After working as a licensed nurse for 17 years, Teresa Jakowich stood in front of what felt like a brick wall in 2010, when a worsening autoimmune disease forced Jakowich to leave the career she had loved and financial stability that had come along with it. Not sure how to make a living, Jakowich came to Southern Utah University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with the basic idea for an at-home business but little else to make her ideas a reality.
With the help of the counselors at the SBDC, Jakowich learned how to develop a business plan, implement marketing strategies, utilize social media and create a sound financial plan—all necessary steps in building a viable business model from a basic idea. Now, three years later, Jakowich has founded her own homemade body products company, Mountain Meadows Bath and Body Essentials.
“This is more than my livelihood,” explained Jakowich of the renewed sense of purpose and surer footing than she had enjoyed before opening Mountain Meadows’ doors. “This is the reason I found happiness again, and the people at SBDC helped me with that.”
In Cedar City, the Small Business Development Center, one of eleven federally funded sites across the state providing support to small business to stimulate economic growth, is an extension of Southern Utah University, housed within the Business Resource Center on Main Street. As its overarching goal, the SBDC provides high quality business consulting for existing businesses and entrepreneurs, like Jakowich, who want to start or revive their business.
“Starting a business can be scary, especially when we are all being told the risks,” said the Center’s executive director, Craig Isom. “But our community has a host of resources to give to existing business and start ups. All of the staff at SBDC is here to help anyone wanting to start a business and to give them the tools that will help them succeed.”
SBDC provides one-on-one training and training workshops that are conducted every six weeks to help with things like social media implementation, search engine optimization, better business techniques and the best practices to utilize when starting a business.
And Jakowich is just one of many success stories by way of SBDC support. Businesses such as the Starlight Drive-In in Boulder, Utah, and Delta Disaster Services and Construction Monitor, both in Cedar City, now retain more than 100 employees.
To learn more about the resources available to local entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Center, contact Joni Anderson, assistant SBDC director, at 435-865-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.