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Every small business has a story.

Some business owners work in an industry for years and decide they’d rather do things their own way. Others have a passion that evolves into something bigger than a hobby. And some start out of necessity, spurred by a lay-off or an opportunity that couldn’t be turned down.

What every story has in common is the hard work and dedication that it takes to wear all the hats, and a commitment to finding a way.

Who doesn’t love a good origin story?

We talked to five of our customers about what motivated them to start their own businesses:

1. Turning an interest into a business.
“My road to Glory Cycles is an interesting one, beginning as a racer in South Africa. I raced bikes in the 1990s for a few small South African teams. Later, I immigrated to the U.S. and bought a record store in Orlando – right before the internet changed the music game and my business dropped. I called on some of my old racing connections to help me start selling bikes online, because you can’t download them. We opened a brick-and-mortar retail store in 2001 in Orlando, and reopened in downtown Greenville, SC in 2011.” Clive de Sousa, Glory Cycles, Greenville, SC

2. Spotting a trend.
“I grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ…the site of the first ever Saladworks. I immediately was attracted to all of the fresh ingredients and customizable menu. I knew I wanted to be a part of the new salad trend providing healthy, quick meals to our community. At age 25, I opened my first Saladworks location and was able to start making that dream come true.” Joshua Burton, owner, Edgy Veggies, LLC dba Hainesport Saladworks, Hainesport, NJ

3. Making the most of an unfortunate situation.
“Our business came to be after I got laid off from a large general contractor when the dot-com bubble burst in the construction industry. We started in 2002 working out of my home, later moving to a portable trailer on the side of our home, then in 2007 moving to our current site with a shop and office.” Mark Garrison, Owner, MG Constructors & Engineers, Inc., Morgan Hill, CA

4. Taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity.
“In my other life, I was an accountant with a client who owned three Golden Krust Bakery and Grills. He was in the process of selling one of them, but it fell through at the last minute. This is when I decided to join the Golden Krust family as a franchise owner.” John Carl Smith, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, Brooklyn, NY

5. Refusing to settle for the way things are.
“I developed my business after working and treating patients in an emergency room setting. I realized how dysfunctional the E.R. was and how inefficient the hospital was. This is the standard across the country and, because they make money doing it, it is “business as usual.” Nobody is motivated to change the direction. I developed a method to treat patients with acute injuries and illnesses in an expeditious, efficient, and cost-effective manner with the ability to evaluate and treat high acuity illnesses. I have found it quite easy to compete against the ERs and hospitals simply because we truly care about our patients, and they realize it.” Mark Muller, StatMed, Tampa, FL

Here at Swift Capital, we spend a lot of time talking to small business owners and getting to know their stories. Because when we better understand where they’re coming from and where they want to go, we can help them design a business funding solution that works for their business.

People Like You is our blog series dedicated to highlighting thriving businesses and their owners who are getting it done. Interested in sharing your story? You could be featured on our blog and website. Email [email protected] for more information.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected] or tell us here.

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