Highlights From: Where to Find the Resources to Grow Your Business Event

Wednesday, March 28, 2021 at 8am

Here are some of the highlights from our fantastic event with Dr. Tendai Ndoro.

SBDC Website: https://www.rnsbdc.com/ 

  • The SBDC at Rutgers is a federally-funded program
    • Rutgers hosts and works with small businesses up to $35 million per year in revenue
    • 80% of the businesses they work with are LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.
  • This program offers training and technical assistance to small businesses
    • Some training is geared towards start-ups
    • They also offer a lot of training for established businesses, too (technical assistance, financial, ecommerce, HR, suppliers, etc.)
  • A consultant will assess your needs and set you up with the right people to help
    • Professors are available that specialize in their field
    • An example would be: if you need help with marketing, you may be set up with a professor and a group of students who will do market research, an analysis of your social media, etc. and give you recommendations
    • These people are advisors, you need to implement their recommendations
  • Supply chain program: you would get a number of students to work with and they help you to pivot your business
    • For example, you may go from products to service to diversify revenue streams
    • This is important during the pandemic 
  • This program has been virtual since 2018 because they need to be able to reach everyone
    • They have been offering webinars, workshops, etc.
    • Since the pandemic, they are even more virtual
  • Something they can teach you: Federal Contracting and what you need to do business with the state
  • SBDC has worked with the Essex County Office of Small Business Development
    • They did a study and found that a lot of business for the county was given to businesses outside of the county, so they help to keep within county now
  • SBDC can help you look at your business model, website, digital marketing, etc.
  • Also, they offer help with figuring out all of the programs available to small businesses during Covid
    • SBA’s direct loans, PPP loans, grants
    • They can help you figure out what the interest rates are, which ones offer forgiveness, what the deadlines for each are, etc.
    • They will also help you figure out the right amount of money to borrow or apply for to carry you through the pandemic 
  • Don’t make a “business plan,” make an “operation plan”
    • This is a “living” document – it changes as your business grows
    • SBDC will help you make this and tweak it as you go
  • Participant Question: “I struggle with marketing and I want to look more professional. I don’t know what to do day-to-day to keep up with marketing and I don’t have the time. Is this something SBDC can help me with?”
    • This is a perfect example of how SBDC can help you! They will create a plan and work with you
    • They can help you find apps to automate your marketing and have it going 24 hours a day
  • Even if you aren’t sure of all of your needs, ask! 
    • If they can’t do it, they probably know someone who can help you
  • The counseling/consulting is no cost to you – this is a federally-funded program
    • For training, you pay only an administrative fee
  • One attendee had worked with them before: She started her small business at home and when she got a space, she reached out to SBDC
    • She went through the entrepreneurship program and continues to work with them
    • She said that they helped her understand how to apply for a PPP loan through tools and workshops
    • Her questions are always answered and they offer guidance
    • The SBDC helped her to thrive using the foundation they helped build
    • She was recently able to trademark a learning tool she made through SBDC
  • Private labeling: SBDC can help with this
    • They can help you find suppliers, packaging, research, inventory management solutions, development, finding retail spaces to rent, scale your business
  • The first step is to apply online!