The Florida Autism Center (FAC) was founded in Central Florida in 2005 and relocated its headquarters to Tallahassee in 2011. FAC began working with the FSBDC at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in June of 2012. The company at that time had two locations in Central Florida and one in Tallahassee with a reported sales level of approximately $780,000. The company came to the FSBDC looking to strategically expand its operations while improving its operating efficiencies. Since that time, with the guidance and support of the FSBDC at FAMU, the company has achieved exceptional growth in sales, in profits, and in the number of employees it employs. FAC now has four locations and a 2014 sales level of nearly 3 million dollars.
The Florida Autism Center is a dynamic and growing small business. The company’s leadership team has continued to upgrade and train its personnel to meet the growing needs of their clientele. They have not only trained their staff but they have added critical clinical and managerial mangers to maintain their service model while continuing to grow. Florida Autism Center currently employs 58 employees in three locations. The company opened a fourth site in Gainesville Florida this past year which will only added to its employment base and the company’s continued impact on Florida’s economy.
Financially, FAC has and is performing well. Since the company began to work with the FSBDC at FAMU in 2011, this company has continued to grow its sales year over year. In 2011 the company closed the year reporting sales of $1,385,000 representing a 78% increase in sales volume. The company reported a 30% increase in 2012 reporting a sales level of $1,772,000. Calendar year 2013 the company grew its sales level again to $2,029,000. The Florida Autism Center team during these years of continuous growth still generated double digit returns on sales. FAC also continues to look for ways not only to continue to grow but to improve their operations. Below are just a few of the made in 2014:
• Started Leadership Development Series to promote potential leaders from within the organization
• Provided tuition assistance to more employees than ever before
• Added new benefits and enhanced existing benefits
• Grew Daytona Beach location to be free-standing (rather than satellite)
• Improved and enriched our school and pre-school curriculums
• Greatly improved collaboration and consistency across locations / strengthened our teamwork immensely
• Held our second annual managers retreat
• Opened our fourth office in Gainesville, FL
Florida Autism attributes some of its success to the assistance provided by the FSBDC at FAMU. The following is a quote from the company’s Executive Director and owner: “Working with [the consultants at] the [FSBDC] has been a great experience for us at the Florida Autism Center. Through their guidance, we have been able to make smart and timely decisions that [have had a] tremendous effect on our business. They provided [valuable market research and other information] that we would not be able to cull independently, especially in a timely manner to make decisions. They provide us with ideas, knowledge, [and resources] for sound and smart growth. Working with the FSBDC at FAMU is truly invaluable to us, and we look forward to continuing our relationship as long as possible. This [resource] is really great for helping a small business grow.