By Erika Bailey, State Director, West Virginia Small Business Development Center
Even when you love what you do, running a business is hard work. It helps to have an extra edge.
The West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WV SBDC) is that edge for hundreds of West Virginia companies each year. Our mission is to help businesses sharpen their skills, grow strong and sustain success in West Virginia.
The WV SBDC helps generate businesses, successes and jobs for West Virginia’s economy. In the first six months of 2017, WV SBDC business coaches provided counseling to 733 clients, helped start 41 businesses and connected clients with more than $11,794,500 in loans or equity. Their efforts led to the creation or retention of 375 jobs in the Mountain State.
WV SBDC services include:
- Business Ask Me! Line
- Fundamentals Workshops
- Business Coaching
Fundamentals workshops. Do you have a great idea for a new business or have you recently started your own? The low-cost WV SBDC workshops guide you through basics such as how to get a license, identify your potential customers and develop a business plan. Log on to www.WVSBDC.com and refer to the training calendar.
Coaching. WV SBDC provides most of its services through coaching, not classrooms. This is a one-on-one, confidential, and no charge service where business owners and entrepreneurs tap into the experience and knowledge of the statewide WV SBDC Coaching Network. Businesses ready to step up to the next level can use the WV SBDC as a business adviser and sounding board for marketing, training, financial resources and other essential business operations. Our business coaches, many of which are experienced entrepreneurs themselves, work together to provide expertise in many business disciplines including finance, management, export readiness, succession planning and operations. Coaches collectively provide valuable insight in many different industries including tourism, technology and innovation, health care, manufacturing, building and contracting, retail operations and green energy.
Connecting. WV SBDC business coaches do not have grants or loans, but can help businesses be positioned to access capital through banks, investors and loan funds. We won’t negotiate for you, but we can help you prepare your presentation. We won’t write a business plan for you, but can connect you to resources, tools, and offer advice for you to develop your own. Our network of business coaches can help you navigate the numerous small business resources available and help you identify the most probable sources that will address your situation. Our goal is to get business owners and entrepreneurs connected to the right information and resources they need to be successful. WV SBDC business coaches will advise you, but cannot do the work for you. That would be like a football team’s coach taking the quarterback’s place on the field to score the winning touchdown!
Because in West Virginia, Small Business is Big Business!