At our Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center, our core competency and priority is one on one business advising (and it’s always free and confidential).
We meet with hundreds of local businesses of all sizes, and one common challenge for many of these businesses are the owners/managers spending all their time working “IN” their business, dealing with the daily grind, issues, and priorities, reacting to what comes now, versus strategically working “ON” their business with a long-term vision and plans for increased revenue, profits and key employee retention and growth.
As part of the OSBDCN (Oregon Small Business Development Center Network), we share the vision along with the other 19 SBDC Centers in the State of Oregon, which is: “The OSBDCN is Oregon’s preeminent provider of effective and innovative business advising and training services.” And our mission, which is the headline of this month’s article: “Helping build Oregon’s best businesses.”
Our business advisors are available to sit with the business client at any stage of the business life cycle, from start-up, to growth, to diversification, to selling the business, succession to the next generation and so on. Business clients sometimes don’t know how to ask for help, or what tools are available to them from us. In alphabetical order, here are some critical elements for business success we work with our business clients on an ongoing basis:
• Access to capital/financing (applying for a loan, traditional and non-traditional financing, building equity)
• Business accounting/budgets/Quickbooks
• Business plans
• Buying and selling a business
• Cash flow management
• Customer service
• eCommerce (using the internet to do business)
• Government contracting (doing business with local, state or federal government)
• Growing, diversifying or reinventing a business
• Human resources/managing employees
• International trade
• Managing a business
• Marketing and sales
• Market research
• Negotiating a lease
• Social media (Facebook, email marketing, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
• Start-up assistance (how to start up a small business)
• Succession planning (passing on or selling a business to the next generation or new owners)
• Technology tools/shortcuts
• Website development/analysis
Many of these terms may be familiar to you, but some may not, as well. At our first advising session, we come to your business, or you can come to our offices located on campus at Clatsop Community College in Astoria or Seaside. We review a needs “checklist” with you, and prioritize with you the step by step strategy to address the needs of your business.
In some cases, a business may only want to review a few topics in the advising session, like marketing, social media or human resources. In most cases, a more comprehensive approach is best, focusing on creating a business plan, working on cash flow and financial planning, and all elements of running a business. Note that each business is unique, and we work to customize the plan for your business.
At the fifth annual CEDR awards event held on March 22 at the Seaside Convention Center, I was honored to read off the names of the nine award winners from throughout Clatsop County.
A common theme for the winning businesses was they continually worked “ON” their business by staying current, relevant, and ahead of the curve vs. the competition, understanding the critical role financial management is in running a successful business, and treating their employees like they are the most important part of the business.
We love serving the business community of the North Coast. Contact us to set up an FREE and CONFIDENTIAL appointment to learn more about how we can assist you with success strategies to grow your business.
Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tammy at 503-338-2402 to set an appointment.
Visit our CEDR Website clatsoped.com