In April of 2014, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Community and Economic Development Initiative in Kentucky launched the Grow Kentucky program and received overwhelming interest from throughout the Commonwealth. The center and initiative are part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Typically a region’s economic growth is based on attracting new large scale companies, often via offers of tax incentives and workforce development services. By contrast, Grow Kentucky focuses on aiding established growth-oriented companies with strategic issues such as developing new markets, refining business models and accessing competitive intelligence. Small businesses with longevity and a goal to expand are often referred to as second stage businesses. Such companies generally engage 10 to 99 employees and generate from one to 50 million dollars in annual revenues.
Jamie and Steve Bryant, owners of B-Books.com , a book packaging company based in Covington, KY were among those with a piqued interest in the new program. The Bryant’s company had the potential, it was direction they needed.
Brock Elliott had 10+ years of experience working in the auto auction industry and always hoped to one day operate his own auto auction company.
In 2012, Brock began pursuing possible locations and available space. He met with a local lender who referred him to Kim Jenkins, management consultant at Morehead State University’s Ashland Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
The Ashland SBDC has been providing small business consulting services free-of-charge in downtown Ashland for nearly 30 years.
Brock met with Jenkins about securing a loan to open an auto auction in the Ashland area. He had located some commercial property for lease on Slone Court in Ashland/Cannonsburg, Kentucky. Jenkins assisted him with business planning, financial forecasting, and loan packaging. As plans were discussed, it became necessary to calculate his anticipated start-up costs which included fencing, garage doors, decks, lighting, signage, sound system, furnishings, office equipment, etc… Jenkins also helped him project estimated sales/income potential and overhead expenses.
In the months that followed, she worked with him to prepare three-year cash flow/profit-loss financial projections and SBA loan paperwork for submission to a local bank. In March 2013, he was approved for SBA financing, and the grand opening of Bigg Deals Auto Auction was conducted on June 6. The auction is conveniently located ¼ mile past Wal-Mart on Rt. 60; turn at Freedom Homes; Bigg Deals is the white building next to Holiday Inn Express.
In July 2012, Amy Adkins began pursuing her dream of business ownership and visited a local bank to discuss her financial needs. The lender referred her to Kim Jenkins, management consultant at Morehead State University’s Ashland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Ashland SBDC has been providing small business consulting services free-of-charge in downtown Ashland for nearly 30 years.
Adkins planned to open a Chickabiddy Frozen Yogurt franchise in Louisa. During her sessions with Jenkins, they discussed loan options, loan requirements/criteria and she was provided outlines, information and worksheets to begin drafting a business plan and financial data for SBDC review. They calculated her start-up costs including the franchise fee, remodeling/renovations, inventory, equipment/machinery, and working capital. In the weeks that followed, Jenkins worked with her to develop and finalize a business plan, three-year financial projections, and loan proposal to start the frozen yogurt shop. Adkins then returned to her lender fully prepared to pursue financing.
OWENSBORO, Ky. (July 12, 2013) – Tina Snodgrass, APRN, FNP-C has opened her Skin Care Practice at 2816 Veach Road, Suite 208, in Owensboro with the help of Lois Decker, Center Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at Murray State University in Owensboro .
Tina is a Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified in Family Practice. She has extensive experience in dermatology and started practicing in dermatology in 1999. Tina will see any patient with or without insurance including, TriCare, Medicare and Medicaid. Same day appointments are available. Tina’s number one priority is providing quality patient care. You may make an appointment by calling 270.926.0707.
You’ve chosen a career in podiatric medicine and for many reasons. Perhaps it’s the aspect of caring for others in your community that allows you to thrive, or the vast interest you had in the science that initially started your career, but there is always one aspect of a job that keeps you coming back for more day after day. Whatever your motivation is to strive to earn the “best podiatrist in town” title, your patients are looking for the same passion and professionalism when in search of the right doctor for their individual needs. While there is no secret for running the most successful podiatry practice in your community, there are easily obtainable methods available to successfully market your business and expand your services.
Maybe you are the best podiatrist in town and consider your practice and your staff the staple hold of your reputation. How will the local citizens realize this without you pinpointing it first? They won’t. Without efficient advertising your business is established but not growing. Try running an advertisement in the local newspapers or radio to reach a wider audience. Building a reliable and easy to use website is another advertising outlet for your business and provides the opportunity to extensively highlight your services and staff. From printing business cards to handing out pens with your practice’s name, you must remind consumers that you are in business and motivated to serve them.
Someone in need of a podiatrist notices your advertisements or is recommended by others in the community and are considering your practice. They call your office to schedule an appointment and your reputation is immediately in jeopardy. Your advertising campaign has promised exceptional service and your expected to deliver great results. How can you achieve this goal? By simply dedicating your practice to caring about your patients. You began this career for a reason and genuinely caring about your patients is the best form of service you can offer. From staffing your business with compassionate employees, to following through with excellent patient care, the way you treat your customers can have the most impact on your practice’s reputation. When hiring staff, be sure that they meet the professional standards and requirements for the job but that they also value the needs of the patients. Whether it’s a first time visitor or a repeat customer, making your patients feel assisted and comfortable in your office is crucial to running a successful business.
Advertising doesn’t always mean a billboard next to a major intersection or handing out business cards, but it can also mean putting your reputation where your mouth is, or your patient’s mouths, for that matter. Networking with others throughout the community is crucial for sustaining your podiatrist office and word of mouth can be the most impactful marketing tools available. When you provide outstanding service your patients will reflect this with recommendations, repeat business, and loyalty. This form of networking not only builds a strong patient database but it allows for free advertising and perhaps the most reliable and easiest source of promotion available. Networking with other local doctors or hospitals for patient referrals can also help build a positive reputation among the community and prove your willingness to serve to the best of your potential while also getting your name out there.
Even though there is no specific or correct way to successfully brand and market your individual business, by establishing the core values of offering remarkable customer service and patient care along with advertising, the basics for running a successful podiatry practice are already in place.
Article by Amy at Crown Foot & Ankle Center .