The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette helped Jill Hurley plan, build, brand and grow her business Health-e Habits for Living. Diets have come and gone over the decades but the solution for weight loss that has always stood the test of time has been healthy eating and exercise. In twenty years as an occupational therapist, Jill Hurley learned that obese patients could best be cared for by a 360-degree approach that encouraged entire lifestyle changes. In 2008, Hurley put that belief into action and founded Healthe Habits for Living, a unique organization that helps clients eat better, exercise more, lose weight and improve the quality of their life. Focusing on the mental challenges behind making the changes, they also incorporate intense behavioral therapy. “After I started losing weight and saw what a challenge it was, I realized I could help others.
There are a lot of mental challenges and we have strategies to help lose weight and keep it off,” she said. Hurley put her idea into action through help from the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. With virtually no business experience, Hurley wanted to find consultants that could help her handle the administrative tasks of getting the business up and running so, she could focus on her job as a clinician. Hurley worked with the center for six months and then worked on start-up tasks and research for two years before opening her doors. The center assisted by helping with everything from writing a business plan and web site design to branding and a developing company identity package. They also helped Hurley fine tune her marketing plan to target and lure the right clientele once she opened her doors. Having never worked in the business world before, Hurley also found human resource issues a challenge and she worked with a center consultant to put together policies and procedures to make sure that everything was in accordance with labor laws and standards. Healthe Habits opened its doors with approximately 20 patients per month and has now grown to serve a volume of more than double that. Healthe Habits also offers classes in everything from Pilates and Zumba to Belly Dancing and Taekwondo.
They also offer Camp Healthe, a 16-week program where participants meet once a week to inspire and encourage their lifestyle changes in dieting, exercise and positive thought. Hurley still consults with the center on occasion to help manage the company’s growth. “We now talk about how to grow the business, business strategy and sometimes legal issues or advice, or where to go for certain things. They’ve been a great help,” she said. Contact us today to learn how the LSBDC can help grow your business!