Dewayne Keiper felt he had prepared himself well to start Security Credit Corporation, a receivable finance company, in late 1997. He was already experienced in the banking industry, and had carefully developed a five-year business plan complete with cash flow projections and balance sheets.
To make sure he was on the right track, Keiper brought his materials to a seminar for aspiring business owners sponsored by SCORE's Sioux Falls Chapter. There, he met Buck Moore, the SCORE mentor conducting the seminar and another experienced banker.
By working together with SCORE, Keiper was able to launch Security Credit Corporation and grow it into a thriving business. His company's services are particularly attractive to small and medium-sized companies that have cash tied up in invoices. These businesses sell their accounts receivables to Security Credit in return for an upfront percentage of the invoice. The balance, less financier fees, is paid to the business after Security Credit receives and clears the invoice. Keiper's company makes money, while the business has the cash needed to reduce debt, meet a payroll or pay taxes.
The relationship between the veteran business professional and budding entrepreneur paid off for Keiper. During their follow-up meetings, Buck helped him fine-tune the business plan for Security Credit, and provided advice about how to approach potential investors. He also helped Keiper gauge whether the plan and its projections were realistic.
"Buck definitely provided me with a lot of encouragement," Keiper says. "He made sure my ideas were well thought out, because receivable financing is not a business one enters without careful planning."
After meeting with his SCORE mentor several times during the winter of 1997-98, Keiper had lined up $250,000 worth of venture capital, plus a loan commitment from a local bank.
While enjoying the growth of his business, Keiper is not content to sit back and wait for new opportunities. "I've learned that to be competitive, you must be willing to change to meet the needs of a growing and evolving market," he says.
“If Buck didn’t have an answer, he knew another SCORE volunteer who could help. But it was his enthusiasm and moral support that meant the most to me. He was eager to see another well-planned financial business grow and succeed.” says Keiper.