Courtney Smith faced a multitude of challenges when she decided to buy a business she had worked at while in college. Despite her formal education, the complexity of crafting a business plan and understanding the variations of running a small business was overwhelming, along with the daunting task of determining the sequence of necessary steps in acquiring a business. The need for financial planning, securing financing, and evaluating the price of Webb City Florist were all significant hurdles for Smith. The difficulties of the floral industry and the specific challenges associated with owning and operating a small to medium-sized business were areas where Smith felt underprepared.
"I'm very thankful for the SBDC continuing to be a lifeline for me when I'm in a pinch. It's definitely a great service, and I couldn't have done it without them."
The Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) played a pivotal role in Courtney Smith's successful venture into entrepreneurship. The business counselors she worked with provided crucial guidance and fantastic support. They helped Smith navigate the complexities of business plan creation, understand financials, and establish a sequence for the acquisition process. The assistance from the Missouri SBDC at MSSU extended to providing industry data on floral shops and aiding Smith in determining a fair purchase price. The SBDC expertise and mentorship prepared Smith for the challenges ahead, fostering a smooth transition into business ownership.
Elochukwu “Elo” Osoego and his wife, Dara Osoego, faced a significant challenge as healthcare professionals in a hospital emergency room. Recognizing that many patients (80% to 85%) seeking emergency care did not require it, they identified a gap in the healthcare system. Many individuals needed services not provided by urgent care facilities but couldn't wait for a primary care appointment. The uncertainty of medical care costs prevented people, even those with insurance, from seeking necessary treatments.
Motivated to bridge the gap between urgent care and emergency rooms and provide affordable and transparent healthcare, the Osoegos opened the Innovative Medical Clinic in July 2022. Their mission was to reach individuals without health insurance and those reluctant to visit the ER due to high deductibles. They aimed to offer quality healthcare to those who might postpone or avoid seeking care.
The clinic provides various services, including labs, IV fluids, and imaging, through partnerships with facilities like Advanced Radiology. Despite initial hurdles, the Osoegos have successfully launched the clinic. Their commitment to addressing community needs and providing accessible healthcare highlights their unique journey in establishing the Innovative Medical Clinic.
"We were very, very fortunate to meet Lauren Carter [Missouri SBDC]. Without her, I don't think that the clinic would have come to fruition."
The Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Lincoln University was pivotal in establishing the Innovative Medical Clinic by Elochukwu “Elo” Osoego and Dara Osoego. Facing the daunting task of navigating the complexities of starting a healthcare clinic, the couple turned to the Missouri SBDC for guidance. Lauren Carter, the director of the Missouri SBDC at Lincoln University, provided invaluable support, guiding them through critical aspects of their venture.
Initially struggling with research and planning, the Osoegos found a reliable partner in the SBDC. The center helped them refine their business plan, addressing considerations they hadn't initially considered. The business counselor’s positive response to their innovative healthcare model boosted their confidence in the project's viability.
Beyond advice, the SBDC facilitated vital connections and opportunities. Carter identified a grant opportunity that the Osoegos successfully secured, enhancing their financial foundation. Additionally, the SBDC played a crucial role in introducing the couple to a pro-small business banker, paving the way for them to secure essential funding.
Through the Missouri SBDC, the Osoegos received expert guidance and accessed resources that were instrumental in bringing their vision to fruition. The support from the SBDC underscores its crucial role in empowering small businesses and fostering entrepreneurial success in the community.