San Francisco Guitarworks, San Francisco
Company Profile - SF Guitarworks is a guitar repair business in San Francisco that specializes in all types of guitar repairs and a large client base in the local entertainment industry. Owner Geoff Luttrell opened the business in 2002.
Challenges - Luttrell’s ultimate goal was to “to grow my business and eventually manage the business from afar. I need to plan a little better to see what sales need to be to allow me to hire an employee while improving my revenues.” He had struggled after the premature hire of his first SF Guitarworks employee by not considering the impacts to the business during training process. As a result Luttrell lost money by not calculating his own lagging production during the transition and he grappled with having consistent available repair work to justify the extra payroll. Other challenges for the business included the continuous need for marketing and bookkeeping management expertise. Despite the setbacks, SF Guitarworks was experiencing consistent growth and by 2006 future growth capacity was limited.
Actions Taken - In March of 2006 when Luttrell was seeking an appropriate growth strategy, he found out about the San Francisco Small Business Development Center’s (SFSBDC) “Gateway Entrepreneurship Program.” The nine-week strategic planning program ran from March through May and Luttrell enrolled with the hope of gaining a calculated growth plan. Aside from the program, SFSBDC Assistant Director Ulysses Cozart also set Luttrell up with financial modeling counselor Tom Camerato to develop feasible SF Guitarworks financial projections. In addition, the client sharpened his basic bookkeeping skills with the help of class training and one-on-one QuickBooks accounting software counseling from SBDC consultant Martin Shenk of Hilliard Management Group.
Results - Between the skills gained in the nine-week course and the counseling services provided by three SFSBDC consultants, Luttrell was able to achieve a better strategic focus and remove the roadblocks to successful growth. Previous revenues were: $14,000 in 2002, $27,000 in 2003, $45,000 in 2004, $75,000 in 2005, and $85,000 in 2006. New projections for 2007 are $125,000. The original hire has been retained and Luttrell is in the process of hiring an assistant manager which will allow him more freedom to build the business. Luttrell is also working with SFSBDC to access some working capital which resulted which resulted from his newly developed financial projections.
Client Satisfaction - “The San Francisco SBDC is really the best resource I have found to help get a cohesive view of what business is and can become and to develop the steps to get there,” Luttrell said.
Geoff Luttrell, SF Guitarworks
323 Portero Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94130
Ulysses J. Cozart, Jr.
San Francisco SBDC
300 Montgomery Street Suite 789
San Francisco CA 94104