Mrs. Maria Slyman recently relocated from Howard Beach, New York to the City of St. Cloud in Osceola County, a community which had grown 13% in population between 2010 and 2013. She and her husband came seeking a job opportunity for him in the growing medical community just north of St. Cloud known as the Lake Nona Medical City. The Medical City includes a broad array of leading health institutions including, among others, the University of Central Florida’s Health Sciences Campus (comprised of the university’s College of Medicine and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and the future home of UCF’s College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine, and a planned teaching hospital).
With the growth of the Lake Nona Medical City came a high rate of residential home building that itself triggered an increase for new business expansion to accommodate the County’s double digit population growth. All this growth and her vast accounting industry experience awakened Maria Slyman’s entrepreneurial spirit. She made the decision to open her own accounting practice, specializing in tax preparation and bookkeeping services, and leverage her long career as an accountant in the New York City area, working for firms like J.P. Morgan Chase Bank NA and Bear Sterns & Co.
But where to start? New to the area, there was much she didn’t know about the Osceola County community and the State of Florida requirements to start a new business. Maria wisely turned to a proven resource for entrepreneurs and business owners and contacted the Florida SBDC AT UCF’s office in Kissimmee, Florida. Maria took advantage of the many services offered by the FSBDC, including their training courses; confidential, no-cost, one-on-one business consulting; and extensive market data resources.
Maria put her all into getting her business started in the right way. She attended workshops on starting a business, writing a business plan and IT for the small business. She worked with her FSBDC consultant to develop her business plan and to navigate through the maze of local business regulations and requirements. And her consultant provided her with the FSBDC’s secondary research on Payroll & Bookkeeping Services and Tax Preparation Services, as well as helping Maria on business location selection. Maria also utilized the FSBDC’s Small Business Resource Network to locate a lawyer to review her commercial lease.
With all this assistance from the FSBDC, Maria was on her way. And she was vocal in her appreciation, expressing her high level of satisfaction with the FSBDC when she stated, “The FSBDC was a great source of information and support, especially my consultant Mr. Charles Wheeler, who was very instrumental in the development of the right marketing strategy that led to the creation of my business road map.”
Maria’s hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and the assistance of the FSBDC at UCF – Kissimmee Office paid off. She registered her business Allied Professional Services, LLC in December of 2013 and they opened its doors to the public in February of 2014. Her business is doing very well and, with the upcoming tax season, it will exceed revenue and growth expectations.