For many entrepreneurs, it’s not just about starting a business, it’s also about building that business into something more. And so it was for Dr. Daniel Saint-Elie. His vision was to launch a pain management clinic and then to make it into an enterprise that served a broad and underserved community. To make his dream a reality and then a successful business, he turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Kissimmee.
Saint-Elie is a board-certified pain management physician. His clinic Painalgia Relief Center in Clermont Florida provides pain management services to relieve back, neck and other kinds of pain. Services offered are prescribing indicated oral and topical medicines including medical marijuana and administering steroid injections in the spine, joint or soft tissues. Saint-Elie and his team work to help people cope with their conditions.
Before he could start providing medical care to patients he wanted to help however, he had to plan and build his business. That’s when he contacted the Florida SBDC. “Friends who are entrepreneurs told me about the FSBDC,” recalls Saint-Elie. “I signed up and it’s been a success story ever since.”
“The experience with the FSBDC has been a great one,” he continued. “I have benefited from so many of their services and programs: their excellent business consulting, their seminars and workshops, their market research. They have helped me understand my competition and improve my bookkeeping, accounting and financial management. They have conducted a website analysis, shown me the best way to use social media and assisted with my digital marketing plan. It’s been a great experience. The FSBDC has been a backbone for my business.”
Along with the many services received from the FSBDC, Saint-Elie made particular note of the assistance he got from Elly Membreno, his FSBDC consultant. “The FSBDC is a place where I can brainstorm, get ideas, get feedback and also guidance from experienced small business experts like Elly,” he says. “I am told if I am doing something right or not, and get unbiased advice and counseling about how to run my business.”
Its startup phase behind it, Painalgia Relief Center is now a going concern and a success. “When I started, I had nothing but an idea,” says the doctor. “I turned that into a small exam room. From there I built the practice and today that has become a full service clinic. I’m renting space, we have employees and independent contractors, we’re marketing and out in the community and we’re enjoying positive cash flow. I’m growing my business and, most important, I’m seeing and helping patients which is what I’ve always wanted to do.”
“My endeavor wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the FSBDC,” concludes Saint-Elie. “From the consulting to the classes to the different ideas and their unbiased support, it’s been great. I am very grateful for everything I have received from the FSBDC”