Most people reading this are naturally strong individuals with a vision for their lives. If you are a business owner, you have the amazing internal strength to even launch a business. The question is, did you know there are strong resources to help you become even stronger?
To begin with, of course, I will talk about the SBDC. We are Federally and State Funded with one goal in mind, and that is to help you become successful in your business ventures. There are 1300 centers across the nation with 15 being here in Iowa, along with our State office.
Our services are free!
The center for this area is hosted by the truly amazing Western Iowa Tech Community College and my office is in the Corp. College building on campus in B113. Our phone is 712-274-6454 and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what can we offer? My answer is always the same, what do you need? Our primary focus is not on startups as many people think. Even though 30% of our time is dedicated to startups, we spend 70% of our time with existing businesses. We help them expand, access capital, and in many instances succession plan to exit their business.
We do a lot of help with planning your business, whether it is a startup or an established enterprise. We do a lot of financial forecasting for our clients. We also do a lot of market research, not primary source meaning we don’t go around asking people questions. Ours is more database driven. We have access currently to 4 very good databases that can give us really solid numbers on markets.
Also, amazingly sometimes, we are here only to be a sounding board. The last year especially we have been used simply to sound things out so an owner can talk an idea through. That is particularly rewarding as we encourage them to make decisions not on emotion but on strong data and judgment.
One of the things we are most often used for is to connect owners with additional resources to meet their needs. Other resources in our area that are truly strong to help the small business owners include: Our awesome local Chambers of Commerce, The Small Business Administration, The USDA, The SEDC Siouxland Economic Development Corp., our local economic developers, our local Revolving Loan Funds, our private Banks who are the primary source of lending for small businesses. Local lawyers, CPAs, and Insurance Agents are also very helpful.
Also, the Iowa West Coast Initiative is a wonderful resource to help you. Iowa Source link is truly an awesome resource to help people. They are out of UNI. Other resources include Venture School from U of I and Startup factory from ISU. Our three-pitch off competitions are also a good resource for grant money and sound advice. Those include Dream Big Grow Here, Swimming with the Sharks, and Innovation Market.
That is a small list of 14 resources that you can immediately reach out to. You can be strong on your own. It is simpler to be strong with the help of others. That is what we exist for. Please, use us to help you succeed in 2021 in your business.
Stay Strong in 2021.
Todd Rausch, Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center at Western Iowa Tech Community College.