Missy Cook and Kelly Britton asked for advice in starting their Warsaw fitness center and licensing regulations for babysitting, which would be offered to women while they participate in exercise programs.
Jim Gregar, their North Central ISBDC Business Advisor, answered all of their questions and Missy came to South Bend to attend the seminar on Legal Considerations for New Businesses. Jim provided the contact information for the licensing requirements for day care services and sent them websites from competitiors in the surrounding area and trade associations for their industry. He had research completed for both ESRI and SBDCNet obtaining consumer and industry trends for fitness centers and demographic data from the Warsaw area showing recreation expenditures, market profit, and disposable income profile.
Missy and Kelly hired a lawyer, formed an LLC, and bought a building with 8,500 sq. ft. that they subsequently renovated. With monthly contact from the SBDC they developed their web site, trained and hired employees, and developed their marketing plans. Jim attended their ribbon cutting ceremony and was given a tour of the new facility which offers child care, more than a dozen different dance and exercise classes, and provides the opportunity to learn from a personal fitness coach.
Missy said, “The information and assistance provided by the SBDC was extremely helpful in starting our new business. Jim gave us many tips about things to consider when researching, purchasing, and renovating our building for commercial use. His role as a sounding board during the planning process gave us confidence that contributed to our decision to move forward with our business.”