Gina Schimpff was an “unintentional stay-at-home mom” when a dinner conversation sparked her foray into entrepreneurship. She discovered that a friend was looking for a partner to start a floatation therapy business – a center where people relieve stress by floating in body-temperature salt water. Schimpff thought, “I had spent over a decade cultivating and implementing a peaceful and mindful home – why not take it to the next level and do the same for my community?”
Floatation therapy has been shown to reduce the anxiety and stress that so many Americans suffer from by providing deep relaxation, the effects of which last for days. “As you settle into the tank, your ability to distinguish between your body and the solution will dissolve — leaving you with a freeing absence of pressure, stimuli, and physical distraction,” says Schimpff.
Schimpff quickly became the majority owner of Be Still Float Studio. Before opening, she did extensive research: She and other staff members floated in more than 25 centers around the country in search of the best float tanks. After deciding to incorporate various features they saw at other float centers, Be Still’s projected costs tripled – and that’s where SCORE came in.
Schimpff successfully launched in 2017 after reworking her business plan to account for her initial numbers and future plans.
Schimpff first encountered SCORE when she went to the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce to research statistics. She wound up going to a SCORE orientation session, where she met her mentor, Ronn Gardner. Through meeting with Gardner, and by attending numerous SCORE workshops, Schimpff transformed her business plan into a “living document” that she still uses as a decision-making guide today. “I now understand every detail and how every number is calculated,” she says.
Schimpff advises other potential small business owners to take the time to do research. “Don’t be afraid of asking questions or being asked questions,” she says. “The more questions you answer, the stronger you will be in your understanding.”