How the Small Business Development Center Can Help Take Your Company to the Next Level
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network is an ever-expanding ocean of resources and mentors that are available to small Colorado companies for little or no cost.
“It’s a great resource for people who looking to start their business, but it’s also for companies that are looking to grow and take it to the next level,” said Wendy Wojcik, program manager with the CSBDC. “We have huge amounts of expertise provided through our consultant network, and so we are able to match our clients with basically anything they need or are looking for.”
The CSBDC regularly offers free consultation services and specialized training for any local business with 500 employees or less. That includes workshops on everything from financials and marketing to starting your own business and learning how to register your business.
And with 14 full-time centers dispersed to cover every county in Colorado, and more than 60 satellite offices, there is usually a program every week somewhere.
A couple specialty programs offered for little to nothing include Connect 2 DOT, a partnership between CSBDC and the Colorado Department of Transportation that is designed to help small businesses become more competitive in bidding and contracting with CDOT and other transportation agencies.
“They get access to a lot of specialty consultants that have expertise in working with CDOT,” Wojcik said.
“We also have our Small Manufacturer’s Advantage Program, which was designed to help businesses get consulting for shop layout and other things that would otherwise be expensive for them,” she said. “We offer those services at a very low cost to them to help them get going.”
And starting in January, a lot of CSBDC centers will start their Spring Leading Edge program, which is a 10 to 12 week business planning course where people come in with ideas and then they leave with a fully realized business plan. There is a small fee associated with this program, but there are also scholarships that certain types of businesses can receive to bypass that.
But the CSBDC isn’t just for start-up companies and businesses looking to get their feet off the ground.
“Our regular services are a great starting point for any business, but we work with all different stages of businesses,” Wojcik said. “That’s why we’ve started some of these more specialty programs to target more advanced companies further along in their business so that we can give them the tools they need to move beyond the 2nd Stage.”
One such program is the SBDC Advanced Economic Gardening workshop, which was created specifically with 2nd Stage businesses in mind.
“It helps them with financial analysis, search engine optimization, geographic information systems,” Wojcik said. “There are two levels of that, depending on the stage of the business.”
In 2017, the CSBDC has already served more than 6,000 clients. Check out the CSBDC event calendar to find a class or workshop that can take your business to the next level.