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Movin’ On Up

Posted by ehayden on November 9, 2015

As certified massage therapist, certified holistic health coach, and owner of A Natural Way to Recovery massage therapy in Indianapolis, Lori Holbrook had successfully bootstrapped her business since 2008.   Business was solid and the company was slowly growing. 

Lori hit a bump in the road in late 2014 when she was faced with a difficult decision to make. It was then that her landlord informed Lori that they may be selling the building where she rented space for her business.  Faced with a choice, Lori had to consider her options; try to purchase the building or embark on a lengthy process to secure a new location, accompanied by a potentially costly move. Having seen great success at her existing location, Lori preferred to stay put, so she reached out to the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) to explore the potential of securing a loan to purchase the building. 

BOI oversees one of the nation's largest Chamber-affiliated microloan funds. Its current loan pool consists of more than $2.1 million in public, private and philanthropic funds aimed at helping support and grow small business in the Indy region.

Lori had often utilized BOI services, periodically seeking business coaching assistance in cash flow management, marketing, human resources management and more. This would be the first time she would approach BOI for funding. 

For several months Lori worked toward a potential loan through BOI, working her cash position up to loan worthiness. She even developed a backup plan - negotiating a potential loan with her landlords.  Within a couple of months, however, her landlords informed her that they had sold the building, forcing Lori to move her business within a matter of months.  She again reached out to BOI to help navigate the forthcoming transition with minimal impact on her budget and services.  

Lori had considered expansion in the past, and viewed the move as her chance to do so. She and her BOI business coach first focused on mapping her expanded vision for the business.  Next, they worked with BOI's cash management tool to determine what she could afford.  She also began building an advisory team to ensure she had the appropriate resources available when she needed them.  Lori formally secured an attorney and contractor and expanded her networking circles, while the Indy Chamber provided resources in real estate identification, zoning and permitting, lease negotiations, and financial forecasting.

Due in large part to her continuous commitment to her coaching, detailed financial forecasting and the utilization of the resources either self-obtained or provided by BOI, Lori’s dream of expanding and moving her business become a reality.  In October Lori celebrated moving in to her new space and seeing great success.  

As she settles in, she has already contacted BOI to assist with her next phase…a grand opening, marketing and sales!

For more information about the Indy Chamber’s small business resources, contact the Business Ownership Initiative at 317-317-3266 or visit www.businessownership.org