J-Style at Home, Inc., Brisbane
Janina and Cristian Cabrera co-founded J Style at Home Inc. in 2006. The company is located in Brisbane, California and provides interior designing, full custom cabinets manufacturing, re-facing and installation of cabinets. They are renowned for creating the kitchens and baths of their clients’ dreams.
Back in 2011, Cristian was looking for funding to expand his business and he contacted Working Solutions to apply for a microloan. At that time, Cristian was asked to present a marketing plan as part of his loan application and he was referred to the SBDC. Cristian thought that he would only receive help in marketing, but he was greatly surprised to learn that the SBDC had a comprehensive advising program for small businesses in growth mode.
Gabriela Sapp, at the SBDC has been his primary counselor since 2011. After an initial business assessment, Gabriela realized that J Style was not in the position to take a new loan and instead they started working on credit and financial management. The SBDC offered Cristian training in bookkeeping and financial analysis to better track business income and expenses and understand profitability. Next, Cristian received advising on business planning including market research with Warren Donian, which Cristian started implementing with such a determination that his sales increased in 30% compared to 2010.
In 2012, Cristian continued implementing measurable marketing strategies and as a result, his client base expanded as well as his needs for working capital. Gabriela Sapp, loan counselor helped Cristian identify sources of capital, business planning and made sure his financial projections were sound. A loan application was presented and approved at Working Solutions. Cristian obtained a business loan for the funds he needed to expand his business. J Style gross sales have doubled in 2012!
“Two years ago, as the need for additional funds was imminent in our business, along came the need to understand and develop the different components/areas of our business such as accounting, marketing/sales and budgeting. I was then referred to the Small Business Development Center where I built a professional relationship with Gabriela Sapp and her team. This organization has been pivotal in networking, education and coaching us to make the best of our business. They have a team of consultants with hands on experience as well as academic background in core areas such accounting, finance, marketing, sales and business organization/planning. They have provided us with free business advice that we have put in place to develop a sound business plan and marketing/sales program. In addition, they offered a series of courses to learn and operate QuickBooks and Internet marketing and other related courses that I have personally attended and have been very useful for our business performance and profitability. The SBDC has impacted my life in a very positive way. I feel less stressful because I can count on a professional team to help me understand the technical challenges that come along with owning a business. It has been the go-to institution to channel my business in different options of funding and marketing strategies. I am now very proud to say that because of them we were able to get our business loan approved!” - Cristian Cabrera, co-founder of J Style Inc.