Creating a Path to Success

Published On:
August 02, 2021

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“That's the value of Arbor Financial; they bring you back to how banking should be, simple and relational. Arbor Financial's team really cares about you and your success to develop a true win-win for everyone.”- Al Heminger
Huron House
The Hotel Saugatuck
Oscoda/Saugatuck, Michigan

On the Road to Becoming an Entrepreneur

After years of working for someone else, and often needing to travel away from his family, Al and his wife were encouraged by an incredible friend to stop the corporate drive and create something they could call their own. At first, they didn’t know exactly what kind of business they wanted; however, they knew whatever it was needed to be special and unique. After searching and brainstorming, they stumbled upon a stunning bed and breakfast in Oscoda, Michigan, off the picturesque and crystal-clear waters of Lake Huron. They knew they wanted to make it home and began searching for the right people to make it happen; that's when they found a broker specializing in Bed and Breakfast. It was him that guided Al and his wife to Arbor Financial's Commercial Team.

Arbor Financial was a perfect fit for them and reminded Al of simpler times growing up with his dad, who owned his own farm. “Growing up my dad had great relationships with the local banks and made simple deals that helped both parties. That's the value of Arbor Financial; they bring you back to how banking should be, simple and relational. Arbor Financials’ team really cares about you and your success to develop a true win-win for everyone.”

On the Road Again

After Huron House started growing, Al was ready for a new challenge and adventure; leading him to an original 1800s mill from Michigan's bustling lumbering era. He and his brother wanted to take this piece of history and turn it into a luxury bed and breakfast perfect for guests to relax and showcase Saugatuck. They got to work renovating the space to create something completely unique and their own. They made a similar business plan to Huron House and were thrilled by the success. “When we took on Huron House, it was already a Bed and Breakfast, so we got to learn, observe, and listen. This helped create a great business model and helped us connect with our guests. I was so proud when we took something from scratch, used the business model, and saw the results. It showed it worked and that the model really is something unique and special.”

Arbor Financial Helps Create a Path Forward

"Arbor has always been flexible and creates a win-win situation that works for my revenue structure and is specific to my business needs." After this past year, Al is more thankful than ever for the relationships he has with Arbor Financial's team. "The pandemic was a scary and unknown time. I don't think there was a single business owner that didn't think about losing it all at least once, but Judith (Vice President of Commercial Banking) and the commercial lending team constantly encouraged and helped me navigate everything. Arbor Financial has always shown they really care about you and your success. They truly will be here for you no matter what," said Al. With the Commercial Lending team's help, Al can continue growing his business and plans to add four new bedrooms to Huron House. “It is exciting to be able to grow the business after such a hard time; it means a lot that Arbor helped me and continues to help and grow our relationship.”

Make Your Own Path

Al will be the first person to tell you running your own business isn’t easy, but he has a lot of advice to make it less daunting. The most important in his opinion? Try not to think about failing, instead think about solutions that propel you forward. When you do this, it forces you to think positively, and positivity is one of the biggest keys to success. He also suggests finding a mentor that can help you build a plan, prepare, and answer questions. For Al, Arbor Financial is one of these mentors. “The commercial lending team is a great resource because they’re all so skilled, knowledgeable, and kind. They’re great at giving advice and take the time to know who you are, so it’s personal advice.” When Al seeks a mentor, it’s all about observing and listening. “If you ask someone for help, make sure to listen and observe. At the end of the day, it’s 100% your choice, but it’s important to always make sure those choices are informed.”

If you’ve always wanted to start your own business or are looking to expand a current business, reach out to our commercial team for more information. Each commercial team member is excited to connect and help you.

Find the Right Team Member for You from One of Our Qualified Lenders!



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