What can I expect from my consultant?
Clients can expect to work with a highly qualified and experienced consultant dedicated to helping your small business succeed. At your initial meeting, your consultant will review your business needs or proposal, determine a course of action and identify areas that both of you will be responsible for completing. Together, you will determine an appropriate timeframe to complete your assignments and then schedule a follow-up appointment. SBDC consultants will continue to provide assistance as long as it is beneficial and the client completes the work necessary to succeed.
What does the SBDC expect from me, as a client?
The SBDC expects for you to arrive at your appointment on time and prepared with appropriate information and documentation. If your SBDC consultant asks you to work on a particular aspect of your business prior to an appointment, the consultant expects that assignment to be complete.
Consulting services are provided to you free of charge because of the financial support the SBDC receives from the federal government and host universities across the Commonwealth. You may be asked to write your legislators and university officials to let them know about your experience with the SBDC.
Additionally, SBDC clients may be asked to participate in surveys designed to measure our economic impact. Of course, since our services are confidential, we will not release any information that could identify you or your business without prior consent.
Are the SBA and the SBDC the same thing?
No. The SBDC receives funding from the SBA and works closely with the SBA in delivery of services. However, the SBDC and the SBA provide different services and assistance to clients.
How much does the SBDC charge for its services?
The SBDC provides confidential management consultations at no charge. Some services such as workshops are nominally priced.
Does the SBDC only help start-ups?
No. The SBDC consulting staff is experienced in providing assistance to existing businesses as well as start-ups. Our consultants will assist with plans for expanding a business, strategic planning, human resource issues, marketing research, future plans and creating marketing strategies. SBDCs throughout the state also offer training programs designed to help existing business owners with financial software, marketing strategies and other programs geared toward existing business ownership.