Patricia Roldan, a licensed audiologist, knew all about the speech, language and hearing service industry, but she had no idea how to manage a business. So, to get started running her own company, she went to the experts at the Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Edinburg, Texas.
The WBC assisted Roldan with startup counseling and a loan proposal that helped her qualify for funding backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. A-Plus Audiology and Hearing Aid Services opened for business in 2010 with a $25,000 SBA Community Express Loan.
“Without the support I received from the WBC and the guarantee loan backed by the SBA I may not have been able to get off the ground,” Roldan said. “The process was confusing but, the WBC provided excellent guidance and became a business mentor,” Roldan stated.
Roldan first realized she wanted to own a business while working at a facility where she had been employed for 15 years. When the owner sold the business, Roldan decided to leave the security of a full time job and open her own facility.
After being in business for four years, Roldan says owning a business is no easy task. She admits one of her greatest challenges as an entrepreneur is time management. "When you are the business owner as well as an employee, it is difficult to find time to complete all the administrative duties in addition to completing work duties," Roldan stated. “However, the satisfaction of owning a business far outweighs the challenges.”
Roldan encourages future entrepreneurs to develop a business model that appeals to both the entrepreneur and the market. She has a passion to help people with hearing issues, and there is a need for this service in the area.
Roldan is confident in her business survival because she believes there will always be a need for healthcare products and services. “Our service is really a necessity, and not a luxury, so even when the economy is sluggish, A Plus manages reasonably well.”