Kansas SBDC FAQ: Here are a few of our more popular frequently asked questions to get you started.
How can you help my business?
We can help in a variety of ways. The primary way we help is by working with you to find out what your needs are and helping you develop a strategy to reach your goals.
Some of the key reasons clients contact us for help include:
-Business plan assistance
-Financial projection development
-Cash flow analysis
-Marketing plan development
-Sources of capital and financing
-Product cost analysis and pricing
-Market research assistance
-Selling to the government/procurement
-Buying or selling a business
How do I use your services?
Start by contacting the center nearest you. A map can be found next to this post or on our home page. Or signup online at https://ksbdc.ecenterdirect.com/signup.
Is there a charge for Kansas SBDC services?
No and Yes. No, Kansas SBDC advising services are provided at no cost to our clients. Workshops, seminars, and online training are offered at low-cost or no-cost to clients as well.
Yes, we do offer specialized fee-based consulting if you need something beyond general advising. We offer different levels of business valuations and continuity plans. To learn more contact your locale center.
Why do you provide advising at no cost? Why don’t you charge?
When the SBDC was established in 1983 the federal government decided that they would not charge for advising. Essentially since our government is funded by the taxpayer, they decided that taxpayers had really already paid for the service.
Can I see a business advisor without an appointment?
We would suggest scheduling an appointment to meet with us. As a first time client there are some helpful forms you can complete before you meet with an advisor to make the most of your time together. Learn about how to become a Kansas SBDC client here.
Do I have to become a client to attend one of your online or in-person classes?
No, you don’t. Online classes as well as on-the-ground classes, workshops, and seminars are open to anyone that is interested in improving their business performance, starting a business or exploring a business idea.
However, we encourage you to take advantage of working with our team as a Kansas SBDC client.
How do I learn more about a class I might be interested in taking?
Visit our training site for a list of classes or visit the website of the center in your area.
Why don’t more people know about your services?
Because we’re a confidential service (Las Vegas rules apply) and we don’t talk about our clients without their permission, you won’t hear a lot about us. Plus, since we operate using taxpayer dollars we don’t spend money on advertising. We put all of our effort into delivering our service.
I already own a business. Can I still use the Kansas SBDC?
Yes. We encourage it. As of 2017, approximately half of the businesses we serve are already in business when they seek out our help. Our Kansas SBDC advisors have extensive experience and knowledge in many areas of business operations across a variety of industries. We can help with marketing, management, operations, expansion, cash flow analysis, inventory control, strategic planning, and pricing your products and services.
If your business meets the size standards of the SBA (typically less than 500 employees and less than $50 million in annual revenue), you’ll be able to access the no-cost and confidential business advising offered by the Kansas SBDC.
If your issue is outside the scope of your Kansas SBDC advisor’s expertise, the advisor will tap into a large network of business experts across the country to assist your company.
What if I’m interested in selling my business? Can you help with that?
Yes, we can. We have advisors that are certified in business valuation as well as advisors that can help you prepare to sell your business. We’ve helped many small businesses with successful transition and succession plans.
What if I’m interested in buying a business? Can you help with that?
Yes. We have advisors that can help you evaluate the existing business, your ideas, and the market so you can make an informed decision. Certified consultants can assist with a business valuation as well.
Does the Kansas SBDC loan money for my business startup?
The Kansas SBDC does not provide loan or grant money. However, we will assist you in developing your business plan and financial projections and identifying potential sources of capital. This is often the key to help you obtain additional capital. Additionally, Kansas SBDC advisors can often identify various non-traditional sources of capital to help your business.
Will a Kansas SBDC advisor help me write a business plan?
The Kansas SBDC will provide resources and guidance in the process of writing your business plan. Many centers have accelerated business plan training courses that can help as well.
I can’t get away from work. Do you have any online help?
Yes. The Kansas SBDC can consult with you via email, phone, or video conferencing. Several online training classes are available for anyone that needs help in your business.
I’m concerned that people will know that I am working with the SBDC and lose confidence in my leadership. How confidential are your services?
Our services are highly confidential. ‘Las Vegas’ rules apply here. We can’t even confirm with your business partners if you are our client without your written permission.
How good are you?
Each year we survey our clients to find out if we’ve made a difference in their business. For 2016, our clients said we helped them do the following:
-Secure $79,303,029 in new capital
-Increase year-over-year sales by $117,898,869
-Create or retain 3,240 jobs
-Start 316 new businesses
According to the Kansas Dept of Revenue, Kansas SBDC clients consistently grow average annual sales at a pace much faster than all of Kansas businesses. In 2016 our clients increased their annual sales by 30.9% while all Kansas businesses reported a sales increase of 6.6%.
According to the Kansas Dept of Labor, Kansas SBDC clients consistently grow average annual jobs at a pace much faster than all of Kansas businesses. In 2016 our clients increased their annual jobs by 21.4% versus all of Kansas businesses of 0.5%.
How do I find a center in my area?
Use the locator map on our home page or adjacent to this post.
How many Kansas SBDC locations are there?
We currently have eight regional centers. You can work with an advisor in your area or you may work with a team from across the state. Your primary advisor will help coordinate our team to best meet your needs.
How many businesses do you help each year?
We work with approximately 2,500 small business clients each year.
Since we began tracking impact in 2002, we have helped small businesses across the state. Through no cost one-on-one advising, training, and education, we have helped 36,732 clients:
-Start 4,408 small businesses
-Create 20,856 new jobs
-Retain more than 18,840 jobs
-Generate more than $956,000,000 in equity injection or debt financing to start and expand their businesses
-Increase year-over-year sales by more than $1,224,000,000
From 2002 – 2016 we helped small businesses through training:
-provided more than 225,177 hours of -training held 7,982 training events
-assisted more than 68,708 small business owners and others through workshops, seminars, and training events
What if I refer someone to you? How will I know that you’ve helped them?
You won’t unless they share that information with you. Our services are highly confidential. Confidentiality eliminates a big barrier for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators that want to test their ideas in a protected environment.
Who do you work with?
The Kansas SBDC network partners with many players across the economic landscape including Chambers of Commerce, economic development professionals, universities, community colleges, and lending institutions as well as federal, state, and local governments.
The goal of the Kansas SBDC is to work with all players interested in supporting entrepreneurship in our communities; because of this, we excel at providing a comprehensive service through many important partnerships.
You say that you help small businesses, and small businesses are important to the economy. What kind of impact do you have in Kansas?
A huge impact. For every $1 that was invested in 2016 by the state and federal governments as well as our local funding partners, we returned $25.20 to the tax base.
How? By helping our clients increase sales more sales tax was paid. By helping our clients grow to hire more employees more federal and state employment tax was paid.
We know this information is accurate because each year we measure our impact by asking our clients directly how we’ve helped their business through a third-party objective external survey firm.
Do your centers have contact information for local attorneys and accountants?
Yes, each office does their best to maintain a local list of contacts for attorneys and accountants and other for-profits that work with small business. We also keep a list of other resource contacts that you may need on hand.
What if I have more questions?