Taking business to greater heights beyond the skies
Being in the U.S. Air Force made Tamiko Bailey fall in love with the aviation, camaraderie, and the people. After an incentive flight in an F-15 fighter jet, Tamiko knew she wanted to work in the aviation industry and developed a passion for it. She served in the Air Force for four years and was part of a fighter squadron unit, where she was able to build her knowledge and skills. Following her military career, her focus shifted, and she took a corporate position working with defense contractors.
After 16 years of military and defense industry experience, Tamiko decided it was the right time to start her own business. She already knew the ins and outs of the aviation industry and had some contacts during her long career. The only thing she needed was some capital to get started.
“I have an MBA and all this great experience. I’ve been in an aviation environment all my life since high school, and that’s when it happened,” Bailey said. “I wasn’t sure if I had enough money, connections and resources. I just really wasn’t sure If I could pull it off.”
She put her car down as collateral to secure an initial loan. This helped her start Bailey’s Premier Services out of her garage and then move to an executive office. Bailey’s Premier Services became an LLC in 2010. Over the years, Tamiko’s business grew from a small garage-based start-up into a successful company, but like many business owners, she had accumulated some debt along the way.
Tamiko knocked on doors where opportunities were available and took on multiple offers from lenders. “I just took anything that anybody would offer me just to operate my business, you know, 22 percent interest, 25 percent interest, they lent me $10,000 and they made $15,000 off of me in some situations.” Unfortunately, these high interest rates took a toll on the company, but Tamiko wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. “I knew someone would lend to me.”
Soon enough, an SBDC coordinator in Tarrant County, Texas directed Tamiko to CRF to apply for an SBA 7(a) loan. She spent hours working back and forth with the lending team to ensure that she had the right projections and paperwork for the application process.
CRF was able to provide an SBA 7(a) loan to Tamiko in 2018. The financing helped Tamiko pay off the remaining debt she had and focus on the growth of her company. Since then, Bailey’s Premier Services has hired more employees and earned certifications in cybersecurity, AS9100/ISO9001 and other areas. These efforts helped grow the business and enabled Bailey to pay off the 7(a) loan early. Now Tamiko has her eyes set on expanding Bailey’s Premier Services and becoming an international exporter and contractor overseas.