Preparing a business plan for your small business is the most important thing you can do as a start-up. But it's also important for existing businesses to update their original business plan every 1-2 years. That plan is your "roadmap," keeping you on the right track as you grow toward your 3-5-10 year goals. Don't make the mistake of thinking a business plan doesn't apply to YOU!
It is our goal to see that every small business owner in South Carolina is provided with ample resources and assistance to help them successfully operate and grow his or her business in order to further our SC economy, but also to create new jobs and elevate the lifestyle of our SC workers and their families.
For that reason, SBDC services are designed to look at all elements of your business, notify you of new trends, provide you with business education opportunities, and help you navigate through the new world of digital Internet marketing and social networking.
These categories represent some of the services and events made available to you at no charge. They are all paid for through the Small Business Administration and subsidized by the State of South Carolina and our partnership with Winthrop University.
In planning to succeed, expanding your business to grow over time requires that you understand what your resources are, where they are coming from, and how you are utilizing them. Without that understanding, you can be wasting thousands of dollars every year that could be used for growth. We can analyze your company's past financial performance, make recommendations for monetary or operations changes, and get you on the right track for growth. Generally, we ask to see 2-3 years of back business tax records, and your current profit and loss statement so they can give us some insight into how your company has grown and what adjustments can be made to prepare you to expand your operation, hire new employees, buy new equipment, move to a larger facility, or accomplish other goals in the near future.
Strategize for Best Operation
Things aren't always what they seem in business. You probably want more sales and more customers even though you can see that your company is making money. Your prices may be competitive and your location is nearly perfect. But still every day seems like a struggle to maintain the profit you have, never mind trying to grow. Chances are good that the problem is actually hiding in plain sight! Somewhere in your operations, there is a flaw, but because you are working too close to the problem, you can't see it. That's why we work with clients to determine what's missing in their operations, where they are over-spending or sometimes under-spending, and see if we can come up with a strategic plan to turn things around.
Marketing for Growth
We find most business owners are ill-prepared to deal with one of the most important tasks of business ownership .... marketing. Proper marketing is more important today than ever. People no longer read newspapers as they once did. People are frequently "on the move" now, moving from city to city as their companies require, no longer providing them or you with a sense of community where everyone knows everyone else. You need to make yourself known as an integral part of your business community. And, like it or not, social media needs to play an important role in those efforts, whether you hire someone to handle it for you, or learn how to do social media effectively for yourself.