Bob Wolf, Owner, Bob Wolf Creations
“My business has profited immensely from its relationship with Sharon Miller at the New Braunfels office. I recommend their free services and resources to small business owners and prospective business owners.”
Bob Wolf has been making one of a kind stone jewelry full-time for more than five years. A two time state of Texas Artist finalist, he has a passion for creating things of beauty provided by nature. Bob creates his unique pieces from raw rough rock and precious wire. He uses rock that varies in size and hardness which he collects from trips to Colorado, from mines around the world and from fellow rock collectors. Bob states “the rock ‘whispers’ how it wants to be cut,” when describing the first step in the cutting process. The rock is cut into a slab, shaped, trimmed, polished, then hand wrapped in sterling silver or 14 karat rolled gold wire. He sells his pieces at art shows and on his online shop. As a self-employed business owner, Bob found he was so busy with daily operations that he could not find time to think about the “big business picture.” He contacted Sharon Miller at the UTSA SBDC New Braunfels office for help. Sharon helped conduct a cost analysis that helped better price products to achieve a profit, review financials and create a business strategy that included assessing target markets and sales venues including an online store. Bob quickly saw a return on investing time with his advisor. The company experienced a 27 percent growth in sales in 2012 and Bob believes that it was due to the guidance he received from the SBDC.
Diana Caballero, Owner, Texas South Hearing
“Without the SBDC, I would not have been able to start my own business. Crystal’s knowledge, experience and encouragement helped solidify that this was the right thing to do and that I did not need to go anywhere else.”
Diana Caballero holds a special place in her heart for people like her daughter. As the parent of a hearing impaired child, Diana has experienced first hand the frustration and anxiety involved with purchasing, fitting and living with hearing equipment. Diana worked nearly eight years as a hearing instrument specialist for a hearing aid company. When the company changed ownership, Diana knew she needed to venture out on her own. She met with San Antonio SBDC Business Advisor Crystal Darby to outline the first steps of starting her own hearing aid business. With Crystal’s help, Diana registered her business name, contacted insurance companies and started the credentialing process. Diana’s initial investment and long hours paid off. Licensed by the State of Texas as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, Diana describes her business, Texas South Hearing (TSH) as a community outreach program due to its focus on helping those in the community who may not have access to quality hearing health care. She reaches out to local churches, retirement homes and nursing homes to offer services. TSH works out of three locations – two churches, a main office and a mobile service. “Providing the highest quality of hearing healthcare with the highest ethical standards is what Texas South Hearing is all about,” says Diana. TSH plans to set up a permanent location and establish a web presence in the near future.
Vance Nelson, Owner, HealthTec Software, Inc.
“The help we received from Mark Ahrens and the SBDC was instrumental in helping to prepare forecasting spreadsheets and other documents that took our own data and formatted it in a way that financial institutions understood. This was instrumental in expanding credit lines and helped us move forward with marketing and new hires.”
In 1999, HealthTec Software, Inc. was formed in San Antonio, Texas with an initial focus of delivering practice management products and services for medical and dental practices nationwide. The company now provides electronic medical records and practice management software that is ONC-ATCB government certified for Meaningful Use. They serve the needs of single and group medical and dental practices of all sizes across many specialties, answering the need for powerful but easy to use tools to efficiently manage both the clinical and financial sides of the practice. Owner Vance Nelson has brought together a great team dedicated to cultivating long-term relationships with their clients. With the HITECH Act and the Affordable Care Act, the landscape for healthcare is changing for all involved, especially for physicians. Vance knew that their products were uniquely designed for easy adoption and would be able to change along with the practice. He also knew that he would need to grow and prepare to help more physicians. He met with Business Advisor Mark Ahrens at the Small Business Development Center for help in securing a substantial line of credit through Wells Fargo Bank. Mark assisted Vance with completing an updated business plan and financial projections, which was instrumental in securing the new line of credit. As part of their growth strategy, the company will continue to reach out to the SBDC for help and guidance.