Where personal service is the prescription for success
While on maternity leave, Dana Johnson felt the need for a professional change that would allow more time for her expanding family. After years as a hospital pharmacist where her contact with patients was limited, Johnson was interested in a career with one-on-one patient care.
Johnson knew that Daniel Island residents would embrace a small business that put customers first, particularly a local pharmacy where the owner recognized people, called them by name and were concerned about their personal well-being. An outgoing person by nature, Johnson recognized a great opportunity to build a successful business while making a positive difference in her community of Daniel Island, South Carolina.
With the help of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Charleston, Johnson created a business plan and a financial strategy to help her realize her dream. Unfortunately, she quickly learned that despite her personal contacts, conventional banks weren’t particularly interested in providing her start-up loans for a new business.
Charleston’s SBDC encouraged Johnson to contact BCI Lending. Ed Kesser, Senior Vice-president and Loan Officer at BCI Lending, met with Johnson, reviewed her pharmacy business plan and explained her various financing options.
“I got a good feeling from the beginning. BCI Lending was very supportive,” Johnson said of that first meeting. She was most impressed with the continued quality of service. “I thought I would have to travel to meet them, but my relationship with the BCI Lending loan officers was one of service; they always came to me. The process was surprisingly painless. When I needed draws, I faxed invoices and receipts and BCI Lending processed them immediately.”
As with any business, unexpected issues arose, but BCI Lending helped Johnson navigate those bumps in the road. At one point Johnson underestimated a couple of major expenses and she wondered if perhaps she should change the type of loan she had. BCI Lending encouraged her to keep her loan and her credit was made more flexible to meet growing business needs.
BCI Lending anticipated and helped Johnson avoid other potential difficulties. “They suggested that my loan be interest-only for the first few months to provide the necessary financial flexibility to get my pharmacy up and running. That really helped,” Johnson explained.
Dana Johnson created an old-fashioned, family pharmacy where personal attention sets her business above the cookie-cutter, nationally-branded competition. With keen people skills and a penchant for relationship building, Johnson appreciated the same qualities in the people of BCI Lending.