Palm Coast - Jody Prince and Cathy Mittelstadt have a mission: to "Unleash Your Potential." It comes from a passion for physical fitness, skills and abilities that they strive to share with their Flagler County community. And this isn't even their day job; Prince works in disaster recovery for a large insurance company and Mittelstadt manages operations for a county school district.
But it's their passion for fitness - theirs and yours - that prompted them to become co-owners and founders of CrossFit BearCat five years ago, featuring the CrossFit fitness regimen. Built upon constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity designed to improve fitness and health, it's not just for the top athletes who have embraced it worldwide. CrossFit works for the average individual looking to become healthier in a short time.
CrossFit BearCat built a loyal following early on. But Prince and Mittelstadt wanted more for their members and coaches. It drove them to look for ways to improve the CrossFit workout experience they offered. "We were looking to expand, to put us in the right space," says Prince. "We called a local community bank for help with financing. While welcoming, their first question was: 'Do you have a business plan? And three year financial projections?' I didn't have either, and I was stumped."
Fortunately, the banker referred them to the Florida SBDC at UCF in Palm Coast, also known as the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center.
"That's where we met with Michael Oppenheim, one of the FSBDC at UCF's consultants," said Prince. "I was so energized by our first meeting. He showed me so much. How to start my business plan…how to approach my three-year projections. He gave me templates and ideas and guidance. From then on, the FSBDC was there for us and making sure we got it right every step of the way."
"Going into this venture, it all seemed so daunting," Mittelstadt said. "We wondered if we would ever get to the finish line. Having the FSBDC there to help was incredibly powerful and made so much possible."
With assistance and coaching from their FSBDC consultant, the CrossFit BearCat co-owners prepared their business plan and developed their financial projections. "Working with the FSBDC has been phenomenal," Prince said. "Now we better understand our forecasts and our business model, and what we need to do to sustain and grow our business so we are here for our members and coaches for a long time."
Not surprisingly, given their determination and hard work, and some help from the FSBDC at UCF - Palm Coast, Prince and Mittelstadt and CrossFit BearCat applied for and got their loan. They have built an exciting new facility on East Moody Boulevard in Bunnell that will enable them to better serve their current members, as well as new ones. "We did it," concluded Mittelstadt. "The FSBDC gave us a path and the confidence to proceed. Now we have what we need to help realize our dream for CrossFit BearCat: to "Unleash Your Potential."
For information about CrossFit BearCat, please see www.crossfitbearcat.com.
-- FSBDC --
About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America's SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network's lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or other funding partners.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
Since 2011, Florida SBDCs served almost 75,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $1.4 billion in capital accessed; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; and 4,159 new businesses started.