim has taught me over the past two years has been about having a plan for marketing, sales, customer service, while maintaining accurate financials so we can evaluate where we are relative to where we are trying to go…This process is not over and I appreciate Jim Wilcox and the SBDC assistance along the way.”
Find out more about COCC’s Center for Business, Industry, and Professional Development and the Small Business Development Center.