Question: What is the name of your business?
Your Answer: Paradise Corner, LLC
Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer:Tallahassee, Florida At one time I could rent mobile homes to people who wanted to live in a convenient location. The mobile homes are now 40+ years old. I became disabled and could not keep the maintenance up on the old units. 2005 was when I left my regular job of 35 years as a telephone company worker.
Question: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your own business?
Your Answer: 1979 My wife and I decided to move into our neighborhood. Neighbors were getting older and they were wanting to sell their places. They liked my wife and I so much that we were offered their places and they financed them to allow us to start building up a retirement income from real estate.
Question: Did you quit your "day job" to start your business? How did you initially fund your business?
Your Answer: " No", I was disabled by a medical condition that was so serious I was sent home to die. I am a believer in the good on this earth and prayed. The good Lord blessed me to remain alive and gave me incentive to carry on. The homeowners were able to finance the old mobile homes, because the financial institutions were not wanting to help. I gained their respect by paying them properly and promptly. The credit reports were not involved in my paying these people. So, the credit agencies are not up to speed with the correct information.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: The aging of the mobile homes has been a very hard issue to deal with since 2005 when I lost my physical abilities. I bought all the homes as-is because of their age and conditions. That was the down side to the venture.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: I had full control of my surroundings and in 2005 an offer was made by a broker to buy out our section of the neighborhood. I hired a lawyer and had 9 of the 42 they were trying to acquire. My contract was accepted by the developer. I own more property than anyone else in the area. The zone requests were sought out at meetings with the city, county and the state. They were all approved. The deal fell through when one owner decided Wrenn and Theresa were going to get too much because he only owned 1 place, so he never accepted an offer.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: The business ideas that have evolved from 2005 and the offering from a local business owner for 5 of my properties and I turned them down have brought me to the ideas I have today. It is an ongoing situation that only money can solve. That is what has eluded me for the past few years. Having access to working capital.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: The only software tactic I would be using is the advertisement of my ideas to help bring in customers from all over the country to visit Tallahassee and the state of Florida.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: Don't ever give up on your dreams. The world is changing around us and if you see an opportunity to do something to help the change go better go for it with all you can muster up.