J Oliver Speech Pathology of Hardee County
“The idea is to give them the ability to communicate and to do it as quickly as possible,” Joyce Oliver-Fulse, owner of J Oliver Speech Pathology and Log On Language Learning Center, said of the children her business helps.
Oliver-Fulse started working in speech pathology 30 years ago, immediately after graduating from Northeast Louisiana University. After spending years in the public school system, she realized that she could do more for children if she ventured out on her own.
“We started J Oliver Speech because we were working in some sectors of speech that we knew were not effective for the children,” she said. “I think that a lot of resources that are needed for therapy goes into the public schools and I think it would serve the public better if it went back into the private sector in order to support this area where we could do a much more effective job.”
For the past eight years, Oliver-Fulse has been getting business done as best she can, but all the while she says she knew she could do more, and so did her entrepreneurial family.
“My father is an entrepreneur,” she said. “He would always say to all eight children that he would not allow us to go out and work for someone else. All eight children, we’re all talkers and we’re all some part of business. I think my siblings knew when they looked at my business that I could be more – that this business could be more.”
In 2015, Oliver-Fulse decided to enlist assistance to see just how much better she could be doing. With dreams of moving to another location, she contacted Florida SBDC at University of South Florida business consultant David Noel. Noel, based at South Florida State College, was excited to get started helping J Oliver Speech become an even more successful business venture.
“We discovered that moving might not be the best answer, and that’s when we decided to do the business assessment to see where she stood right now and what applications we had in the existing climate before we made a lot of drastic changes,” Noel said.
With Oliver-Fulse being the sole licensed pathologist in the region, the potential for growth is exponential as the year progresses. Now, Oliver-Fulse and Linda Wise, J Oliver Speech’s business specialist, are looking forward to working on the growth areas identified by Noel.
“David Noel provided us with a business assessment that looked at both financial as well as marketing areas that we can focus some attention to, to create the growth that we’re looking for,” Wise said.
“Before we were so busy taking care of the little things that all of the big things sort of went to the side – the advertisements, the name, logos, the website,” Oliver-Fulse added. “How are we going to plan for the future? That didn’t come together until he did an analysis of our business.”
Throughout the year, the duo will work on growing the business in its existing location, executing its marketing strategies and possibly even adding an additional speech pathologist to the staff, All the while, they’ll have Noel available as needed, at no cost to the business.
“He’s coming in with a level of expertise that you can never afford if you’re a small business,” Oliver-Fulse said. “This is like what big corporations get and we have access to it.”
Wise added, “There’s the potential for growth that is unknown without his experience.”
Along the way, Oliver-Fulse and the team at J Oliver Speech Pathology will focus on the ultimate goal – to help children function better, as quickly as possible.