Ready for the buzz?

Small Business Development Center helps entrepreneurs

By Isaac Sindt
Graphics Editor

Have you ever thought of running your own business? It wouldn’t be uncommon if you did. According to a survey by the University of Phoenix School of Business, 52 percent of workers in their 20s either do, or want to run their own business.

And why wouldn’t they?

America was founded upon entrepreneurship with world-changing business owners like Henry Ford, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and thousands more, all coming from nowhere other than the United States.

The main reason many who wish to own a business never do is because of a lack of resources, contacts, or funding. These reasons play a key role in the failure of most small businesses as well. But here in Southern Minnesota, there’s help for small business owners and people wishing to become business owners, thanks to the Southeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center.

The SBDC, located on the Heintz Center campus, is a place where small businesses or people looking to start a small business can go for help. The best part? It’s completely free. According to Rick Indrelie, the lead consultant at the SBDC, nearly one-third of the funding required by this SBDC branch is provided by RCTC, which means that students shouldn’t hesitate to use this resource.

What can the SBDC do for you? The answer is almost anything, but some more specific items include business plans, loan application aid, bookkeeping and accounting advice, website development, and marketing plans.

Anyone who has ever tried to start a business, whether it was a photography studio or a lawn mowing service, will know that the many components involved in a successful business can be daunting or even depressing to consider. With the help of the SBDC, you can overcome those challenges and bring your dreams one step closer.

Indrelie knows that lots of preparation is needed in order to create successful businesses, and in his experience as a small business consultant, one fault he has frequently sees is a lack of planning. If a person comes to him looking to start a company, he first asks if they have thought of a marketing plan. Do they know equipment costs? Do they have family that can help them get started?

Most importantly, Indrelie encourages clients not to overlook the importance of the “buzz” in business. Past clients of the SBDC have gotten their businesses off to a better start by getting more than 1,000 likes on Facebook before even opening their doors.

Those looking for help growing a business or seeking advice on how to get started are invited to take advantage of this resource. The SBDC can help almost anyone as long as they are responsible, willing to accept, and be aware that no plan or person can provide a magic cure-all for business woes.

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