After completing a Master Degree of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from Texas Health and Science University in San Antonio, Texas, Hilary spent the next three years in Tianjin, China where she received her Ph.D. in acupuncture. With extensive training and internships in Texas, China, and New York, she then moved to Fort Worth, Texas to start her business, Benefit Acupuncture, PLLC. Although Hilary had extensive training and experience in both acupuncture and Chinese medicine, she had no experience in starting and managing a small business. While attending the eight week Project New Beginnings program at the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, Hilary had written her first business plan. She also met Robin Lasher, Director of the Tarrant SBDC, who had provided online resources at one of the Project New Beginnings classes on how to find customers and determine the best places to locate a business.
Hilary met with Ms. Lasher to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the location she was considering for her business. Located in Colleyville at a busy intersection on the corner of Colleyville Blvd and Main St, the proposed location provided excellent visibility to passing motorists. In addition, there were several complimentary medical practices within the same office building as well as an adjoining office building.
Hilarys next challenge was to design a sign that would get the attention of motorists either driving by the location or waiting at the traffic light. An excellent artist, Hilary had designed her own logo, and requested several companies provide designs for the signage. She again visited with Ms. Lasher to discuss the design and colors that would be attractive and highly visible to passing motorists. With the signage in place, Hilary opened Benefit Acupuncture in May, 2015.
Hilary quickly recognized that a viable business plan must be updated to reflect the current realities of her market. In July 2015, Hilary decided to participate in the Fort Worth Business Plan Competition and was a top 10 finalist. (Statement from Hilary on the value of SBDC in starting business and business plan competition).