By Donna Beaman, Executive Director, Small Business Development Center
For years, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been known for helping businesses get started. While its still true the SBDC holds many training sessions designed to do just that, it also works with existing business owners. With the recent downturn in the economy, the focus of the SBDC has shifted to concentrate on helping businesses stay open.
Training classes now include subjects that are relevant to existing business owners like implementing systems in a business, communicating a business uniqueness to its target market and relationship selling. Next year, expect classes that concentrate on using financial statements to make business decisions and retirement planning for business owners.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) sets the strategic direction for all SBDCs including the Larimer Small Business Development Center. The SBA measures success by goal achievement that includes the number of jobs the center has helped retain and approved client loan amounts. To help the SBDC maximize these impact numbers (and many more), each center is expected to have a client mix of 50 percent emerging businesses and 50 percent existing business owners. Year-to-date, 64 percent of the clients served by the Larimer SBDC are existing business owners. So if you own a business sign up for free, confidential counseling to talk about the pressing issues that keep you awake at night. The Larimer SBDC has a consultant that can help you through whatever those issues are. www.sbdc-larimer.com