About the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Small Business Development Centers exist throughout the United States. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) manages the national program. The SBA contracts with entities in each state who are responsible for the deployment of SBDC services in that state. In the State of Ohio, the SBDC system is under the Ohio Department of Development. In turn, the Ohio Department of Development contracts with local entities to make sure SBDC services are deployed throughout the State of Ohio. The Summit Medina Business Alliance is a consortium of local governments that host this SBDC so that SBDC services are available in Summit, Portage, and Medina counties.
Nationwide, SBDC’s are fairly consistent in the way services are provided. Usually, these services include a selection of seminars and workshops, as well as one-on-one consulting. In several states, including Ohio, SBDC Business Advisors must be certified to assure a baseline professional standard.
SBDC’s Comprehensive Work With Small Businesses:
Pre-Venture – The client has an idea for a business and wants to test whether that idea can become a viable business. The client wants to consider the major factors involved in implementing the business idea. This will probably involve the development of a business plan. In some instances, intellectual property issues need to be addressed at this level.
Start-Up – The business idea tested and “fleshed out”, the client wants assistance in filing all of the necessary start-up paperwork with various government entities. The client may also want assistance in identifying and securing sources of capital. Marketing and promotion strategies are often part of this phase.
Existing Healthy – These clients have businesses that are performing OK. These clients are now trying to discern the next steps in growing their businesses. They often consider additional product offerings or developing new markets in additional industries or geographic areas. Hiring plans, marketing plans, logistics plans and plans for raising capital are all often part this phase.
Existing Declining – These are clients who find their leading indicators are indicating in the wrong direction. They often want another pair of eyes to perform a financial or organizational review to recommend corrective actions.
Of course, any SBDC service is available at any point in the business life cycle as needed. The above are just a few examples of the more common services performed for business in each phase.
SBDC areas of expertise include:
- Access to Capital
- Business Acquisition / Business Sale
- Business Plan Development and Review
- Customer Service
- Energy Efficiency
- Equity and Angel Capital Presentation Preparation
- Export Assistance
- Feasibility Analysis
- Financing and Loan Packaging
- Financial Analysis
- Government Contracts
- Home Based Businesses
- Human Resources
- Intellectual Property
- Marketing, Advertising and Promotion
- Market Research
- Minority Business Development
- New Technology
- Product Development
- Public Relations / Communications
- Regulatory Compliance
- Strategic Planning
- Veteran’s Business Issues
- Women’s Business Issues
One of the key strengths of the SBDC system is its network of partners. If you do not see your specific need listed, you still may want to contact us. We may know who can help meet your needs.
The Small Business Development Center Program of Ohio (SBDC) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC program is also funded in part by the Ohio Development Services Agency. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Ohio Small Business Development Center at Summit Medina Business Alliance, 526 S. Main Street, Akron, Ohio 44311, Administrative Asst., 330-375-2111.