Jody Prince and Cathy Mittelstadt have a mission: to “Unleash Your Potential”. It comes from a passion for physical fitness, skills and abilities that they strive to share with their Flagler County, FL community. And this isn’t even their day job; Prince works in disaster recovery for a large insurance company and Mittelstadt manages operations for a county school district.
But it’s their passion for fitness – theirs and yours — that prompted them to become co-owners and founders CrossFit BearCat five years ago, featuring the CrossFit fitness regimen. Built upon constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity designed to improve fitness and health, it’s not just for the top athletes who have embraced it worldwide; CrossFit works for the average individual looking to become healthier in a short time.
CrossFit BearCat built a loyal following early on. But Prince and Mittelstadt wanted more for their members and coaches. It drove them to look for ways to improve the CrossFit workout experience they offered. “We were looking to expand, to put us in the right space,” says Prince. “We called a local community bank for help with financing. While welcoming, their first question was: ‘Do you have a business plan? And three year financial projections?’ I didn’t have either and I was stumped.”
“Fortunately, that very same banker referred us to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) in Palm Coast,” added Cathy Mittelstadt. “And that’s where we met with Michael Oppenheim, one of the FSBDC at UCF’s consultants,” continued Prince. “I was so energized by our first meeting. He showed me so much. How to start my business plan. How to approach my 3 year projections. He gave me templates and ideas and guidance. From then on, the FSBDC was there for us and making sure we got it right every step of the way.”
“Going into this venture, it all seemed so daunting,” remarked Mittelstadt. “We wondered if we would ever get to the finish line. Having the FSBDC there to help was incredibly powerful and made so much possible.”
With assistance and coaching from their FSBDC consultant, the CrossFit BearCat co-owners prepared their business plan and developed their financial projections. “Working with the FSBDC has been phenomenal,” Prince says. “Now we better understand our forecasts and our business model, and what we need to do to sustain and grow our business so we are here for our members and coaches for a long time.”
Not surprisingly, given their determination and hard work, and some help from the FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast, Prince and Mittelstadt and CrossFit Bearcat applied for and got their loan. They have built an exciting new facility on East Moody Boulevard in Bunnell that will enable them to better serve their current members, as well as new ones. “We did it,” concluded Mittelstadt. “The FSBDC gave us a path and the confidence to proceed. Now we have what we need to help realize our dream for CrossFit Bearcat: to “Unleash Your Potential.”