Outdoor Dreams Business Story

by admin
Recently, a repeat SmartBiz client shared his experience with SBA 7(a), loan applications online.

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This is the second SBA Loan I have used SmartBiz to obtain. They were very easy to deal with and made the difficult loan application easy to fill out .”

Michael Newbarger, Co-Owner, Outdoor Dreams

Outdoor Dreams was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 2005. Greg Koehler and Mike Newberger are co-owners who work together to create beautiful outdoor spaces for the community.

Outdoor Dreams is a company that helps with outdoor projects, from conception to completion. Outdoor Dreams has a great reputation thanks to the top craftsmen, designers and outdoor construction managers who work on its staff. The company only takes on projects that are worth $100,000 or more.


Greg founded Outdoor Dreams in 2005 while still in college studying Political Science. Mike joined him full time in 2017 after graduation from the University of Baltimore with a degree in Business Administration.

They knew they didn’t like office jobs, so they looked at the landscaping industry. Mike was raised in the landscaping industry by a mother, who worked as a nurse and gardener.

Mike reports that the business began with “two men and a pickup truck.”

They used credit cards to fund the venture at first until they had established a good business track record and credit. In 2015, after establishing their business, SmartBiz Loans offered them an SBA 7(a). In 2018, they took out a second SBA loan and in 2021, a third. The funds, which had low interest rates, low monthly payments and long terms, allowed them to grow their business and shore up their working capital.

Outdoor Dreams has now 12 employees and their top-line revenue is 2.5 millions. Mike says that one of his biggest challenges as a businessman was finding the financing necessary to grow the company at a reasonable pace.

He says, “You must understand that patience is essential.” “Hiring can take up to six months, and this action must be backed by capital. The SBA loan helped us overcome this challenge, even though it had a variable interest rate.

Outdoor Dreams was not affected by the pandemic like many other small businesses. The business was deemed “essential” because it is in the construction sector. As their workers were outside the majority of the time, they did not have to worry about safety concerns.

Mike says that the home improvement market in America has grown enormously. According to the latest study from Global Market Insights Inc, it is estimated that the U.S. remodeling market will reach USD 450 billion in revenue by 2027. We’re finding homeowners refinancing their homes and investing the funds they save back into them.

Outdoor Dreams faces some challenges related to the pandemic. Mike says, “The supply chain has gone nuts.” The supply chain is backed up by three to four months due to the increased demand. And lumber prices have reached historic highs.

Mike and Greg were also able to hire a designer, production manager and field staff with the SBA 7(a).

They have complementary skills that help run the business smoothly.

“Greg is the creative partner. He’s the lead designer and he directs all branding efforts, photo shoots, social media, and content creation,” says Mike. “I focus on finance, process improvement, structuring roles and determining staff responsibilities which become more and more important as we expand.”


Mike worked with SmartBiz Loans Relationship manager Hayden through the entire process. He said, “It was a pleasure to work with Outdoor Dreams on both loan applications that we collaborated on in the past 3 years. Mike and Greg did a great job of defining their goals, following directions, and adhering the principles of SBA 7(a). SmartBiz’s commitment to helping small business obtain the best financing option and to continue to be a resource and partner after the funds are deposited is one of my favorites. Outdoor Dreams is a great example of how we work best with entrepreneurs in order to help them grow and sustain their businesses.

Mike emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance when asked for any advice to budding entrepreneurs.

“There was no balance in 2017 when I began. To grow intelligently, I’ve learned how to delegate. I was married three years ago, and now have two small children. Now I can spend time with my family. “The first three years were crazy, but now I treat my business as a regular job.”

They are committed to marketing their business effectively to ensure growth. They focus on social media and website SEO. They can connect with potential clients through the Find Professionals Directory. Check out Outdoor Dreams projects here including decks, pools, outdoor kitchens, water features, and more: Outdoor Dreams Project Highlights.

What You Need to Know: The SmartBiz (r) Small Business Blog, and other communications related from SmartBiz Loans (r), are intended to give general information about relevant topics for managing a small business. This is not an exhaustive analysis of the topics covered, and it is not meant to make specific recommendations for you or your company in relation to the issues addressed. For more information, please consult with legal and financial professionals.

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