Melissa Lafferty & Michelle Seekford, Valley Urgent Care, Harrisonburg,
Melissa Lafferty FNP-C came to the Shenandoah Valley SBDC in the fall of 2011, unsure if she could, would, or should open a new urgent care center. Although she possessed a strong medical background, she had no practical business experience.
With guidance from her Shenandoah Valley SBDC business advisor, Melissa worked through a SWOT analysis, prepared a business plan, and connected with an old friend who could join her as a partner. Michelle Seekford, RN, had prior business experience, and with their complementary skill sets they found a private investor for a loan of $50,000. With that capital infusion and a business plan in hand, the bank which had initially turned them down agreed to a loan of $70,000. Valley Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine opened in Harrisonburg in May 2012 with three employees.
Update to 2013: Melissa and Michelle now employ ten in the Center. The loans are paid off; gross revenues are healthy; and each partner is able to take a good income. When asked to what they contribute their success, Melissa’s response was immediate: success is due to long hours and hard work.
Valley Urgent Care serves the local community and employers with occupational testing and screening, drug testing, sports physicals, workplace accident care and other urgent care services. A key to their rapid growth has been their high degree of community involvement. Melissa and Michelle help refugees who cannot wait the many months to get into the local health center and provide pro bono care to the indigent. Many local companies have switched from other well-established firms to Valley Urgent Care because they go the extra mile and provide great customer service.
Melissa writes of Lee Simon, their SBDC Business Advisor, “I never could or would have done it without your belief in me. Your support made the difference. Remember you told me there was more to running a clinic than seeing patients. That’s why I needed a business partner...you were right!”
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