Business Banking Member Spotlight: Charlie Hallford of So Cal Fitness Service

2013_07_2_f3Charlie Hallford has more than 30 years of experience servicing fitness machines. The company he founded, So Cal Fitness Service, has been in business for 10 years and has six full time employees. But when Charlie needed capital to expand, he couldn’t get it. “I visited all the major banks, and was constantly turned down,” he explained.

His bookkeeper knew he was looking for ways to grow his business, and referred him to NuVision. Over the past year, Charlie brought all of his Business Banking to NuVision and got the line of credit he needed to take his business to the next level.

One of the major ways Charlie wanted to expand So Cal Fitness Service was to become a distributor of fitness products, thereby furthering his relationships with existing clients. “At the core, we are a service company. But when you are in the field, sometimes servicing a product isn’t an option. Purchasing a new product has to be part of the offering. I need to have that option available to me. But without the capital to get started, I had to stop the conversation at servicing.”

Since bringing his accounts to NuVision and securing a business line of credit, he has been able to expand his relationship with Opti-Fit as a sales distributor of their fitness products. “Now with my Opti-Fit partnership, I can feel confident my clients are getting the best products and services.”

Like many small and medium-sized business owners, Charlie has worked hard to take So Cal Fitness Service to where it is today. Ten years ago, he was working for a national fitness company and repairing fitness products on the side. He really wanted to resign from his full time job and start his own company. His wife gave him a challenge: if they could live off the earnings of So Cal Fitness Service for six months, and not touch the earnings from his “regular” job, he could quit…and he did. Charlie moved So Cal Fitness Service from rented garages into his first formal office in Huntington Beach, Calif. He has been in the same complex for seven years, but has moved to different units as his business needs have changed.

Charlie feels lucky to have survived the recession. He credits his success to two key factors; the niche market he serves, and how he runs his business. He strongly believes that his name is his reputation, and it’s after the sale that counts. “I want my customers to feel like they got the best service possible,” he said.

“Expanding is expensive,” Charlie added. “My NuVision line of credit has given me the freedom to use the capital as I need it. People, trucks, tools, and gas; it all costs money. Now I have the resources I need.”

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