Rebecca Robinson Davis of St. Simons is a people person, so much so that she left a lucrative position as a residential real estate appraiser in 2004 in search of a job – any job – that would replace the isolation of appraising homes with more personal interactions. She never thought that move would bring her such success thanks in part to a deep partnership with University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC).
“I was looking in the newspaper and there was one job on St. Simons. One job,” she said. “It was for a national vet brokerage, but the description was vague. I turned in my resume anyway and did the interview. They hired me immediately because of my valuation background, which really helped because a business valuation is the foundation of a vet practice sale.”
After working eight years at the veterinarian brokerage, she was recruited by another firm, where she became partner. When she learned she couldn’t own a territory closer than New Mexico, she decided in 2015 to open her own brokerage, Practice Sales Advisors.
“I was operating on the ‘if you build it, they will come’ model,” she said. “It was eight months from my launch, and I hadn’t had a sale. It takes time.”
A friend told her the UGA SBDC could help, so she went to see area director David Lewis and consultant Jordan Tippett at the UGA SBDC office in Brunswick.
“In this industry, you’re not paid until you sell something,” Lewis said. “There are lots of operating expenses, but there’s no revenue until a practice sells. Some of our initial discussions were around forecasting and how to handle the shortfall.”
Robinson Davis needed help with her initial planning regarding market coverage, cash flow and operations. She, Lewis and Tippett worked on everything from strategic planning and human resources issues to time management, marketing and budgeting.
“I had a lot of questions,” she said. “I know how to sell a vet practice, but I didn’t know how to manage employees or run a business. I’ve leaned on the UGA SBDC to make my operations more streamlined and help determine my market reach. They’ve taught me about managing, budgeting, marketing and employees. My focus originally was not on being a business owner. My goal is to help vet owners buy or sell a practice. That’s why I’ve relied on the experts at the UGA SBDC.
Robinson Davis is proud to be a female business owner.
“I think it’s empowering for a woman to own a business, and we need to encourage each other,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of that in the beginning. I want to help encourage other females to own their own businesses.”
Her success is visible in her company’s growth. Passionate about education, she holds several accreditations and is a licensed practice broker in 22 states and counting. She employees a doctor and two full-time staff members, another part-time staffer and her sales have doubled annually. Now in its seventh year, Practice Sales Advisors recorded over $74 million in practice sales in 2022, was recognized as the International Business Brokers Association’s Top Global Producer in 2022 and was chosen a 2021 “Best of Georgia” regional winner by the Georgia Business Journal.
For More Information: University of Georgia SBDC | (706) 542-2762