Jeff Eckhoff, State Director, SD Small Business Development Center
Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding activities of your life, however it can also be one of the most intimidating to start. Searching the phrase “How to Start a Business” in a web search engine recently yielded over 800 million results. How does a soon-to-be entrepreneur sift through this amount of information to find good advice? This is where your local office of the South Dakota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) often enters the picture.
The SBDC is a statewide organization that is dedicated to assisting local entrepreneurs and business owners by helping them start, grow or transition a business. The SBDC offers confidential, no-cost business advising to over 1,200 clients a year in South Dakota. In 2016, our SBDC clients injected over $90 million of capital into the state and saw increased sales of over $70 million. The SBDC network covers the entire state of South Dakota through regional offices and there is also a dedicated, local satellite office in Brookings hosted by the Enterprise Institute. The SBDC network receives primary funding from the US Small Business Administration and the SD Governor's Office of Economic Development. Locally, the Brookings satellite office is also funded through matching funds by Vision Brookings and the Enterprise Institute.
Our core mission is helping our clients develop their business plan and it should be noted that business planning is not just for startups. More and more we see clients who are established businesses coming in to have us take a look at their numbers for a new project or to run ideas past our staff. Our staff at the SBDC is key to our success as they bring many years of experience and great backgrounds from industry, banking, finance and as business owners themselves.
As a key part of their business plan, we help our clients develop their financial projections. Our financial modeling program is proprietary and recognized by many of the lenders across the state which brings recognized credibility when it comes time to go to the bank. In addition, our knowledge of local loan funds and federal and state loan programs assist our clients in finding and accessing capital that is appropriate for their needs.
For more information, please contact Tim Weelborg at the Enterprise Institute/SBDC in Brookings – 605.697.5015 or www.sdbusinesshelp.com.