The Muscle Repair Shop of Sarasota County
Butch Phelps started his career with hopes of being a massage therapist but was finding it difficult to create a niche in the field. Then he trained under small business owner Aaron Mattes and gained a significant interest in how the brain works with the muscular system to release tension and rework the body through stretching.
This led him to starting The Muscle Repair Shop, in Sarasota. The business focuses on helping people regain freedom of movement and age pain-free, through stretching and breathwork.
In 2016, seeking assistance in growing his business, Phelps reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida and was paired with business consultant, Scott Carpenter. Carpenter specializes in public relations and marketing.
Over a series of consultations, he helped Phelps to develop his business plan and marketing strategy to drive an increase in revenue. Phelps has increased his marketing efforts considerably since working with Carpenter.
“Scott helped me understand the demographics, setting up a marketing plan that we could use to draw more people to the business in several different ways,” he said. “What we’re doing now from that is we’re starting a podcast. We have a YouTube channel. We are doing videos weekly on the YouTube channel. We are setting up the newsletters to reach people to keep touching base with people on a regular basis.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, it presented new challenges for the business, including a temporary shutdown. During this time, Phelps was able to work on finalizing things that he and Carpenter had worked on, and with the help of his consultant, he was able to secure disaster funding from the EDC of Sarasota County and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“The loans that the SBDC helped me with and also the loans I got from the federal government, what I did with that money was really focus in on the marketing plans that I had talked about,” he said.
Phelps continues to seek guidance from the Florida SBDC at USF with questions and business concerns he has.
“You cannot do it by yourself,” he said of being a business owner. “I know most people think that when they run their own business that they’re going to do everything their self. But, when you have a resource like the SBDC, you’ve got a resource of people that are in different parts of the business world that can help you out.”
“Having someone that you can turn to ask questions to keep your business not only running, but growing, is a massive ease of anxiety about running a business.”