“Starting a new business from scratch can be challenging and costly. SBDC has played an important role in helping a new business owner and an entrepreneur like me to start a business with expert guidance. I want to thank the SBDC for providing free counseling services, affordable business-related workshops, and support to help new business get started and be on the path for success. I especially want to thank Jenny Huang, my marketing advisor, for her hands-on approach and continuous support in guiding me – for someone who has neither business nor marketing background – by injecting clarity, focus, and clear direction on my business concept and marketing plan, which is essential for the early-success of my business.” – Eden Senior Living Group, Lucy Liu, Founder and CEO.
Eden Care Home is a licensed residential care facility for the elderly and provides healthy, assisted senior living in a safe and respectful environment. The facility has been opened since April 2009 after a year-long process of locating a residential home and applying for a license with the California Department of Social Service.
Co-Founder, Lucy Liu, has over 17 years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in variety of health care settings, and wanted to create an opportunity to lead her own community-oriented home care service.
Ms. Liu came to the Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center seeking assistance with her business plan, loan funding, and marketing of her new business. She paid to have a business plan developed by a freelance consultant and was disappointed with the results as it didn’t really give her clear direction in developing her business idea.
Bonnie Austin, lead SBDC business advisor, worked with Ms. Liu initially on her business planning and loan funding assistance. But things were moving quickly where Ms. Liu had already applied for a license to open her senior care facility. Bonnie referred Ms. Liu to SBDC marketing advisor, Jenny Huang, to assess marketing readiness for Ms. Liu’s new business.
Jenny reviewed Ms. Liu’s business concept and marketing ideas and made recommendations to define her business focus, target markets, competitive advantages, and marketing direction where Ms. Liu did not have in her original business plan. These components were essential to building a strong business plan for Ms. Liu’s home care services. In addition, Jenny provided framework for Ms. Liu to determine appropriate tiered pricing for her services and ways to package them and be differentiated from the crowd. In the process, Ms. Liu attended several SV-SBDC classes such as payroll taxes for hiring employees, QuickBooks and SBA loans to familiarize her self with employee hiring, cash-flow management and funding opportunities. As part of marketing her new business and doing some catch up to meet her opening date, Jenny assisted Ms. Liu in pulling together several marketing tools, including but not limited to: a marketing brochure, a promotional ad insert, a sales intro kit to medical practitioners and social workers, and local senior community centers. Ms. Liu, on her own, also put together an employee training and handbook for her new staff.
As a result of working with the Silicon Valley SBDC, Ms. Liu gained clarity, focus and marketing direction for her new business. She was able to move forward with confidence and purchased a residence, which she had since converted into an assisted senior living facility. She has completed her initial marketing plan and is able to make full use of her marketing tools to cultivate referrals for her business. Now Ms. Liu is ready to step up on her marketing investment and has a new website planned in the near future.
Ms. Liu was able to obtain her license and opened her business on April 17, 2009 and had since hired 3 full-time employees to serve her elderly clients. She feels she is equipped to accept new clients through referrals, and has the right business focus and marketing ingredients for success.