America’s SBDC Blog

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Using Libraries to Enhance Entrepreneurship

December 6, 2023

By Jim Takeshita

Even under the best of circumstances, starting and maintaining a small business is a costly, complex, and time-consuming process. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a good idea, an experienced operator trying to meet a bottom line, or a local creative seeking community connection: Where do you go if you’re not sure what your next step is?

Try your library.

Libraries, such as the St. Louis County Library, report saving small business owners significant money each year (check out the American Library Association’s Library Value Calculator for more). This potential for cost savings is a national trend: Across the United States, libraries in every locality provide entrepreneur support resources of all kinds, from workshops and networking opportunities to specialized media equipment and market research. Working with a local library is a good way for prospective and established small business owners to get the help they need—and a good way for business support organizations to extend the reach and impact of their services.

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Driving Quality Counseling with Hybrid Learning: 10 Tips for Gaining Traction from Training

August 22, 2023

By Barbara Nuss, CPA, Profit Soup

Nothing surpasses the warm feeling business trainers and counselors get from witnessing the “lightbulb moments” new skills and knowledge can bring, followed by real positive changes in individuals’ lives and their businesses. With financial resources scarce, and funding for training in decline, how can you leverage your time and reach more clients in a scalable, efficient way? Enter online learning.

Many were forced into the online universe due to the restrictions on in-person interactions. Others had embraced it far earlier. Today many SBDC Centers use online platforms to deliver training and counseling. As a nation, we are not going back anytime soon: more than half of American adults who expect to need more education or training now say they would do it online. Still, we question whether we make the same impact when we lack face-to-face engagement.

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Happy #SBDCDay!

March 15, 2023

As small business owners navigate an ever-changing landscape, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) continue to support and elevate their clients through innovative at-cost training programs and free advising strategies. Nearly 1,000 SBDCs can be found across the United States and its territories, serving clients virtually and from their centers in host institutions like universities and chambers. Whether SBDCs are serving rural America, addressing a solution in fintech, or helping a millennial woman-owned business expand to global exporting, SBDCs are at the forefront, assisting their clients at every step. Don’t miss the new America’s SBDC Annual Report to read about hundreds of small businesses and how their small businesses thrived with the help of their local SBDC.

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How to Find a Business Mentor: 7 Places to Explore

January 17, 2023

Behind every successful business person is a mentor who taught them everything they know. Mentors teach valuable lessons and provide moral support when the going gets tough. But where do you find one? From in-person networking events to casual online chats, here are seven places to explore.

1. Scour LinkedIn for Someone With Your Dream Job

LinkedIn: The quintessential networking tool for professionals in virtually every industry and a great place to start your quest for a mentor. Enter your dream job into the search bar and filter by “people.” From there, you can search by criteria that are important to you, such as geographic location, industry, and even specific companies.

Quick tip: Before pitching someone on LinkedIn to be your mentor, follow them on social media, attend their live streams, interact with their content, ask questions, and do whatever you can to show your interest before asking for any favors.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

September 13, 2022

By: Jamie Cohen

How often do you check your social media accounts? Or, Google your name? If you don’t track them, you’re missing out on important information about your online presence.

Your online reputation matters. And it’s something you should take seriously. In today’s society, where everyone seems connected, staying ahead of the game with your brand is essential. It could be the difference between a thriving business and one that struggles to get leads or sales.

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