Owning and running a small business isn’t easy. In fact, there are some who say that it’s the toughest job you’ll ever have. At the same time, there are immense rewards in business ownership like professional independence, personal satisfaction and financial opportunity, not to mention fulfilling a dream. Fortunately, there are people and organizations who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start, grow and succeed.
Johnny Bonilla had a dream to start and run his own business five years ago. And that’s what he has done and is doing. Today he is the founder and owner of JBoFitness in Kissimmee, FL, a group training facility that takes personal training and applies it in a group setting. Dedicated to building strength and conditioning, JBoFitness guides clients in a significant workout that takes the guesswork out of physical fitness and gets results.
Bonilla will be the first to tell you that he hasn’t done it alone. Along with his wife Raquel, he is assisted by the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC) of Osceola County and its Area Manager Rafael E. M. Pratts. Bonilla has taken advantage of all of the FSBDC’s core services: its no-cost consulting, business training and access to marketing databases.
“My experience with the FSBDC has been great,” says Bonilla. “I have been able to pick up vital information from their seminars. And the thing I particularly like is Rafael’s consulting. I never feel uncomfortable about reaching out to him. From helping with strategies for my business, to dealing with taxes, to answering important questions that I know are going to affect my business and help it grow, he’s always there to help.”
“A lot of people get intimidated when they have questions,” remarked Raquel Bonilla. “But the FSBDC isn’t that way. They are so welcoming, so friendly, so knowledgeable. It made us comfortable to be working with them. That’s why we have continued with them for so long. They make it easy.”
“Starting a business and running a business can be scary,” added Johnny Bonilla. “You don’t always know what to do. To have the FSBDC there to give you ideas, to help you set goals, to hold you accountable, to have that support system is what stands out for me. In business you don’t have a lot of people to turn to but you always have the FSBDC there for you. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
With the help of the FSBDC, Bonilla and JBoFitness have enjoyed impressive success. “Since starting with the FSBDC, we’ve had massive growth,” concluded Bonilla. “From our modest start in the courtyard of a local church in 2013, JBoFitness grew into a 1000 sq. ft. space and then in 2017 moved into its current 2750 sq. ft. training facility. Starting out, JBoFitness had 7 clients; today we serve approximately 150. It’s been a lot of work, but also a great ride and fun. We’re going to continue with the FSBDC. They have done a great job with us.”