October 15, 2014
Center assists ‘tech guy who had an idea’
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Pryor Jordan made a big leap in the last couple of years -- from being a computer repair employee to owning Saluki Screen Repair in Carbondale.
He credits the Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale with helping “every step of the way.”
While working at a computer repair shop, Jordan received frequent customer requests for computer screen repairs, a service that the store did not provide. His research and experience led to the concept for a computer, telephone and tablet repair store. In February 2013, he took the plunge, quit his job and began the quest to start a business.
He began working in his home and sought help from the ISBDC. He found the expertise he was seeking and a home for his business within the Illinois Small Business Incubator program at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. He said operating his business in the incubator environment allowed him to be close to his advisers and have an inexpensive space to fully launch his startup.
“I didn’t have any business experience. I was just a tech guy who had an idea. So for somebody in my shoes, getting the help the ISBDC offers was a must,” Jordan said.
Since its inception, the business has changed its model, name and location, but the ISBDC has been a constant resource. The center has helped Jordan focus, assisted with financial planning, and aided in managing Jordan’s limited resources to maximize his business growth. Despite the fact that the incubator isn’t necessarily ideal for retail purposes, his business grew at a fast pace and the ISBDC helped him “‘graduate” into the regional business community, finding a commercial location well-suited for his needs.
Saluki Screen Repair opened its Grand Avenue location in Carbondale in August and Jordan, the company president, said business has already doubled. The business repairs smartphone, tablets and laptop screens and sells telephones and custom-colored iPhone screens.
“I don’t really do a whole lot without talking to my advisers,” Jordan said. “I still have a lot to learn and I still need help with the numbers aspect, especially now, since we have experienced tremendous growth since our recent move. We’re going strong now, and I think that a large part of my success can be attributed to the advice and planning help that I’ve gotten from the ISBDC.”
He said as his business grows, he will continue to seek help, adapting and developing wisely. He also hopes to expand, opening another store in a nearby college town.
Jordan said that he had always wanted to start his own business. Feeling that he didn’t have much to lose and that the timing was right, he decided to go for it. He’s glad he did, and offers advice to others who are interested in opening a business.
“Research and get some help with your ideas,” Jordan said. “It never hurts to run your ideas past someone who has worked with other businesses.”
The SBDC will host “Celebrating 30 years of Small Business Success” from 3 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale. The event will feature guest speakers, client success stories, awards, a trade show highlighting some of the center’s client success stories and “A Taste of SBDC,” showcasing a large number of area food producers who are clients. For more information, contact Robyn Laur Russell at email@example.com or 618/536-2424.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.