Jason and Jade Seibert love yoga. In fact, they fell in love attending yoga class together. As their love for yoga and each other grew, they decided the time was right to open their own studio, Sublime Yoga, in their hometown of Dunedin. But before they did, they contacted Kurt Forster, a Certified Business Consultant at the Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development. “Starting a business can be a confusing process for so many new entrepreneurs,” explains Kurt. “Our goal at the SBDC is to help folks like the Seiberts take a big idea and break it down into manageable parts.”
Jason and Jade’s goal was to create a cozy, community-oriented yoga studio where yogis of every ability level could find a class to meet their needs, and where clients would enjoy spending time in a comfortable lounge before or after a class, or just stopping by to use the Wi-Fi and sip a cup of coffee.
To begin, the Seiberts worked with Kurt to develop a cash flow projection that helped determine the feasibility of their business idea and set a budget for success. Kurt says, “The cash flow projection is like a business plan of numbers. All of the assumptions of the business owners’ vision are included, so, after being used to test the viability of a business idea, it continues to work as a budget and a business plan.” Creating business plans and developing budgets, as well as establishing marketing strategies, are hallmarks of the SBDC’s Business Startup Series. Through weekly classes and one-on-one counseling, SBDC clients receive the direction and tools necessary to take a business from concept to reality.
Working with the SBDC also connects clients with contacts and resources across Pinellas County that can provide additional assistance to a new or expanding small business. Jason attests, “The SBDC provided us with a wealth of advice and resources to make our start as smooth as possible. From marketing plans, to contacts at the City of Dunedin, Kurt has been a help to us every step of the way.” One of those contacts was Trevor Davis at the Dunedin Economic Development department. “When the permitting process for the opening of the studio became complicated, Trevor worked with the other city departments and hand delivered our certificate of occupancy within 24 hours after we called him,” explains Jason.
Today, Sublime Yoga is running smoothly and Jason meets with Kurt on a regular basis to go over the budget and marketing activities. Kurt stresses, “Our role at the SBDC doesn’t end when a business opens its doors. We’re here to assist clients as they grow and succeed – every step of the way.”
For information on how the Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development can help you start or grow your business, visit www.pced.org/entrepreneurs, or call (727) 464-7332.