Jane Bowers, owner of Healthy Balance
1239 US Highway 22 East
Lebanon, NJ 08833
While growing up in rural Hunterdon County, Jane Bowers of Healthy Balance loved being outside identifying plants but often suffered from allergies and other sinus ailments. In high school, her Biology teachers encouraged her to experiment by microscopically studying the effects of natural supplements added to single-cell organisms, and referred her to references on herbal therapeutics – a field Bowers has extensively researched and studied under regional experts such as David Winston of the Herbal Therapeutics’ School of Botanical Medicine.
In 1980 Jane opened up her first health food and supplement store, Good Food Grocer, in Clinton, NJ. In 1990 she sold the store and committed herself to other personal projects. By 1995, she decided it was time to return to the retail trade she enjoyed so much. She became manager of a fledgling retail store which opened in March of the previous year. She purchased that store, Balance Health, in Lebanon, NJ in 2007 and changed the name to Healthy Balance.
Healthy Balance specializes in gluten-free foods, herbs, and a vast inventory of supplements that support your “healthy balance.” Bowers tells Healthy Balance customers, “We have an ‘Intel chip’ in our body that allows us to read and understand natural data (herbs and natural compounds).” She believes the point of using herbal therapeutics is to help a person find wellness naturally rather than by being treated for individual symptoms with artificial substances.
In August 2011 Bowers’ office manager was experiencing problems with Quickbooks which created a posting backlog and hampered her ability to calculate cash flow. The NJ Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) assigned Quickbooks Pro-Advisor counselor, Linda Dousis, to address these concerns. After several productive sessions Dousis put Healthy Balance back on the right path. When her office manager left in January of 2012, Ms. Bowers requested assistance from the SBDC to evaluate accounting methodology and procedures for her business.
Bill Harnden, NJSBDC at RVCC Regional Director, conducted an assessment and laid out a strategic accounting procedural plan for her. Bowers also wanted to improve her social media marketing. NJSBDC counselors Maria Semple and Roland Reinhart were assigned to train her on Constant Contact, Google AdWords, LinkedIn and advertising on Facebook.
In 2014 Bowers saw the need to move Healthy Balance to new premises free of the structural and ground maintenance issues, parking limitations, and other liabilities that had plagued its original location. The move has had a positive effect on Healthy Balance’s operating margin, an edge Harnden assists Bowers in keeping by going over her profit-and-loss numbers on a regular basis.
Bowers continually strives to maintain the success of Healthy Balance by keeping a tight inventory, cutting costs wherever she can, and always offering excellent service, attention to detail, and good information to Healthy Balance customers. This holistic approach to her business operations, along with her utilization of the resources offered by the SBDC@RVCC, has resulted in a 6% increase in annual sales and 9% increase in annual net profit.