Browse the LFSBDC’s FAQs:
Our goal is to stimulate the economy and promote new job opportunities by assisting small business development. The Center provides counseling, training, and information in all aspects of small business management. These include, but are not limited to, the areas of finance, marketing, management, operations, licensing, planning, expansion and human resources.
While the term “small business” is most often used to describe businesses with fewer than 100 employees, the SBDC applies no stringent criteria to those it is glad to assist. Its services are most beneficial to businesses where one or two owners find themselves wearing many hats – marketing, finance, human resources, strategic planning – but they know they cannot afford to lose the focus on their core business. The SBDC can save them time, get answers to their questions, and efficiently link them to resources or other businesses.
The counseling services and training programs of the Lord Fairfax SBDC are provided at no charge.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.
SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.
The SBDC offers information or advice to help business owners expand their businesses, solve business problems or improve management, develop new ideas for products or services, or investigate new business opportunities. The Center helps the inexperienced businesspersons understand the requirements for going into business, assess business opportunities, determine nancial needs and potential sources of nancing, and offers guidelines on
business opportunities, determine financial needs and potential sources of financing, and offers guidelines on business planning and marketing. The Center will equip you with information and resources to be successful, but it is up to the business owner or entrepreneur to execute the necessary steps to start, manage, or grow his or her business.
Our experience shows that successful entrepreneurs usually have a solid understanding of their new ventures. This means that they or members of their management team have operated a similar business before, or that they have unique skills and contacts that enable success. We don’t believe it is a good idea to simply pick a business from somebody’s list of “Best Businesses to Start”. Rather than suggest a business to you, we will encourage you to evaluate your experiences, unique skills and strengths, your family support structure and what you think you’ll be most happy doing for the rest of your life.
The SBDC makes no loans and is not aware of any grants for most business ventures. The SBDC can help you identify what financing you may need and discuss alternative sources. We can also advise you how to improve a loan application and business plan. Frequently our clients find that loan guarantee programs of the Small Business Administration (SBA) are an attractive source of financing. In many circumstances, however, and in most cases for startups, entrepreneurs must turn to their own savings, to friends and family, or to their personal credit cards to nance business ventures.
We have a great track record for helping business owners improve management practices, find more customers and/or move into more profitable niches. We offer a fresh point of view and extensive business experience from our staff and a number of other resources. One of the most practical services we offer is an assessment of your cash flow – an area often neglected by business owners. We also link our clients to resources and programs that will help them find new business opportunities.