Where do you turn when you are ready to take your business to the next level?  Are you going to hire a consultant to help you?  Are you going to join a leadership group to receive peer feedback?  Perhaps you would prefer a board of advisers to help you develop a detailed plan.  How about all of it?

Enter the Florida Small Business Development Council, or FSBDC.  The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, State of Florida and other private and public partners.  It is hosted by the University of West Florida; and nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. A vastly growing resource here in Central Florida, the FSBDC, is located in the midst of east Orlando, in the National Entrepreneur Center at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall.  Yup, its right here under your nose.

The SBDC is a truly spectacular government-funded organization, contributing essential tools and resources to businesses and entrepreneurs.  Additionally, the SBDC’s mission is to work hand in hand with local Orange County businesses in an effort to drive Orange County’s economic engine.

How do you benefit?  Simple, a plethora of resources await small business owners who are willing to work with knowledgeable counselors.  You may need help with business marketing, SBA loan packages, government contracting, you name it.  No matter the need, a resource will be available to you.

Further, the SBDC constantly hosts special events, such as workshops and seminars, geared to provide actionable business tools to the local business community.  Workshops topics may include:

  • Business Fundamentals
  • Business Strategies
  • Web Marketing
  • International Trade
  • Small Business Funding Programs

Special Services Include:

Are you really looking to dig in, be held accountable, and show the business world what you are made of?  The SBDC provides second-stage companies the tools to go big.  These tools include:

Advisory Board Council – which is designed to help business owners receive feedback from experienced, often retired, business professionals.  This 18-month program allows varying second-stage companies to discuss pressing matters affecting their business confidentially in a collective setting.

CEO X-Change – a program designed to cultivate leaders and connect high-level executives in the local community.  This monthly meeting is hosted in an informal round-table environment with the goal to broaden the CEOs business perspective and gain new knowledge by engaging in collaborative thinking and problem-solving.

Business Growth Acceleration – a service provided to help businesses with Cash Flow Management, Financial Analysis and Strategic Business Planning.  This program focuses on results with the goal to uncover hidden potential.

The SBDC also heads-up a unique program called the Small Business Institute (SBI), in which local businesses can have access to resources and competences of UCF’s College of Business Administration and FSBDC at UCF. This provides entrepreneurs with strategy, marketing and research plans to fit their needs. This program, along with their small business resource network, has brought significant advancement to many Central Florida Start-ups.

One on One Consulting:

The consultants, mentioned earlier, are all experienced professionals with all their credentials and contact information readily displayed on the FSBDC website, meaning they are only an email away. Each consultant varies in their BA and MBA educational background and has specific areas of specialization.  Rodger Greenwald, for example, is a consultant on marketing,  development of business plans and new start-ups.  Hal Thayer, the assistant director and program manager of the CEO XChange, has certifications in career coaching and specializes in areas like marketing, branding, communications, market research, and public relations. Other consultants advise at off-site satellite centers.  These centers are located in surrounding state college’s and cities. Chuck Wheeler is a consultant in Kissimmee.  Mr. Wheeler’s specialties include startup, business planning, cash flow analysis, marketing and advertising.  The list goes on.

Some exciting upcoming July events include:

  • Lean Startup: A Method to Grow Your Business
  • Google Solutions: Get Your Business Online
  • How to Start Your Own Business
  • Cash Flow Management and Market Research: Knowing Your Customer and Your Market.

All of these events are seminars designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs gain an understanding of the fundamentals needed to maintain and grow their businesses. Each seminar is fairly priced and varies according to the content presented. The SBDC does provide discounts on many of these seminars to Orange County businesses.

Looking to get started with the SBDC?  Following an initial meeting, businesses have full-scale access to all of the resources provided on the website.  We often encourage our clients to reach out and take advantage of the wonderful programs the FSBDC provides.  For more information about the SBDC, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Lisa Reineck at [email protected]  Tell her the team at Get The Clicks sent you.