February 2016

News From The Louisville SBDC

  7 Questions for Rhonda Hatfield

Rhonda Hatfield has had one heck of an entrepreneurial journey.  In 2004, Rhonda and her husband, Tim Hatfield, opened Little Scholars Child Care and Private Preschool.  They opened a second location in January 2009.  Maintaining a superior enrollment capacity, Little Scholars captured the attention of Cadence Education Family of Schools, which purchased Little Scholars and Little Scholars 2 in August 2011. 

An entrepreneur extraordinaire, (it is true… Rhonda’s track record demonstrates that she possesses 8 of the 8 personality traits of an entrepreneur,), Rhonda decided to enter another high risk industry, the medical spa market.  On October 6, 2015, Rhonda and Tim opened the doors to Blue Halo Med Spa, a luxurious and tranquil spa located at 8104 Old Bardstown Road in Fern Creek. 
 
I wanted to know what drives someone (my clients know that I think entrepreneurs are crazy) to keep opening businesses.  It has to be more than money.  Here’s my conversation with Rhonda Hatfield.  

This is your second business venture—what drives you to keep starting businesses?  What do you think is the secret to your success?  Hard work!  I don’t think I have a secret.  It is just being tenacious.  I am tenacious and I have faith. 

What do you look for in a business opportunity? I look for something that I feel can improve people’s lives. My goal is to find a product or a service that enhances the overall life of the customers we serve.

Do you have a role model?  Why is this person your role model?  Steve Jobs because his goal was not to be the richest person it was to be the best and to do something good.

What is the one thing you would tell an aspiring entrepreneur to focus on to help him/her attain success?  You cannot be afraid to fail. Focus on doing the things that other people don’t want to do.  Do not focus on the easy things because this will not help you to get into a market.  Take daycare … it is tough.  It looks easy on the surface, but you have a curriculum to execute and staff turnover to deal with.  I held tight to the curriculum, because I wanted the child care center to be successful.  Always aim to be the best at what you do.

 What was your biggest challenge in growing Little Scholars?  Why?  It was creating a dynamic team.  Because you have to know what motivates people and be able to get the right mix of staff.  If your staff does not love what they do and the right leader is not there… the business suffers.  You have to figure out the strengths of your staff and use their strengths in the right position so that the company shines.  To lead employees you have to know them so that you can place them where there skills can be used the best.  You have to account for the human factor, because people do not always disclose their strengths and weaknesses honestly. 

Why did you choose to enter the medical spa market… you were extremely successful in child care?  
For me I was looking for a new industry...child care is still a passion of mine, but the company position afforded me the opportunity to leave… the financials were in a great condition… both centers were at capacity… business had gone through the entire business cycle.  It made sense to sell.
 
Bonus question:  Okay, I had to ask… (shameless plug)…Why did you choose to return to the SBDC?  The Small Business Development Center has been critical to my success since 2002.  I literally would not be in business if the Small Business Development Center had not been there with the services that the Small Business Development Center offers.   I had no idea what to do.  I had a fire to start my own business but did not have the tools needed (e.g., demographic information, business plan templates). The Small Business Development Center is imperative to people that do not have the resources to get started.  I always send people to the Small Business Development Center.  The Small Business Development Center has been the most important resource that I have for my business.  I am a big, big fan and advocate of the Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration.

If you are an entrepreneur seeking to accelerate your business to the next level,  I will be glad to help you. Contact Toni Sears, Management Consultant at the Louisville SBDC,  (502) 625-0123or email me at toni.cardell@uky.edu

 #bizbuzz

The Louisville SBDC partners with various agencies and service providers on projects to benefit local entrepreneurs.  We recently had breakfast with officials from Louisville Forward, the city's economic development team, to catch up on their latest efforts to bring more opportunities Louisville's small business community.
Louisville SBDC Director David Oetken with Rebecca Fleischaker, Deputy Director of Louisville Forward, discussing new opportunities for Louisville entrepreneurs.
Louisville SBDC Consultant Toni Sears with Scott Love discussing new businesses in Louisville.
Louisville SBDC Consultant Vallorie Henderson (center) with Tommy Clark (left) and Christy Jarboe (right) of Louisville Forward
February Workshops
More Info

Intro to QuickBooks

Feb. 16th & 18th
2pm-4pm

Business Plan Boot Camp

Feb 22nd - Feb 24th
6pm-9pm

How to Increase Sales: Pushy vs Partnering

Feb 25th
9am-11am

Create a Successful Online Business

Feb 27th
8am-3pm

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