It starts with a simple application. You tell us about your company and your needs and we tell you how 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Northern California SBDC work?
What is the Northern California SBDC?
The Northern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a non-profit organization that provides confidential, no-cost business consulting and affordable training seminars to small and medium-sized business owners and managers. The Northern California SBDC will help you with every aspect of business creation, growth, management and operation. We are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are 14 centers located in Northern California for your convenience. Find your local SBDC to start receiving consulting and low cost training.
How can the Northern California SBDC help someone just thinking of starting a business?
The Northern California SBDC offers seminars and workshops at each of our centers for individuals who want general information on starting a business, or who are in the initial start-up phase. SBDC consultants can then help you with the details of turning your plan into a successful reality.
Do you have to be in business to use the services of the Small Business Development Center?
No. You only have to be considering the idea of opening a business or researching the feasibility of a proposed profit-making venture.
Can the SBDC help my business if it is a nonprofit?
Because of the SBDC's funding guidelines, the Northern California Small Business Development Centers are not able to assist businesses that are established as not-for-profit.
My business has been established for some time. How can the SBDC help me?
The SBDC provides an array of consulting services to established businesses including one-on-one consulting in business planning, marketing and promotion, financial analysis, accounting, record keeping, human resources, strategic planning, new market diversification, and other areas. In addition, the procurement technical assistance program is available for companies that want to bid on government contracts and international trade specialists are available to consult with firms that want to enter into or expand in the global marketplace. Technology commercialization assistance is available to high growth and technology firms with sophisticated business management issues. The Northern California SBDCs are ready to help businesses in all stages with a variety of issues.
Who are Northern California SBDC Business Advisors?
SBDC Business Advisors are individuals who have significant experience in the private sector, and many have extensive management and financial consulting backgrounds. Northern California SBDC Business Advisors can offer individual advice and guidance concerning the formation, management, financing and operation of your business. Consulting is provided at no charge to qualified businesses and is confidential. We realize you have choices when it comes to choosing advisors for your business and we urge you to carefully consider whom you want on your team. SBDC Business Advisors are in it for you and your success. They are experts in their field and are 100% focused on making your company work better and faster, with increasing profitability.
How are SBDC services free?
The SBDC is funded through the federal Small Business Administration, the California Governor’s Office of Small Business (GO-Biz), and local partners.