Social Media Content Provider Finds Success with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF
September 28, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu
Charles Wheeler, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4846 or Charles.Wheeler@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – For many aspiring entrepreneurs with a compelling dream or exciting new idea, the first question is often, ‘Where do I start?” Building a firm foundation, managing start up risks, and launching with confidence and clarity are integral steps to establishing and growing a thriving business. Nakiesa Faraji-Tajrishi was a recent University of Central Florida graduate when she began contemplating starting her own venture, Nakiesa’s Photography. She turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.
Nakiesa’s Photography isn’t your ordinary photo studio. It offers so much more, specifically professional photography and videography focused on serving clients in the luxury/adventure travel and travel-related services. “The product that I offer is social media content creation for travel products, for hotels, for tourism boards,” shares Nakiesa, “as well as general photography services.” She specializes in digital manipulation applying cutting edge software to a combination of drone and handheld photography, resulting in the creation of dynamic and impactful content that captivates people’s attention.
“When I was looking to start my own business, I actually had no idea where to start or what to do,” describes Nakiesa. During an online search, she discovered the Florida SBDC and its ‘How to Start Your Business’ seminar, and she was quickly off and running. “I was really excited about the opportunity to get some advice and seek some counseling from people who had been in the industry and understand the things you need to do to be successful as a small business owner,” she recalls.
Nakiesa committed herself 100 percent to starting her new business on the right footing. “With the Florida SBDC, I have actually come in about every two weeks consistently for the past two years for consulting services with my FSBDC consultant Chuck Wheeler. He’s just been phenomenal. He’s my go-to guy for just about any question I have. And I love that he has experience in the advertising industry which is the same industry that I’m trying to establish my business in.” Highlights of where Wheeler and the FSBDC assisted Nakiesa include its no-cost consulting, access to vast market data and research resources, and digital marketing planning.
“I found the FSBDC to be very warm and welcoming from the get-go,” continues Nakiesa. “When I approached them, I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t have an LLC. I didn’t have any of those things. I just had questions and from the very beginning they were very friendly, explained everything with patience, and made me feel like it was completely possible and reasonable to start my own business. They held my hand and walked me through all the steps I needed to take in order to become this liberated entrepreneur that I feel I am today. It’s just been fantastic. I cannot recommend their services enough.”
“The success I have seen with my business and the results that I’ve achieved since I started working with the FSBDC have been phenomenal,” Nakiesa concludes. “Every single year since I started with them, I’ve been able to double my income from the previous year. This year I’m on track to double my income again. In just two years of operation, I am profitable and looking forward to expanding my business. I cannot stress enough how valuable the FSBDC has been to me in the creation and growth of my company and I am eternally grateful.”
— 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 2022, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $793.9 million in sales growth; $66.7 million in capital formation; $103.8 million in government contract awards; and 160 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 2022, 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 29,000 jobs impacted; $4.8 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.