When the international company Julie Buckeye worked for pulled out of the U.S. economy during the financial crisis, she was out of a job. A dancer and triathlete in her free time, she decided to start a business offering dance-focused fitness classes.
Buckeye noticed that many seniors and others with limited mobility loved dance, but didn’t have an outlet for it. She developed a seated dance program that fosters mental energy. Her BalloFlex classes have become particularly popular with seniors, but also meet the needs of veterans and people with disabilities.
Ultimately, Buckeye never took on investors, instead putting money back into the company to keep it sustainable.
“Having Mike Rubino there to touch base has been the best part,” Buckeye says. “If he doesn’t know the answer to my question he helps me find it. I feel like I have someone on my team. To me, that has been gold.”
As of April 2017, Buckeye worked with nine certified Balloflex instructors in Ohio, four in Texas, and one in Florida.
By the time Buckeye came to SCORE for support, she already had a business plan, website, marketing collateral and state business registration. She sought advice about her financing options.