We have eight regional service locations with over twenty outreach centers that provide confidential consulting services as well as training opportunities in a wide range of business topics to new or existing businesses. Most of our consulting services and training sessions are provided at a low or no cost to clients.
Here’s how the SBDC works
SBDC consulting services are free
The SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), our seven host institutions including our network host, California State University, Fullerton, local organization grant funds, and others. This funding makes it possible for the SBDC to offer consulting services to clients at no cost.
In addition to consulting services being offered at no cost, they are also confidential and customized to your particular needs. Every single one of our SBDC staff members and consultants obeys the strict confidentiality and security policies and procedures in agreement with the SBDC accreditation standards.
Our consultants are paid and experienced
Our consultants are paid through our program’s funding and experienced in a variety of business functional areas, industries, and specialties. For additional information about our staff and consultants, view our staff page.
Training opportunities are offered at a nominal fee or at no cost
Seminars and trainings are regularly provided at no cost or a minimal fee. Specific pricing and topics may vary by location since every SBDC service location has its own events and pricing.
We provide our clients access to our extensive network
Our clients have access to our vast network of partners. Some of those in our network include service providers, public agencies, and non-profits. Our partners assist our clients with additional resources for their business.
A vital benefit to our “success story” clients is the publicity gained. The OCIE SBDC Network team organizes grand opening and ribbon-cutting events for our brick and mortar clients. By doing this we highlight the launch via local press, social media, and email outreach. All of this is done at no cost to the client. Most of our success stories are additionally promoted on our SBDC marketing channels, SBA materials, and our network partner promotional efforts.
It’s easy to become a client, here’s how to sign up
To become an SBDC client all you have to do is click on the “Request Consultation” button and fill out the information requested. Based on your specific needs and location, one of the SBDC offices will contact you to make an appointment and go over the next steps. You may also directly contact one of the specific service locations to schedule an appointment.
So you’ve signed up for services,
here’s what next
Your first appointment
Throughout your first appointment, one of our consultants will evaluate your business needs and design a plan that lays out action items to reach your goals within a realistic timeline.
Items to consider bringing to your appointment, as fitting:
- Business Plan
- Marketing Materials
- Your Product
The consultant assisting you will talk over SBDC and their particular process and philosophy. Additionally, they will present you with a vocalized overview of your company and/or plan. You and your consultant will then move onto discussing any issues and needs for your business. They will also recommend any potential resources, tools, and processes you can use that are beneficial for your business. Lastly, your consultant will create a follow-up plan and talk about the proceeding steps leading up to your next appointment.
Your next appointment
You’ve had your first appointment, what’s next? In your second appointment, your consultant starts to tackle the range of work laid out during the first meeting. They will then collaborate with you to set milestones for your company, talk over applicable strategies or options accessible to you, and design tasks that will move you towards your objectives. This particular step is customized for each client based on their business and needs, therefore the process will vary. For one client, the consultant may start preparing for funding such as assisting you with your bank plan and financial projections. For another, they may start coming up with marketing strategies to help your business grow. At the end of the meeting, the consultant will inform you about any progress and what the next steps are.
Registering for training
Have you checked out the calendar of events and workshops? After you find an event that interests you and would like to attend, simply click the “Register” button. You will be prompted to create a new account or login if you are an existing user to complete registration. New users will be asked to give their name, email, and create a password to set up an account. After you have created your account, follow the steps given to finish your registration for the event. Once you are a registered user, you can sign up for and go to numerous workshops and events! If you have any problem in registering for an event and would like assistance, please contact us at 1-800-616-SBDC. We would be glad to help you!
Keeping in touch and engaged
Come back and check out our website often as we regularly update it with new events, workshops, and special events for our clients!
Make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to be informed of new events, workshops, and grand openings.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for event updates as well as additional resources.
Read our blog!