Small business resources available

By Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, Everybody’s Business

What constitutes a small business?
Is it the local hardware store or the old “five and dime” visited as a child?
Perhaps it is the local sandwich shop on Main Street, or the one-man plumbing business.

Could it be the manufacturing plant with 465 employees, or the auto dealership that started as a “mom and pop” and grew to the largest dealership in the state?

The answer is yes to all. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a small business is defined by its total sales, assets or number of employees.

What does this mean?

It means the services provided by the Clovis Community College – Small Business Development Center are available to most owners and entrepreneurs. The SBDC provides one-on-one business advice in a confidential setting.

Services range from assistance with basic accounting to cash flow analysis, assistance in reading and understanding financial statements, and marketing advice — to name just a few.

In addition, the center can work with growing businesses to identify weaknesses and strengths; to determine, forecast, and project the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a new product or service, and to analyze the business’ customers.

For anyone contemplating starting a new business, the first step is to determine why it is a desire, and put the reasons in writing.

Then write down the negatives of starting a business.

The next step would be to analyze personal strengths and weaknesses and begin pursuing the feasibility of starting a business.

At this stage, come to the SBDC with that written information, and we can provide a general overview of what it would take to own and operate a business.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer is director of the Clovis Community College Small Business Development Center. Visit at www.clovis.edu/sbdc or contact the center at 769-4136.