Many people believe a lack of money is the main reason for business failure.
Statistics show that businesses fail due to a lack of management, rather than money, according to Stan Nakano, Utah director for the Small Business Administration.To help small-business owners overcome management obstacles, SBA has entered into partnerships with private sector groups and organizations in the country. Through these partnerships, a wide range of free business development assistance is available to small business owners.
SBA's primary business development programs are Small Business Development Centers, Small Business Institutes, Service Corps of Retired Executives and Chamber of Commerce Resource Centers.
The SBDC program was developed in 1977 to enhance the agency's ability to provide management counseling and training to small-business owners and prospective small-business owners. Development centers offer one-stop assistance to small-business owners seeking management guidance.
The centers provide business plan development services, business expansion assistance, help with product development and many other common business-related problems. The program is a cooperative effort between the educational community, state and local governments, the federal government and diverse areas of the private sector, Nakano said.
There are 54 SBDCs operating in 47 states. The SBDC in Utah is sponsored by the University of Utah, the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development and Nakano's office.
He said the SBI program was established by SBA in 1972 to meet long-term, in-depth counseling needs. Teams of university business students, under the supervision of faculty experts, work with small-business owners to provide in-depth studies and solutions to a wide range of management problems.
The institute teams may assume projects such as marketing surveys, accounting systems, personnel policies, expansion feasibility and strategy, production design, product line diversification and exporting.
Nakano said since the program started, institute schools have counseled more than 100,000 small businesses and it has given 250,000 students the opportunity to use their classroom skills "in the real world."
In Utah, counseling is provided at the U., Brigham Young University, Weber State University, Utah State University and Southern Utah University.
The CCRC program combines the resources of SBA and chambers of commerce to provide business assistance to small-business owners at the local level. It provides at a central location a resource library on SBA loans information, free counseling referrals, management seminars and business publications.