Often, before starting a business, small business owners ask themselves questions. “Where will I put my business? What will I name it? When should I be open?” Better questions might be “Do I have enough start-up capital? Do I have a business plan and mission statement? Do I have the experience and technological knowledge to start a business?” David Stob, Chairman of UGA’s Small Business Development Center, told Rotarians if the answer is “no,” a person should rethink beginning until the answers become “yes.”
The Small Business Development Center started at UGA in 1975 and a year later joined with SBA. In 1980, Jimmy Carter signed it into law, and by 2017, 530,000 small businesses were reaping the benefits of free consultation from its 48 consultants in Georgia. All consultants must have an MB degree and extensive experience in areas such as marketing, strategic planning human resources, and business development. A special division specializes in working with veterans, minorities, and women. Mr. Stob declared several things were major problems in making the start-up of a small business. About 50 percent of small business fail in the first year. The number one reason is lack of capital with lack of experience being a close second. A small business owner must keep in touch with customer needs and have a profitable business model. Without these, the business will have a difficult time. Other problems that plague the start-up is poor knowledge of technology, poor pricing strategies and too much employee turnover.
Fortunately, SBDC (Small Business Development Center), can help with individual counseling or continuing education classes in several areas such as alternate financing strategies, how to attract great employees, and even exit strategies. Asking questions is important and asking the right ones can make the difference. And that’s what SBDC is all about. For more information, call David Stob at 706-542-4302 or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Cowne provides news from the Rotary Club of Madison County.