“I am a huge advocate of the SBDC. Whenever I see someone who is motivated and I know they will take advantage of what is available, I refer them.”
Juan Vallejos had been operating his business, Bay Hauling, for over a year when he first learned about the Solano-Napa SBDC in 2020.
While the initial pandemic shutdown impacted his Vallejo-based hauling and waste removal company, his business was improving by mid-2020 and he wanted to look at best practices for growth and expansion.
He found himself at the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, discussing COVID-relief grants and his goals for his business, when he was referred to the Solano-Napa SBDC and its NxLevel entrepreneur training program. The next session was about to begin and Vallejos quickly signed up for the 11-week program.
“NxLevel was like finally being able to build a boat, set it to sail, see where the holes are that we needed to work on, and patch it up,” he said. “It was really powerful for me. I was finally able to put together a mission statement, a marketing plan, all the things that I always thought about but was never in the position to put it on paper until then.”
When the NxLevel course ended after 11 weeks, Vallejos knew he wanted to do more. He began working with multiple advisors on an array of business components. First was human resources, where he learned tips on hiring employees. Then, he focused on finance and QuickBooks training. He connected with an advisor from NorCal PTAC to discuss government contracting.
With his current advisor, Lisa Bishop, he is focused on creating monthly and annual goals for his business. He recently completed an extensive SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.
He is also an active member of the Vacaville Entrepreneurs Roundtable. He enjoys the monthly in-person trainings with the group and said that together, they set goals for their businesses and hold each other accountable.
“I am a huge advocate of the SBDC,” Vallejos said. “Whenever I see someone who is motivated and I know they will take advantage of what is available, I refer them.
Looking to the future
I want to see the business grow more organically. We’ve built a really good brand that people recognize and I want to focus on leveraging that.”Juan Vallejos, Owner, Bay Hauling
“I would have never known about this if someone hadn’t referred me,” he added. “It’s a huge resource but it’s also like a hidden secret. I want to see people who are really serious about their business be able to take advantage of this.”
Today, Vallejos’ goals continue to focus on responsible business growth. His eye is on the economy and the possibility of a recession on the horizon has him wanting to build a business that will withstand the challenge.
“I want to see the business grow more organically,” he said. “We’ve built a really good brand that people recognize and I want to focus on leveraging that.”