The Small Business Development Center helps both start-ups and existing businesses in many ways. We’ve listed a few of those areas below, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact us anyway. The SBDC assists and advises in all things business. If we don’t have the help you need, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction (though, we likely can provide you with the help you need).
One of the most common areas the SBDC helps with is financial assistance. Advisors from the SBDC will help you prepare everything you need to obtain a small business loan from the SBA, local bank or other institution. We’ll make sure your business plan contains all the right information and is crafted for lender approval. Many of our clients have been successful at getting the financing they need to take their business to the next level. And don’t forget, all counseling services from the SBDC are free to you.
Every business starts with an idea. A business plan takes that idea and puts it into a strategy that helps you achieve objectives. Think of it as a roadmap. You will need to set goals for your business. Those goals are your destination. Your business plan is the map that shows you how to get there. If you are going to need a business loan, then a business plan is absolutely necessary. Our advisors know how to craft effective business plans that not only help you get financing, but will help you achieve your business objectives as well.
Sales and Marketing
Developing your idea into a business is exciting, but you won’t grow until you start making sales. The SBDC has sales and marketing advisors that will help you craft a marketing plan that achieves real results. From customer acquisition to effective sales techniques, our advisors will help you find your customer base, evaluate your competition and identify sales opportunities either in person or online. Speaking of online marketing…
According to Google, 88% of consumers use the Internet to research a product or service before purchasing. If you are not taking advantage of this opportunity to promote your business, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Not only does the SBDC offer web design and web marketing workshops, but our advisors will meet with you one-on-one to discuss how you can drive more sales through internet marketing. From social media marketing and website optimization to pay-per-click and online customer reviews, our experienced advisors will help you identify your strongest online opportunities and craft a strategy to achieve your web marketing goals.
Does your business work across borders? Do you sell internationally? SBDC advisors can help you with import/export situations as well as the unique challenges that you will face selling or buying internationally. We’ll provide resources and counselling to help your international business thrive.
Management and Operations
If you’ve never managed a business before, you’ll want to meet with one of our management advisors. They’ll help you prepare for potential problems and help you get through difficult situations, whether it has to do with employees or operations. Whatever the situation, it’s likely that our management advisors have either experienced it themselves or know how to address it.
Payroll and Accounting
Potentially one of the weakest areas for most entrepreneurs and business owners, accounting and payroll can ruin a business if accurate records are not kept current. If you need help setting up Quickbooks or other accounting software, our advisors can help get you through it. If you have tax problems, speak with one of our experts and we’ll help you find the right resources and assistance to address your issue properly and effectively.
General Business Matters
The SBDC has what we call Generalists; advisors that can help you with general matters relating to your business. These are usually the first people you will meet with at the SBDC and they will help guide you in the right direction. Have an idea and need feedback? Meet with one of our generalists and they’ll go through any scenario with you. Have questions, but don’t know where to go? Our generalists will either put you in touch with the right people or the right resources to get the answers you need.
These are just some of the areas with which SBDC advisors can help. If it has to do with starting or running a business, the SBDC either has the resources or will help guide you in the right direction. Again, our workshops and counselling sessions are free and you are welcome to use us as much and as often as you want. Get in touch with us today at our contact page here. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.