Florida SBDC at UCF – Osceola County Assists Novel and Exclusive Dog Care Business to Start and Grow
January 18, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rafael E. M. Pratts, Area Manager/Consultant, FSBDC at UCF – Osceola County, 407-847-2458 or email@example.com
Orlando, FL – For many entrepreneurs, a great idea for a new business may not be enough. Finding guidance, expertise, and support is often essential to get the business off the ground and started successfully. When Zorayma Barnard decided to launch her new business – It’s A Dog’s World – with support from husband Andrew, she turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its office in Kissimmee at the Osceola Chamber of Commerce for that assistance.
It’s a Dog’s World is a family-owned, family-run business dedicated – as they like to say – ‘to inspiring joy for doggies and their parents’ by creating safe, enriching experiences for those doggies. “What makes It’s a Dog’s World unique,” says Zorayma, “is that we provide exclusive field trips, play dates, adventures, and overnight stays for dogs in the south Orlando area. We will pick up your baby at your home and bring them to our new, private and over two-acre playland where they can run and splash and play.”
When they are tuckered out, says Barnard, there is an air-conditioned tiny home ‘doggie house’ for their R&R. And then the opportunity for more play. “At the end of the day, we bring them home happy, exercised and tired,” says Barnard. “It’s great for the busy pet parent who doesn’t always have the time to get to the dog park but loves their pet and wants to provide an awesome experience for them.”
When It’s a Dog’s World was still just an idea, Barnard applied her vision, sense of purpose, laser focus, and boundless determination to finding guidance with starting her business. “The reason I got involved with the Florida SBDC is because I saw there were no-cost consulting resources, webinars and all kinds of great tools available for entrepreneurs,” she says today. “I knew I needed support; I needed advice; I needed direction. When I saw the FSBDC had a local office, I reached out and it’s been a great partnership ever since.”
“My experience working with the FSBDC has been awesome, and fun,” Barnard continued. “My consultant Rafael Pratts brings a lot of great insight and thoughtfulness to our conversations. He provides me resources. He dares me to think outside the box. He’s just very innovative and it challenges me to be thoughtful and creative too.”
“I’ve seen great business results since I’ve been working with the FSBDC,” Barnard says today. “Since we started working with them, we were able to purchase the land we are on and the tiny home that we’re sitting in right now. We were able to open in July 2022 and already have repeat, loyal customers and a lot of happy doggie parents. We have achieved great success because we’re a place where dogs are always welcome and always loved.”
“I would definitely recommend that any entrepreneur, any future entrepreneur, anyone thinking about the possibilities in starting a new business to reach out to the FSBDC,” Barnard concluded. “They are open and honest and genuine people who are teachers who provide a lot of help and support, and just want to help you grow your business.”
For information about It’s a Dog’s World, please visit www.itsadogsworldpark.com.
— 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.