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.