Smart, savvy, and experienced entrepreneurs understand that going it alone is a losing proposition. Finding no cost or low-cost mentors, advisors, partners, and resources is the strategy that can make the difference between success and failure when starting a new business. Nathan Gauger, founder and managing partner of Blue Heron CPAs based in The Villages, FL, fully appreciated this fact and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Sumter County for help.
Blue Heron CPAs provides personal and small business tax services, as well as bookkeeping and general business accounting services. With an office in The Villages and full-service satellite offices in Leesburg (Lake County) and Ocala (Marion County), Blue Heron was built to serve the needs of its local communities. “We truly intend to provide a consultative component to all the services we provide,” Gauger says. “We sit down with you, talk you through your situation. Our goal is to inform you on what is truly happening in your business or your personal finances associated with your taxes and your financial information.”
Opened in 2021, Blue Heron CPAs sought assistance from the FSBDC when Gauger observed new opportunities for his business and his clients’ businesses. “Everybody likes to take advantage of government assistance when it’s available,” Gauger claims. “We found that opportunity with the FSBDC.” Working with Jamie Mead, consultant in the FSBDC at UCF’s Sumter County Office; Phil Geist, consultant from the FSBDC at the University of North Florida; and Jairo Batista, consultant at the FSBDC at UCF’s Orlando Office, Gauger received the support he needed in multiple ways.
“With the FSBDC, we have been really fortunate to use Jairo for all our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs,” Gauger shares. “Jamie was extremely informative with all the demographic data that she offered. We also utilized the FSBDC at UNF for some of our clients in Marion County that were having trouble getting financing. Working with the FSBDC has been extremely pleasant. It’s insane how helpful they can be in all of the different facets of a business,” recalls Gauger.
“Working with the FSBDC, I have seen my business grow,” Gauger continued. “The SEO work that Jairo did means my websites now place high in the Google rankings. Jamie’s demographic databases allow me to target the right customers with positive messaging and bring them to our business. We also recommend the FSBDC to a good majority of our business clients, telling them to reach out because there is great opportunity and great resources to be had from them, and it’s at zero cost.”
“If you’re a new entrepreneur, if you’re someone looking to grow a business and you have not done this before, I advise you to get help,” Gauger concludes. “I would always start with the SBDC and fully utilize their services to grow your business. The one word I would use to describe the SBDC is ‘Passionate’; I don’t know one of their advisors – and I have now worked with four – that doesn’t have a love for actually helping people. That takes passion and that is an absolutely beautiful thing to have on your side.”
For information about Blue Heron CPAs, please visit https://blueheroncpas.com/.