“Volusia’s Best” Provides the Keys to Success

In the racing world, drafting the lead car can be an effective strategy to stay in the race; but if you want to win, at some point you need to pull out in front of the competition. It’s the same in the business world, and a new business skill-development program is paving the way for you to accelerate your business success.

Volusia’s Best, launched in October 2015, strives to give Volusia County businesses the edge they need to compete on a national scale, stand out from their competitors, increase profits, and meet national excellence standards. The program is unique because its training components are tailored to meet each business’s particular needs. Participating companies receive comprehensive skill development in one (or more) of seven growth areas through a combination of activity-based training, online learning, university research, and one-on-one professional consulting to ultimately earn the “Volusia’s Best” designation.

This past year, the Volusia’s Best program drew dozens of local companies including Command Medical Products Inc., Germfree Laboratories Inc., Giles Electric, and Synergy Billing. Attendee Sheila Brown, Synergy Billing’s Chief Operating Officer, found it very rewarding. “Even with years of experience in business, I found the leadership program useful. It’s really helpful to have such great training resources nearby,” says Brown.

The “Seven Keys to Business Growth” provide the backbone of the Volusia’s Best Program. Each key is a critical business success factor: systems, engaged employees, relationship building, vision and leadership, information technology, capital management, and exceeding expectations. Participating businesses receive 48 hours of targeted training in one or more of these areas, along with professional consultation to customize their benchmark goals, develop implementation strategies, and measure success.

Getting results is the main emphasis. Fourteen businesses completed the program in its inaugural year and have reaped measureable gains in the areas of efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, job creation, and increased revenues.

Specific examples include:

  • A 15 percent workforce increase
  • Financial outcomes that meet or exceed industry norms
  • Increased visibility and impact of marketing strategies
  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Improved employee morale
  • Increased efficiencies and better project management

David Slick, Chief Executive Officer of Command Medical, points out additional benefits of participation. “Gaining strategic insights through workshops like Volusia’s Best and collaborating with other CEOs is extremely worthwhile,” said Slick. “We’re all busy running our firms, but if we don’t stop to consider best practices, we risk long-term success.”

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Daytona State College coordinates the Volusia’s Best program. It is supported by Volusia County and all its cities and chambers of commerce, as well as through a number of local organizations who are likewise dedicated to helping Volusia County businesses:

  • CareerSource
  • Center for Business & Industry
  • Daytona State College
  • Hotel & Lodging Association
  • Volusia Bar Association
  • Volusia Building Industry Association
  • Volusia County Association for Responsible Development
  • Volusia County Chapter of the Florida Institute of CPAs
  • Volusia Flagler Society of Human Resource Managers
  • Volusia Manufacturers Association
  • Volusia County Medical Society
  • All Volusia Realtor® associations

Many of these organizations provide scholarship opportunities, making Volusia’s Best available to businesses at little or no cost. The program has served over 50 local organizations in the short time since its launch.

Whether you think your business could be performing better or you’re just ready to take it to the next level, Volusia’s Best provides proven, expert, individualized help so you can play to win!

1 Special thanks to Laurie S. White, Public Information Officer and Marketing Director, Daytona State College, for her assistance in developing this article.