FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Consult Nutrition

Rapid revenue growth is the target that all small businesses dream of and aim for, until it happens and new problems arise. Then, while the challenges and growing pains are welcome, they can often feel overwhelming. Suddenly what was a small operation has become a big undertaking and new issues crop up almost everywhere. It was exactly that situation that Wendy Lombard, founder and president of Consult Nutrition, encountered. Her solution was to turn to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance and guidance, and she is happy she did.

Consult Nutrition provides dietician services for geriatric facilities including long-term care, skilled rehabilitation, and assisted living. Comprised of a team of registered and licensed dietitian professionals, Consult Nutrition creates customized dietary programs focused on seniors. “We’re different from other consulting companies because we prefer to be a small company,” explains Lombard, “which enables us to really know our clients, to know what their needs are. Being small also allows us to be more of a team and work with each other to come up with creative solutions for the patients we are serving and for our clients who care for those patients.”

“We originally looked for help from the FSBDC because our company had grown so rapidly that my job was transitioning from working with our clients and our patients to actually running a company,” Lombard recalls, “and dealing with all sorts of issues that I just was not equipped to handle.” Enter FSBDC at UCF consultant Sharon Smith to assist by providing the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert consulting and guidance on a multitude of fronts, including business planning, financial forecasting, access to capital, marketing, and human resources.

“When we started working with Sharon, we were initially considering what we wanted to do with the company in the future,” says Lombard. At the same time, Consult Nutrition was growing so fast that cash flow was becoming a concern. “I was focused on getting financing to make sure that it wasn’t such a challenge to make sure our staff got paid on time,” Lombard shared. “Sharon was able to help us with that and to look at other things, important things like legal and human resources considerations and not being a tiny little business that is not subject to those regulations. She also helped with a business valuation that opened our eyes to opportunities we hadn’t before contemplated.”

At the same time, having helped Lombard master Consult Nutrition’s growing pains, Smith kept asking “where do you want the company to be in 5 – 10 years?” “I was so excited about having achieved what we had achieved, I really hadn’t thought about the future. Now we are looking at how do we help this company grow and what dreams do we have about what we can turn this company into,” Lombard states.

Lombard is now on a steady course and managing the company’s growth more effectively, with revenue having increased 50% year over year, necessary funding having been accessed, and additions made to her team. “I would advise anyone to absolutely reach out to the SBDC,” concludes Lombard. “There are so many resources – much more than I had been aware of – that are available to you at no cost and that support is just invaluable when you’re a small business.”

For information about Consult Nutrition, please visit https://www.consultnutritioninc.com/.