Success Stories


North Cypress Fitness hulks up facility with help

“We came to LSBDC in the early stages of planning our first fitness center,” Ross said, President and CEO. “The advice and direction we received was a huge help to us years ago, so we have worked with them many times over the years.”

Read More

When you’re passionate about bringing families together in a healthy environment, it’s important to make sure your environment is large enough. That’s what Olaf Ross had in mind for his business North Cypress Fitness, located at 1606 S Magnolia St. in Hammond.

Since the beginning, Ross utilized the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University (LSBDC at SLU). So when it came to growing his business, he knew who to talk to. Ross and the LSBDC at SLU discussed a variety of projects, including an expansion to add 31,000 square feet to the facility.

“We came to LSBDC in the early stages of planning our first fitness center,” Ross said, President and CEO. “The advice and direction we received was a huge help to us years ago, so we have worked with them many times over the years.”

The additional 31,000 square feet helped create over 40 new jobs, and North Cypress Fitness has experienced exponential growth since its start in 2001, and “we continue striving to provide quality jobs and stimulate growth in the Hammond area.”

The LSBDC at SLU helped Ross secure $3 million in capital to develop the business expansion. Over the course of North Cypress, the LSBDC at SLU has helped Ross with business startup assistance, business and financial modeling, sales and marketing assistance, financing assistance and prep, and business continuity planning.

Read Less

101 Mobility Gulf Coast

101 Mobility Gulf Coast Empowers the Mobility-Impaired in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, & Gulfport.

Read More


101 Mobility, a nationwide, full service sales, service and installation provider of mobility products, recently opened a new location in Covington, LA. 101 Mobility Gulf Coast provides mobility solutions to homeowners and businesses across Southeast Louisiana and beyond, including Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

After working more than 25 years at Johnson and Johnson, Cathy and her husband Chris, a Navy Veteran, decided to take a chance and start their own business. The Hunters researched several franchising opportunities and determined that Mobility 101 was the right fit.

Since neither of them had experience as business owners, the Hunters reached out to the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University for help. Immediately, they found expert advice and consultation on a variety of business matters. 

By conducting a feasibility study, the LSBDC was able to provide the Hunters much-needed insight about the viability of opening a mobility business along the Gulf Coast. Business Consultant Ginger Cangelosi, prepared comprehensive financial projections and helped fine-tune the business plan. “Ginger and Bill [Center Director] were quite helpful in validating our sales and profit projections. They were knowledgeable and provided the insight we needed to make our decision.” 

The Hunters look forward to continuing to build on the momentum that 101 Mobility has established as one of the fastest growing and most comprehensive mobility products and solutions organizations in the nation. 101 Mobility Gulf Coast will focus on helping clients age-in-place by selling, installing, and servicing ramps, stair lifts, automobile lifts, patient lifts, vertical lifts, barrier-free baths and offering complete home modifications to incorporate total accessibility solutions.

101 Mobility is the franchising world’s first full-service sales, service, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility and accessibility products and equipment. By working with patients to identify which home health care devices best suit each individual’s needs, 101 Mobility Gulf Coast provides an alternative to group homes and rehabilitation centers by allowing patients to live self-sufficiently in their homes.

Since opening in March, 101 Mobility Gulf Coast has created two jobs and exceeded sales projections.

Read Less

ProForce, LLC

"It really helped to have a third party to look over our shoulder, give us feedback and help move things along. As a small business owner it's not always easy to do on your own"

Read More
Founded in 2003, ProForce, LLC is a Gulf Coast leader in storm response cleanup programs for utility companies. Since its founding, the company has responded to five hurricanes, six tornadoes and two ice storms. ProForce's reputation and sales have grown over the years, but owner Mike Tilly said they eventually had to expand beyond their niche to grow their business.   "Storms don't happen every day, so we needed help with creating a strategy to market our services and expand our market," said Tilly.   Tilly approached the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2010. LSBDC Sales Consultant Scott Uffman offered to help design a sales and marketing plan to target new markets. They started by carefully selecting smaller companies that needed niche services and identified a list of thirty candidates that fit the bill.   With the assistance of the LSBDC, ProForce then went through the list and created a custom marketing package for each company. Tilly would call the companies then tailor his pitch to demonstrate exactly how they could meet that prospective client's needs. For some that was construction site preparation, for others it was first responder management of downed transformers. Each part of the plan called for perfect customization of pitches and proposals that were geared to a particular company.   "We just started making contact and went through the milestones of face-to-face meetings, documentation for the bids, putting in a bid and then winning the contract," said Tilly.   By honing the list and focusing on just the right companies, ProForce was able to enter a less competitive market that increased the success rate on bids. Instead of bidding on jobs against ten to fifteen competitors, they were now bidding on more projects where they were only one of two or three.   The plan worked and over the course of two months ProForce was able to land 5 new clients that eventually brought in an additional $1.2 million in revenue. The company has since added ten new jobs, five of which Tilly believes are permanent. He said that while many small businesses have great marketing ideas, owners often struggle to implement them because they are so bogged down with other tasks. The LSBDC took that hassle out of the equation.   "It really helped to have a third party to look over our shoulder, give us feedback and help move things along. As a small business owner it's not always easy to do on your own," he said.

 

Read Less

Wireless Zone

Lucas and Viola secured SBA financing to purchase and operate a Wireless Zone, the largest independent Verizon Wireless franchise in America.

Read More

Wireless Zone, the largest independent Verizon Wireless franchise in America, has been around since the dawn of the cell phone age. Current product offerings include the latest cellular/wireless phones, GPS navigation, wireless accessories, Verizon FIOS High Speed Fiber Optic Network, wireless data devices, and pre-paid cellular services. 

Owners, Lucas and Viola Caruso came to LSBDC while exploring the possibility of purchasing an existing Wireless Zone. Lucas has been in the wireless industry for 32 years and has developed and built over 125 stores in several US markets.  The team at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University assisted the Carusos with valuing the business and completing a business plan to submit for SBA financing. “The Center helped us to tailor our business plan specific to the needs of our company,” said Viola. “They helped us get the financing we needed to expand our business.” 

As a result, Wireless Zone secured SBA financing to support the current operation.  The Carusos are planning to expand by opening multiple stores in Southeast Louisiana.

Since the transfer of ownership, Wireless Zone has exceeded its projected goals and contributes this success to enhanced customer care, word of mouth marketing and sales culture adjustment.

Read Less

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

SBA financing helped Thomas and Gail Livaudais purchase an existing heating and air conditioning business and expand its services.

Read More

With over 30 years of experience in the home services industry, Thomas Livaudais and his wife Gail began to explore the possibility of purchasing the One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning franchise in Covington, LA. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University assisted the Livaudaises with completing a business plan to submit for bank financing.  They also discussed ways to save on overhead costs and to expand into other markets.  Extensive market research was prepared and presented to the client for inclusion in the business plan.

Following the purchase, the Livaudaises soon secured financing for their expansion into solar energy.  As a marker to their success, Thomas was recently highlighted as a local expert in a cover story for Northshore Conifer where he discussed the benefits of investing in solar energy. 

With LSBDC assistance the Livaudaises secured a $65,000 SBA loan and sales have soared to more than $600,000 per year. 

Read Less

Southeast Louisiana Business Center
1514 Martens Drive
Hammond, LA 70402-0001
Phone: 985-549-3831
Email: lsbdc.slu@lsbdc.org

M - F 8 am to 4:30 pm

 

 

 

Parishes Served:
Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington


Latest News

Southeastern's Science on Tap presents lecture on fungal farming in ants
Southeastern Louisiana University's Assistant Professor of Biology April Wright will present the next Science on Tap presentation titled"Farmers Below Our Feet: How Ants Use Fungus to Shape Ecosystems."...
» Read More
Southeastern to hold fourth annual 'Day of Giving' Tuesday, April 24
Southeastern Louisiana University will hold its fourth annual day of giving on Tuesday, April 24....
» Read More



Call Toll Free: 1- (866)-782-4159

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, hosted by Louisiana Delta Community College, is a member of the National Association of Small Business Development Centers and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and participating universities. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English proficiency will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.
Copyright © 2005-2015 Louisiana SBDC. All Rights Reserved. | Site Design by eMerge

America's SBDC     SBA     LED Louisiana Economic Development