The Santa Cruz SBDC offers free, individualized and confidential one-on-one advising for existing businesses and start-ups with the potential for job creation, revenue and profit growth, and new business development ideas which could stimulate economic development in Santa Cruz County and beyond.
Business advising services are available by appointment to both existing and start-up business owners. It starts with a simple application. You tell us about your company and your needs and we give a truthful assessment of whether we think we can help. Then, we establish goals to work on (business loan, equity capital, etc.) and we work together to reach that goal. We will meet with you in-person, on the phone, over coffee – whatever works for your schedule. Think of it as having another confidential member on your team - someone who is specifically focused on the business goal you identified as most important - and at no cost to you.
The Santa Cruz SBDC is staffed by certified business advisors who provide entrepreneurs with business assistance and tools to aid in their business success. Our Business Advisors specialize in the following fields
Instruction in creating business plans, as well as ongoing review, helps clients create a road map for a successful business. An effective business plan includes company history, demographics, operations, administration, financial, products/services, economic considerations and marketing sections. Clients learn to compare actual business results against projections on a regular basis to gain the business plan's full value.
Knowledge relating to obtaining capital from private or institutional sources aids business owners in finding appropriate funding and helps clients assess their qualifications to obtain loans.
The Santa Cruz SBDC offers information to assist small businesses through the procedures of selling to government agencies. Learn what is necessary to qualify and bid on government contracts.
Review of the product pricing, product mix and gross margin contribution can assist business owners in focusing on their most profitable products to enhance their sales figures.
Creation of a cohesive marketing plan and knowledge of marketing techniques can lead to improvement and expansion of sales. Learn to promote your business using various media, advertising, and public relations techniques.
Expertise in food services areas such as menus, equipment and pricing will aid the restaurant owner in a highly competitive field.
Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and New Product Development
Information relating to intellectual property helps a business protect products, logos and business names with trademarks, copyrights and patents. New product development gives clients ways to transform their ideas into marketable products.
Experience and knowledge relating to the organization, recruitment and delegation of responsibility to employees will improve day-to-day business operations.
Business Start-Up/Home-Based Businesses
Start-up business ventures profit from information relating to the sound business practices necessary to begin a business, as well as such necessities as license and permit requirements.
Learn how to utilize merchandising techniques to target certain demographics and employ in-store marketing programs to support seasonal and promotional changes.
Clients can gain an understanding of international trade, marketing and management techniques, as well as tools for cross-cultural communication.