Lafayette dental practice enjoys continued growth thanks to SBA 504 Program

By: Martin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, LLC
 
 
Dr. Brandon Martin, DDS
Dr. Brandon Martin, DDS
LAFAYETTE, La. - Aug. 3, 2015 - PRLog -- Few endeavors take a greater leap of faith like starting a small business.  It takes guts to put yourself out there, convincing consumers to buy into your idea, product or services.  You have to become an overnight expert in strategic planning, taxes, payroll, marketing, advertising, production, and human resources. Oh, and not the least challenging obstacle is getting financing for new offices.

It is a daunting list of perils for entrepreneurs considering startup businesses.  Many people prefer to work for an established business and avoid any ownership hassles and pitfalls. But according to the Small Business Administration, more than 28 million entrepreneurs have the faith and passion needed to take a chance on their ideas.  One such risk-taker is Dr. Brandon Martin of Martin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, LLC (http://smilingbig.com/).

When Martin graduated from Louisiana State University’s School of Dentistry, he could have simply joined an existing practice as he began his dental career. But he chose to skip that path in favor of his dream of a personalized, patient-focused dental office.

“It could have been easier, maybe quicker.  Starting a practice from scratch versus buying into a practice each have their own unique hurdles to get past,” Martin said.  “But I thought it would be best for me to start from scratch; try to start small and grow. And it worked out well in the long run.”

Martin’s “small and grow” strategy did pay off as the practice he started in 2010 outgrew his leased office within the first year.  Increasing patient workloads and his business vision of personalized, quality care required more staff and more space.  All of this required more funding to create a customized facility.

“I started the practice using some of my own financial resources, just took it on, we hoped for the best, and made things happen from there,” said Martin.  He added that he wasn’t certain if that was the best approach for starting a fledgling business, but it paid off as the practice began growing much faster than he anticipated, and it wasn’t long before he outgrew his original space.

Finding the money to start or expand a business can be a tough nut to crack. Dave Mielach of Business News Daily considers financing one of the biggest challenges when starting a business.  But the first option on his list of recommendations is working with experienced lenders certified by the Small Business Administration.

According to the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) – the small business lending trade association – these certified development companies work with small businesses to qualify for programs such as the SBA 504 Loan program to purchase land, buildings and equipment for their companies.  NADCO works with the SBA to promote small business lending, which has resulted in more than $150 billion in small business project financing (http://www.nadco.org/).

Meeting Martin’s needs for a larger practice was going to require some teamwork. Karen Angelle, chief operations officer of NADCO member Louisiana Capital CDC, Inc., and Kevin Romero, a loan officer with Rayne State Bank, partnered up with Martin to apply for his SBA 504 loan and walk him through the entire process.

“Dr. Martin needed more space to house his practice, so SBA 504 was a tremendous benefit.  He was able to use 90 percent leverage on the facility, thereby keeping more of his own cash to facilitate the working capital needs of his growing business,” said Angelle.

“Financially for us at the time it worked really well,” Martin said. “We probably were able to do more with our building and our property than we would have just going with a sole bank loan or a regular mortgage.”

And while some immediately think of endless paperwork, regulations and slow-moving bureaucracy when a government program is mentioned, Martin said the SBA process was nothing like that.

“I would be the first person who would be worried about that kind of thing – that it’s government related – but they did a great job and gave us the opportunity to be where we are today,” Martin said. “Lafayette is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, and I’m sure that helped as well. But I don't have any complaints; it was a very pleasant process. And I’m really pleased with it.”

Now that the dust has settled, and the new facility is open, Martin takes stock of all that has been accomplished, and he feels his dream is realized. “We’ve pretty much filled up this new office already, and that’s about the max for me,” he said. “Balance is the key.  I think it’s a matter of being financially stable but still enjoying my time with my patients and my staff, not overworking anyone, not running off employees; just giving everyone a nice place to work.  And it works out well.”

“And I like it this way.”

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Rachel O'Sullivan
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Tags:Sba 504 Loan, NADCO, Louisiana Capital CDC, Small Business, Real Estate
Industry:Financial
Location:Lafayette - Louisiana - United States
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