FSBDC at EFSC Assists Rockledge Entrepreneurs Obtain Financing for Expansion and Growth
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or email@example.com
Robin Braswell, Sub-Center Director/Consultant, FSBDC at EFSC, 321.433.5573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – Doing anything for the first time can be challenging and, for a small business owner who has her or his company’s future on the line – navigating new possibilities for expansion is no exception. For Diana and Tim Willis, owners of Baby Fairy Tale – a unique mother-to-be ultrasound video studio that captures enchanting, magical pre-birth baby moments in 3D/4D/HDLive – there were growth opportunities in unfamiliar territory before them, so they called upon the Florida Small Business Development Center at Eastern Florida State College (FSBDC at EFSC), a sub-center of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
Baby Fairy Tale is an ultrasound clinic specializing in recording magical moments for the expecting mother and her loved ones. Beyond being a wonderful and unique way to make memories, what makes Baby Fairy Tale exceptional is its offer of a spacious theatre setting in which the mother-to-be and her family and friends can experience a remarkable and special moment. “Everybody leaves Baby Fairy Tale happy,” says Diana Willis proudly.
Customers have been flocking to Baby Fairy Tale and the Willises saw opportunity in expanding to a second location. “But how do we do that?,” they asked themselves. Their search for assistance led them to the FSBDC. “I had heard of the FSBDC but wasn’t sure what they did,” recalls Tim Willis. “So, I looked them up and got in contact with Robin Braswell (EFSC sub-center Director and FSBDC consultant),” he went on. Braswell described the FSBDC’s services: no-cost, expert consulting; business training seminars and webinars; and access to expansive market research and databases. “She’d send me emails about the different programs and projects that the FSBDC was doing around here,” Tim says, and it piqued his interest.
“We got more involved with the FSBDC when we decided to purchase a piece of property for a second location,” Tim Willis continued. “I contacted Robin and she immediately started sending me resources and recommendations. She connected me with an SBDC consultant who is an expert in capital access and loans, Maggie Incandela. She helped me write a business plan for Baby Fairy Tale and that business plan helped us to acquire a loan to buy the property for our second location.”
“It’s been wonderful working the FSBDC,” Willis shared. “Whenever I have a question or thought or doubt, I would write Robin and she would either answer that question, direct me to the right person or resource, or give me ideas. The other thing that’s really cool about working with the SBDC is they have meetings, like a lender’s panel, and different seminars that are super informative and helpful to grow your knowledge as a business owner.”
“The FSBDC has been very helpful” Willis concludes. “Since we started working with them, we’ve done a lot of things; the big one is starting to open a second location — getting the loan, buying the property and working on it. We’ve hired a second employee and now we’ve started on getting a loan for a second ultrasound machine. I would recommend the FSBDC to any business. I mean, why not? To get some free help, that’s awesome.”
For information about Baby Fairytale, please visit https://babyfairytale.com/home .
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of part of UCF’s Office of the President and the Florida SBDC Network.
The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2021, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 8,200 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.5 billion in sales growth; $88.8 million in capital formation; $72.4 million in government contract awards; and 137 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .
About the Florida SBDC Network
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.
In 2021, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network’s latest economic impact analysis, the FSBDC’s services resulted in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $7.4 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired; and $528.4 million in capital accessed.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.