Silicon Valley SBDCSan Jose, CA

“My SBDC Business Advisor quickly grasped the particular challenges of my marketing niche, and provided me with useful and creative approaches as well as specific tools, which enabled the development of a blueprint for healthy and sustained growth in my business. The result has been a successful realization of my goals - a direct result of the SBDC's input and guidance. I would recommend [their] services to anyone getting started in a business of their own.”

Beverly Leftwich, MS Marriage and Family Therapy

Before Beverly Leftwich, MS MFT, started her couple and individual counseling and therapy practice, she was a landscape architect and found her calling through volunteering her time in couples and individual recovery on drug & alcohol addiction. She gained a lot of satisfaction from her volunteer work and decided to switch careers and pursue the path of clinical counseling and therapy for individuals, couples and families.

Beverly is a graduate of Dominican University of California with a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology. She completed the required 3,000 hours of internship before passing the exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. One of her specialties is in the area of addiction recovery and couples counseling.

Beverly came to the Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center when she was 6 months into her new couples and individual counseling and therapy practice. She has a preliminary business plan but needs assistance in focused marketing activities and finding seed money to grow her business.

Beverly met with a Silicon Valley SBDC Business Advisor to discuss where she was having challenges in marketing and find ways to fund her business. In the initial engagement, the SBDC advised Beverly to identify the overall purpose of her business and articulate what impact that she will bring to the target community that she wants to serve. She then worked with Beverly to align her experience, expertise and passion with the type of counseling and therapy services that she wants to offer to individuals, families and couples. The SBDC also worked with Beverly to identify her high-value and low-value clients and where she needs to spend time marketing and volunteering to make her practice and presence known.

Beverly took the recommendations to heart and worked diligently in revising her business plan to maximize successes of her new business. She put together a clear roadmap on her offerings and marketing strategies. Beverly was keen on setting goals for herself in terms of revenues and clients. She ran through a couple of trials and uncovered the best way to measure her weekly goals that kept her focused and doing the right kind of marketing and relationship building to establish her professional reputation. She offered educational workshops to parents and families and wrote articles for a professional blog. She also took time to attend the “Access to Capital” class where she learned financing options and made the right choice opting the use of private funding to take her business to the next level.

Looking back a year ago, Beverly has made significant strides as a person and as a professional. Year to date, she launched a new website, grew her business 5 times from the time she started in July 2010, and is repaying her seed money on a monthly basis. She has also met her full-practice client goals ahead of the scheduled target date of July 2012.

To take a step further, she is now an active counselor at El Camino Hospital’s Acute Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization/Dual Diagnosis Program. She continues to expand her professional network in consultation group with Robert Navarra PhD at Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto who is engaged in research for the development of breakthrough treatment for couples in recovery, as well as with other network connections in the field. Additionally, she has trained in a “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” program, and is applying this approach in clinical treatments.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.