Palm Coast - Striking the balance between delivering quality health care while building a successful small business is no mean feat. You come into the undertaking with the training and experience necessary to help your clients but then often must add new and unfamiliar business management skills and knowledge. It is a challenge that can be met and mastered, if you get help.

And that's what Jennifer Baker and husband Kevin did when they launched Kascel Therapy, LLC. They found help from Ray Peter, area manager and consultant at the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center.

Kascel Therapy is a pediatric occupational therapy company providing outpatient clinic and early intervention services. They teach children how to improve the cognitive, self-care, sensory and play skills they need throughout the day.

The company mission is "Helping Children Reach Their Potential." With over 16 years' experience as a certified pediatric occupational therapist, Jennifer Baker pursues that mission with each and every client while her husband Kevin manages the business operations.

The Bakers came to Florida 7 years ago and, initially, Jennifer operated as a sole practitioner and contractor working for a larger organization. But changes in direction and business structure at the larger company prompted the Bakers to decide to go their own way and start their own, independent business.

"We had no idea what we were getting into," said Jennifer Baker. "We just knew that something had to change if we were to continue serving our clients the way we wanted to."

That's why they turned to the Palm Coast BAC, which is part of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida.

"The FSBDC has been a guiding light through all of this," she said. "Ray took us by the hand and showed us the way. He led us through the whole business building process. Creating the business plan, the financial plan, from billing to insurance to marketing, he helped us with everything. The FSDBDC's resources are amazing."

"Running a business was uncharted territory for us," said Kevin Baker. "Leasing, licensing, negotiating, financial management. It was all new. But primarily through the FSBDC's consulting and guidance, we made progress. They helped Jennifer take what are exceptional skills and turn them into an exceptional business."

Today Kascel Therapy, LLC, is a small business success story.

The Bakers have succeeded at providing quality client care while building and managing a growing business. What began as serving zero children grew to a trickle of five but now stands at almost 50 pediatric occupational therapy clients. They have moved to a new, larger facility. New processes and procedures are in place to manage the business.

"The guidance from the FSBDC has helped us grow, there is no doubt about it," Jennifer Baker said. "I can't imagine us having had our success without their assistance."

For information about Kascel Therapy LLC, please visit www.kasceltherapy.org.

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The Palm Coast BAC is a partnership between the City of Palm Coast and the FSBDC at UCF and is located at Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave., Palm Coast. The Palm Coast BAC is a one-stop resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. It offers free business consulting services to people who want to start a business or already have one established. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact the Palm Coast BAC at 386-986-2499 or visit www.PalmCoastBAC.com.