This week is National Small Business Week, and it is the perfect time for entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn about the many services the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has to offer.
The SBDC is funded by a host of partners, most notably the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. As the counseling arm of the SBA, the SBDC is able to provide entrepreneurs with a variety of tools to help grow a business including:
- Providing the Guide to Starting and Operating a Business, a step-by-step 64-page resource.
- Offering no-cost and low-cost training sessions that teach about running and growing your business.
- Through personalized, one-on-one business counseling to help with planning and growth strategies.
- Assisting with business plan development – your blueprint to business that helps you stay on track.
- Aiding in financial management, including cash flow analysis and steps to raising capital.
- Suggesting ways to grow your business with strategic planning, financial analysis and exporting strategies.
- Delivering marketing assistance, including market research and search engine optimization for your website.
- Helping tech companies bring new products to market with technology commercialization.
Some of the ways we have helped Macomb County companies:
- Provided demographics and other market research to a new restaurant so they know who their potential customers will be.
- Helped an owner prepare a compelling loan application to fund business expansion.
- Brainstormed different marketing strategies for a construction company to enter into new markets.
- Worked with a landscape firm to help understand their financial statements so they can make better management decisions.
- Assisted a technology company to better describe their product and its benefits.
- Connected a food company to local resources.
- Supported an entrepreneur as they grew from a home-based business into a thriving retail brick and mortar.
These services are at no-cost (or low-cost for some of the business workshops). They are not free, but pre-funded through your tax dollars. You have paid for them, you might as well use them! Visit us today at www.SBDCMichigan.org/Macomb or 586-254-3551.
P.S. For your friends and neighbors in other counties, we are here to help them too. There is a SBDC program in every state.
Wendy Richardson is a business consultant with the Macomb County branch of the Michigan Small Business Development Center.