Contra Costa SBDCPleasant Hill, CA

No Cost Consulting

The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SFSBDC) offers long-term, in-depth, no cost consulting for existing businesses and certain start-ups with the potential for above average job creation, revenue and profit growth, and new business development ideas which could stimulate economic development in San Francisco and beyond.

The performance of the SFSBDC is measured by the total economic impact of its clients. The specific criteria we are measured against include: increased revenue and profit, business loans received, equity investment or other capital raised, new jobs created, business plans completed, and successful starts of normal business operations. Therefore, potential clients need to demonstrate the ability to achieve significant economic impact through the assistance and support of the SFSBDC business advisors and staff.

How Much Does it Cost?
It is FREE! One-on-one counseling services are free of charge to the business owner. The US Small Business Administration and sponsors of the San Francisco SBDC cover all of the costs associated with counseling services.

Who Qualifies?
Normally, clients should have a business plan draft and a thoroughly vetted business idea prior to seeking services. Our clients could also include beginning entrepreneurs, typically with experience in the industry in which they intend to start a business and the financial resources to get a new business up and running.

What If I Don’t Qualify?
Do you have a business plan? Potential clients who are more in the beginning (or ideation stage) of starting their business should contact SCORE for a meeting with one of their counselors. Please see the Local Resources section of the website that lists other resource partners in San Francisco that can assist with the more basic functions of preparing to launch a small business.

In addition, the San Francisco SBDC offers ongoing free and low-cost Business Workshops in San Francisco, which are open to all attendees. The San Francisco SBDC strongly encourages entrepreneurs to take advantage of these workshops before seeking one-on-one counseling services.

How Do I Request Services?
Please use the Online Request for Services Form and complete the simple questionnaire. Someone from the San Francisco SBDC will contact you within 5 to 7 business days to discuss your situation. In addition, you can call the San Francisco SBDC at 415.937.SBDC (7232) for assistance in the signup process.

Counseling Fields
The San Francisco SBDC has business advisors who specialize in the following fields:

Business Plans 
Instruction in creating business plans, as well as ongoing review, helping 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.

Access to Capital
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.

E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
Learn how to effectively utilize the internet to market products, sell to customers, and then provide superior after-sales service and support.

The San Francisco 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.

Product Pricing
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.

Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations
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.

Restaurant Operations
Expertise in food services areas such as menus, equipment, and pricing will aid the restaurant owner in a highly competitive field. 

Human Resources
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.

Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the efficient movement of raw materials and finished goods. It requires great skill in managing relationships with both suppliers and customers, while simultaneously exploiting the latest technologies to effectively track material movement between trading partners. Mastering the nuances of SCM allows you to provide superior service to your customers while driving down operational costs and gaining a competitive edge in your industry.

International Trade
Clients can gain an understanding of international trade, marketing and management techniques, as well as tools for cross-cultural communication. 

Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights & 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.

How Do I Become a Client?
You can submit an online counseling request using the Online Request for Services Form.  If you need assistance, or have any questions, you can call the center at 415.937.SBDC (7232).

Apply Now

It all starts here. Review our client process, complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.