Her Own Business
Jaye McCoy learns it's never too late to go into business for yourself
When asked about the genesis of Diamond Laundry, Jaye McCoy says, “We realized there was a niche there [in healthcare], especially for smaller offices.” Thinking back to the beginning, she recalls, “We did anything from a one-person doctor or dental office to gigantic clinics with 17 doctors.”
With the introduction of OSHA regulations on the laundering of materials such as lab coats, gowns, and surgical towels, Bernard McCoy saw an opportunity for success and launched Diamond Laundry. The business was established in 1994, and Jaye McCoy worked as Vice President to help her husband build the growing brand.
By January of 2014, Diamond Laundry had moved into a large commercial facility at 146th and Grover, and had 120 clients seeking their services. Although business was at its peak, Jaye could not shake the growing desire to try something new.
The ultimate decision to sell their business was not easy. As Jaye puts it, “Your life is that business. I grew up in my family business, and our kids helped us in ours.” However, at age 56, she could not shake the urge to do something different with her career.
The McCoys listed their business with The Firm Business Brokerage in January, with no particular urgency or request for a speedy sale. Within a week of listing, however, Todd Nelson had submitted his Mutual Confidential Disclosure Agreement, reviewed financial and operatory information, and submitted a Contingent Offer to Purchase for Diamond Laundry.
Nelson had an impressive resume. Founder of Energy Grid Solutions and an engineer at Kellogg’s, he was eager to add Diamond Laundry to his repertoire. After meeting with Nelson, the McCoys felt confident that he was a savvy entrepreneur and businessman they could trust with the business they had worked so hard to establish.
With the continued support of her husband, Bernard, Jaye McCoy has managed to serve as an example for anyone ready to jump into business ownership.
On March 7, 2014, the day of Closing, Nelson recalls that Bernard McCoy, “Was a little choked up,” and added “Anyone who builds a company from scratch gets some attachment to it.” As its new owner, Nelson is eager to continue the legacy of Diamond Laundry’s success.
During the three months it took to negotiate the terms of sale, and finalize the Closing documents for Diamond, FirstLight HomeCare, a Cincinnati-based company specializing in companionship and in-home care for seniors, went on the market. Jaye jumped at the opportunity to do something meaningful for herself, and the community in which she lives. Within six weeks of signing her Contingent Offer to Purchase, she was sitting on the other side of the Closing Table finalizing the paperwork to start her new venture.
It was a quick turnaround, “They literally did this whole thing in six weeks,” said Jaye, “My mind was spinning. It was a challenge trying to sell one, buy one and balance it all.” Clearly, it was worth it in the end.
Today, she is the proud owner and President of FirstLight, where she leads 46 people on her team. The experience has been a triumph for everyone involved, but especially Jaye McCoy. With the continued support of her husband Bernard, she has managed to serve as an example for anyone ready to jump into business ownership.
After taking the risk and going into business for herself, if there is one thing Jaye has taken from this experience, it is the knowledge that, “You really can do this, you really can own your own business and succeed!”
The Firm Deal Review
Reason for Purchase: Sold their 26-year-old company in efforts to start a new chapter
Financing: Conventional loan by Access Bank
Profit Margin: 33%
Days on the Market: 51
Growth: 16% year over year
Transition: Seller agreed to work for 1 year