Dakota Business | What am I forgetting? SBA Resource Partners can help answer that question

North Dakota District Office

u s small business administration
Dakota Business Newsletter April 9, 2019
Speach bubbles with How, Where, When, What, Who and Why


What am I forgetting?

SBA Resource Partners can help answer that question!

By: Hetti Cekalla, Senior Area Manager
Bismarck Area Office - North Dakota District Office

“No man is an island.” You’ve probably heard that before. It was written by John Donne, the 17th century English poet, and I believe that observation would apply to women, as well as men, yet today. Especially if you happen to own, or want to own, your own business.

I’m not talking just about customers. (Of course, the definition of “business” is the production of something that someone else wants or needs badly enough to pay for.) I’m talking about going it alone, doing it all yourself, trying to plow through (or muddle through) all of the challenges that setting up and operating a small business can present on a daily basis.

You don’t have to do that, and you shouldn’t. Not when a wealth of business talent is available all across the country at no cost to you, from our SBA Resource Partners.

Lots of people have heard about SBA loans, and we do have some terrific loan programs available to help eligible small businesses.  But many people do not know about the expert business counseling services we offer.

Need to write a business plan? Figure out your breakeven point? Have you thought of all the potential costs involved in starting up a business? There are lots of question to ask and answer that you may not have thought of, or may not be able to find the answers to yourself. Our Resource Partners can all help you answer that niggling question in the back of your mind-- “What am I forgetting?”

From an idea on a napkin to opening your doors, SCORE Mentors, the Small Business Development Centers, the Women’s Business Centers and the Veterans Business Outreach Centers can help. With seven SCORE chapters and branches, ten Small Business Development Center locations, two Women's Business Center locations, and a Veteran Business Outreach Center located throughout North Dakota, you're never far away from SBA-approved experts who can help your business thrive.

The nation's largest network of volunteer business mentors harnesses the passion and knowledge of real-world business executives to provide invaluable mentorship in person, via email or over video chat. Visit www.score.org to connect with a mentor and find business tools, templates, tips, and webinars.

We are fortunate, here in North Dakota, to have a group of highly-trained business advisors at our Small Business Development Centers. There are eight Regional offices and two independent offices with business advisors available to help with financial projections, financial statements, capital formation and business planning. All at no cost to you. Use their expertise to give yourself the best chance of success as a small business. Go to www.ndsbdc.org to make an appointment.

Our Women’s Business Center helps woman-owned small businesses overcome the obstacles that, despite the growth in this area, are still more difficult than those faced by male-owned businesses. The unique challenges that women face as business owners are resolved with one-on-one technical assistance, leadership and management training, and resources viewed from a woman’s perspective.

With two WBC offices now in operation in Bismarck and Fargo, you can make an appointment with either center by emailing info@trainingnd.com. Additional information on events, leadership training, and customized training is available on their website, www.ndwbc.org, or by calling 701-223-0707.

Our newest North Dakota Resource Partner is the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Located in Grand Forks, this organization focuses on serving veterans, active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses who are interested in starting their own businesses. Those with military experience tend to have an “entrepreneurial spirit”; they are mission-focused, willing to take calculated risks, and persistent—all qualities necessary to run a successful business.

For Veterans looking to take the leap into small business ownership, the VBOC is there to help with no-cost counseling services. If you own or are planning to open a business in either North Dakota or South Dakota, you can contact VBOC of the Dakotas at 701-777-3700 or dakotas.vboc@und.edu. Check out their website at http://www1.und.edu/centers/dakotasvboc/ for more information.

Once you are a client of any of our Resource Partners, you are always a client. So if you run into a situation in the future that you have questions about, your business advisors are just a phone call away.

Donne was right. You don’t have to be an island. You have us to help!


Upcoming Events

April 16 - Boots to Business: Reboot

Williston, ND

A one-day training for Veterans of all eras, Reservists, National Guard Members, Transitioning Military members, and their spouses interested in starting a business. Participants will receive an overview of business ownership as a career, information about the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources for veteran-owned businesses.

April 25 Webinar - Boosting Your Bottom Line: How to Find More Profit in Your Business


Businesses are just like gasoline engines.  Once a new engine is broken in, it runs smoothly and efficiently.  However, over time, use and misuse causes the engine to slow down and this requires a tune-up to restore it to normal.  Businesses experience the same effect.  So what can you do to “fine-tune” your business or organization financial situation to maximize your profits?  Attend this SBA Webinar to learn about selected strategies to boost your bottom line! 

April 29 Workshop - Marketing & Social Media

Rugby, ND

Rugby Chamber of Commerce & Rugby Job Development Authority are hosting a 2-hour educational opportunity for area businesses. Speaker, Eric Giltner, from the U.S. Small Business Administration will educate attendees about marketing strategies and social media management for businesses. For more information, contact rugbychamber@gondtc.com or (701) 776-5846. 

Save the Date - May 9 Small Business Conference

Offutt School of Business, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

You're invited to spend the day with industry experts as they address today's most pressing small business challenges. Attend panel discussions and workshops for strategies and techniques to start, grow, expand and transition your business. Stop by resource tables for one-on-one visits. Boxed lunch and refreshments included in registration fee. 


Find other small business workshops and events on our Small Business Calendar at www.sba.gov/nd