Featured Business: Body Balance Institute | SBDC UNF

Featured Business: Body Balance Institute

Vicki Sullivan is an advanced degreed nutrition consultant, adjunct instructor at the University of North Florida and business owner since 1997. In 2001, she opened a small studio in her home where she offered both private and shared Pilates classes. By 2006, she had leased space at the beaches. Vicki had a vision of a new facility that would be a provider of Pilates, Gyrotronics, physical therapy and therapeutic massage.
Vicki needed a plan and turned to the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida for assistance. CBA Kevin Monahan reviewed her initial draft plan for a new facility and made recommendations on marketing, location siting and transition. Kevin and Vicki worked to detail the plan for lending as the new facility wherever it would be located would require financing. They also worked on marketing to keep the clients she currently had and begin growing the business.
With a finished plan, they next explored an SBA 504 loan to buy a location in the Hodges at JTB area of town. In early 2007, a meeting was arranged with Florida First Capital (FFCFC) to package a loan for facilities, build out and equipment. Kevin and Kristen Tackett of the FFCFC answered Vicki’s questions and showed her how the loan program worked.
This was a big expansion and Vicki continued to do market research to assure herself that this was the right location. Affluent people in particular have shown an increased interest in nutrition and fitness. The target audience was between 35 and 50 years old. The Hodges Blvd. location was centered near Windsor Parke, Jacksonville Golf and Country Club as well as other affluent development communities. In addition, Vickie believed that she would be able to retain her clients from the Beaches.
In 2006, Vicki opened Body Balance Institute, a beautifully laid out facility with state of the art equipment and high end clientele. Market research paid off as her client base continues to grow. Body Balance Institute has professional staff on board to teach classes and provide one on one instruction. Many local professional athletes have become clients at this successful personal fitness and wellness studio.
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