SCORE Mentors Security Credit Corporation to Success
Dewayne Keiper felt he had prepared himself well to start Security Credit Corporation, a receivable finance company, in late 1997. Already experienced in the banking industry, he had carefully developed a five-year business plan complete with cash flow projections and balance sheets. To make sure he was on the right track, he brought his materials to a seminar for aspiring business owners sponsored by SCORE's Sioux Falls Chapter. Buck Moore, the SCORE mentor conducting the seminar, had extensive experience in the banking industry. He was quite impressed with Dewayne's work, and urged him to return to discuss the plan in detail.
Although Security Credit Corporation had no customers when Dewayne officially launched the company in July 1998, he had targeted several key locations and industries. His company's services were particularly attractive to small and medium-sized companies that have cash tied up in invoices. These businesses sell their accounts receivables to Security Credit in return for an upfront percentage of the invoice. The balance, less financier fees, is paid to the business after Security Credit receives and clears the invoice. Dewayne's company makes money, and the business has the cash needed to reduce debt, meet a payroll or pay taxes.
Today's Security Credit Corporation has more than 40 clients in 20 states with three full-time employees. More staff members will be added as the company continues to grow. While enjoying the success of his business, Dewayne is not content to sit back and wait for new opportunities. "I've learned that to be competitive, you must be willing to change to meet the needs of a growing and evolving market," he says.
“If Buck didn’t have an answer, he knew another SCORE volunteer who could help. But it was his enthusiasm and moral support that meant the most to me. He was eager to see another well-planned financial business grow and succeed.” says Dewayne.
The relationship between the veteran business professional and budding entrepreneur paid off for Dewayne. During their follow-up meetings, Buck helped him fine-tune the business plan for Security Credit, and provided advice about how to approach potential investors. He also helped Dewayne gauge whether the plan and its projections were realistic. "Buck definitely provided me with a lot of encouragement," Dewayne says. "He made sure my ideas were well thought out, because receivable financing is not a business one enters without careful planning."
Buck also provided something else just as valuable—connections in the finance industry. After meeting with his SCORE mentor several times during the winter of 1997-98, Dewayne had lined up $250,000 worth of venture capital, plus a loan commitment from a local bank.
Dewayne has learned that there's no substitute for experience in business. "Whichever court my business takes, I'll seek advice from Buck Moore and SCORE," he says. "I used a lot of planning tools to get my business started, but the best advice always came from SCORE."