Napa Sonoma SBDCSanta Rosa and Napa, California

"The SBDC was, and is, an invaluable resource for me. They have the ability to focus in on where I was/am stuck and provide just exactly what I need in very specific terms both involving the logic of business and the how-to details of building and running a successful business. This has allowed me to be of service to a greater number of people than I had been in the past, and brings me ever closer to reaching my personal goals. Thank you, SBDC!"

Dawn Dolan

 

Background

Rejuvenation & Well Being is a holistic bodywork and nutritional counseling business located in the small town of Cotati, California. Initially the owner was a Jin Shin Jyutsu (holistic body work) practitioner and her entire revenue stream was her fee for private practice. The business model has shifted over the past two years. Currently, the business is primarily a nutritional counseling business that derives a significant amount of revenue from product sales. Jin Shin Jyutsu provides a small amount of revenue and is a far second to the nutritional counseling business.

Challenges

Dawn began working with the SBDC in March 2006. At this time, she clearly wasn't very interested in the business aspects of building a business or being a business owner. She wanted to make more money and have a better business, but only wanted to concentrate on the service portion of the business and that was that. When she met with the SBDC, she was just beginning to introduce nutritional testing as a revenue stream. Right from the beginning, she realized that the nutritional testing required a lot of administrative tasks and she wanted to hire part time help. This would require reconfiguring her office space and building the revenue needed to hire an employee. Dawn had not kept financial records in the past and had just purchased QB. She had accrued debt over time because the business was not making enough money to support her. Initially, she didn't understand this correlation. In addition, she did too much pro-bono and reduced-fee work that directly affected her lack of revenue.

Actions taken

The first big step was to separate Dawn's personal money from her business money. Everything was merged and this is, in part, what contributed to debt accumulation. Dawn didn't realize the cause and effect of her actions. This has been an ongoing process and Dawn has taken it seriously. In addition, she needed to get a bookkeeping system in place. Dawn struggled with QB for most of that first year and was not highly successful. At the SBDC’s urging, she finally hired a bookkeeper who did a fabulous job of getting the books set up and she were able to get financial statements that outlined the issues we had been discussing. She continues to maintain excellent books and the financial picture is clear at a glance. She hired administrative help prior to us having good financials and it was a source of concern for the SBDC, but Dawn was adamant. This was not a financially prudent move but she was willing to take on debt to get her office systems set up. Once in place, this has allowed her to build the business and move forward into profitability. Having established more than one revenue steam and, especially, one of them being an easily accessible product, has had tremendous impact on the bottom line of Rejuvenation & Well Being. Dawn is currently working on her next income generating idea, heart rate variability testing, which will require the hiring of another part-time employee. This time she is clear about the need to balance the cost of providing this additional service with the projected income.

Results

2007 income increased 158% over 2006. 2008 income increased 83% over 2007. The business became profitable in 2008 and a full time employee was hired.

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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.