I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jessica Cordova of Autism House about her experience starting Autism House, running it and finding a loan through Lendio to buy a new location. Here’s her experience with Lendio along with advice for small business owners in her own words.
Tell me a little bit about your business.
Autism House is a behavior therapy center. We work with children 2-12 years old who have autism and other disabilities.
Why and when did you start it?
I started Autism House because I saw a need for quality therapy in the Woodlands/Magnolia area. There were a lot of centers for children with disabilities in Houston, but not as many providers in the area we are in. I had worked with kids with special needs while obtaining my degrees and really fell in love with applied behavior analysis, the type of therapy we do. We went into business in April 2011 with just 4 children. Now we have grown to 20, our maximum capacity at our rental location. Which is why we recently purchased our new location. We want to help as many children and families as we can and are hoping to double the number of clients in the next 2 years.
How did you get the initial capital to start your business?
When we first began, I borrowed $10,000 from Allegiance Bank and asked friends and family to donate toys and books. I shopped garage sales and second-hand stores to stretch our budget. I was able to pay off the loan within the first year.
What keeps you going?
I love seeing the kids we work with learn new things, especially when they begin to communicate! It’s so exciting to see a child say their first word or communicate for the first time using a tablet.
What’s your passion that drives your business?
My passion is really seeing a difference in the children we work with. When they begin, many of them have very few skills. Seeing the progress we can make with them, sometimes in just a few short months is very rewarding.
I needed funding to purchase a property for a new location. We were able to buy a house on 3.5 acres. We are really looking forward to moving in next month and having more room for the kids to play.
How did you find Lendio?
It was a referred to me by a friend.
How was your experience with Lendio?
They kept me in the loop on each step of the process which is always appreciated!
How was your experience with your Lendio rep?
Jon was very thorough and contacted the right people for me when needed.
Would you recommend Lendio to a friend?
What general business advice do you have for other small business owners?
No matter what your business is, it’s important to hire the right staff to help you be at your best. Also, being nice and approachable goes a long way. As my Nana told me once, “If you have your nose up too high, you’ll drown in a rainstorm.” As a business owner you will have your fair share of rainstorms, if you are fair and kind, people remember that.
You can find out more about Jessica and Autism house at www.autismhousetx.com.
To get started with Lendio, fill out the widget or head to lendio.com to get started!