KD BUGS LLC of Hillsborough County
Keyah Caldwell, looking for a business that did not require a full-time commitment, decided to open a commercial retail business, renting space to other businesses. Caldwell was looking for instant capital gains, but in order to launch the business, she needed assistance in industry research for the niche industry she was entering.
Caldwell decided to reach out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, where she partnered with business consultant Christine Jaros. Jaros specializes in start-up and business plan consulting.
The two began researching franchise disclosure documents and cost-benefit analysis. Caldwell, not having a background in business, found Jaros’ assistance to be helpful as she questioned what was normal in analyzing the business.
“Over a year or so, we looked at when we would break even,” Caldwell said. “I didn’t know what was normal to be missing from the information provided from prospective businesses that we’re looking to sell or that were looking for investment. It was a trying time, but the consultants at the SBDC were quite accommodating. I could always schedule a consultation session and go over things and usually start back from scratch.”
For the industry Caldwell was entering, the COVID-19 pandemic made an impact in the trends with retail, creating challenges with projections and revenues. However, with the help of the Jaros, Caldwell was able to navigate through the unknowns of these challenges.
As a result, Caldwell was able to legally start KD BUGS LLC in March 2022.
“Moving forward, I plan to use the SBDC at USF as a resource for support and information. For example, I had some questions on what types of insurance to request from our tenants,” Caldwell said. “Also, exploring different types of business opportunities. For example, I hadn’t even considered where I would find a list of small businesses looking to access places. So, I think it’s going to be a staple resource for me going forward.”
Caldwell has found the Florida SBDC at USF to be a resourceful place to seek help in start-up business ventures and assistance and recommends it to other small business owners.
“I would strongly encourage them to reach out to the SBDC at USF for their resources alone, not just some of the professional guidance and access to an expansive network,” Caldwell said. “They have really good access to market research that would otherwise be costly on your own, versus just reaching out to the SBDC at USF for some support.”