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Alliance SBDC News

MAC Therapy

MAC Therapy is owned and operated by Melissa Coleman. Ms. Coleman has a long history of working in clinical massage therapy. She received her certification in massage therapy from Illinois Valley Community College in 2015. She also worked under Dr. Dan Miller, Chiropractor. After several years of seeing clients, she began to feel pulled to start her own business.


Melissa knew what she wanted – her very own business – but how to get there was something of a mystery. She recalls “asking the universe, ‘How do I start my own business?’” The universe must have heard her, because, coincidentally or otherwise, she received an email shortly thereafter from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance (Alliance SBDC). The subject of that email? None other than upcoming training on “How to Start a Business in Illinois.” She says it was perfect timing. Melissa reached out to Amy Lambert, Executive Director of the Alliance SBDC, who suggested they start meeting to discuss her ideas.


Melissa was eager to learn, serious about her outcome, and driven to understand everything she needed to know as an independent business owner. During one of their initial discussions, Amy told her about the “five people you want in the room,” those being an accountant, attorney, banker, insurance company, and business advisor. They mapped out a business plan and Amy took time with Melissa to explore and understand each decision, so Melissa was confident in her process. “Amy really broke it down for me. She explained everything! I was amazed.” From helping fill out paperwork, to learning to anticipate fees, calculate taxes, and identify potential deductions with Cadre Business Advisor, Tina Curtis. Melissa shared that Alliance SBDC was there for every step of Melissa’s journey of starting her own business and proactive during COVID – reaching out to Melissa to explain the SBAs EIDL and PPP programs.


During 2020, Melissa stretched and received her certification as a personal trainer. This now enables her to guide her clients on how to properly stretch and strengthen muscles to reduce the potential for injury. MAC Therapy, “which stands for Massage and Corrective Therapy,” Melissa reports, is very successful and now books client appointments months-out in advance. In the future, she would like to expand to a larger location and include workout machinery, but currently, she is pleased with her business’ success and stability. “If you are looking for advice on how to start your business, I suggest you reach out to Amy Lambert at the Illinois SBDC at the Starved Rock Country Alliance, because she is going to walk you through every step and make sure you are confident and successful as a business owner,” says Melissa.

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