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OCSBDC
Orange County Small Business Development Center
 

 

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North Orange County SBDC
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Welcome
Q: What is the mission & purpose of the Orange County SBDC?

A: Orange County SBDC's mission is to support the creation and growth of small businesses through professional services and training.

Through consulting, training and referrals, Orange County SBDC assists small businesses to function more effectively, increase the chances of success, enhance profitability, increase employment opportunities, and contribute to the vitality of the economy in Orange County.

Q: Is the SBDC the same as SBA?
A:  No. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was established in 1953 as an independent agency of the Federal Government in order to help people get in business, stay in business and grow. The Small Business Development Center Program receives funding from the SBA to assist small business through no-cost business consulting
and low-cost training.

To learn about the Orange County Small Business Development Center’s Services, please call 714.564.5200.

Q: Do you have to be in business to use the services of SBDC?
A: No. You only have to be considering the idea of opening a business or researching the feasibility of a proposed profit-making venture.

To take the first step toward small business success, please review the training calendar and register for an upcoming beginners course called "Essential Steps to Starting a Successful Business."  For additional questions, call (714) 564-5200.

Q: Do I need to write a business plan?

A: Starting and running a business is a very demanding, difficult, and hopefully, rewarding experience. By writing a business plan you are planning for the success of your business. You will look to the future to anticipate potential problems and opportunities and develop a plan to handle them. Your business plan is an operational tool for running your business and is mandatory if you are looking for investment capital or a small business loan.

For assistance with business plan writing, or to attend a training seminar on Business Plan writing, please contact 714.564.5200.

Q: Are there grants for small businesses?

A: No. The only grants available for "for-profit" businesses is in research. Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit its commercialization. Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR program:

  • American-owned and independently operated
  • For-profit
  • Principal researcher employed by business
  • Company size limited to 500 employees

Three-Phase Program:
Following submission of proposals, participating agencies make SBIR awards based on qualification, degree of innovation, technical merit and future market potential.

For more information on the SBIR program, visit http://www.sbir.gov/ .

Q: What is the most useful financial report for a start-up business?
A: One of the most valuable financial reports for a start-up business is the Statement of Cash Flow Projection. It is advised that a business should project out 12 months of income and expense items for two separate scenarios:
  • Expected Revenue
  • Break-even revenue & expense

For assistance on accounting software training seminars, or to make an appointment with our business consultant, please call 714.564.5200.

Q: What are the requirements for an SBA Guaranteed loan?
A: There are several key requirements that the SBA looks at before reviewing a loan application.
  1. For profit business only.
  2. US or legal permanent resident status- verified with INS.
  3. Eligible purpose for loan proceeds. (i.e. working capital, machinery, equipment, etc)
    For more information on loan assistance, please contact 714.564.5200.
Q: Can you help if my business is set-up as a not-for-profit business?
A: Because of the funding guidelines for the SBDC, we are not able to assist those businesses that are established as not-for-profit. If you would like to receive assistance on a non-profit please contact either Volunteer Center for Non-Profits at 714-953-5757 and or Non-Profit Resource Center at 909-886-2890.
Q: I want to start a business from my home, what should I do?
A: As with any other business, a home-based business must have proper zoning approval and a business license. For home-based business, zoning is particularly important, Please check with the city or county clerk to find the zoning laws for a particular area.

For more information on how to start a home based business, please contact 714.564.5200.

Q: I have a small business and would like to sell to the Federal Government. Where do I find Government solicitations that I can bid on?

A: The best place to start looking for Federal Government procurement opportunities is FedBizOpps (Federal Business Opportunities). Go to the Internet and enter www.fedbizopps.gov.

The FedBizOpps web site provides assistance by e-mail and a toll-free helpline. The site also links to FirstGov.gov, Federal Asset Sales, Federal Commons, Department of Defense Business Opportunities, the Minority Business Development Agency, Pro-Net, and Sub-Net.

FedBizOpps has been designated as the single source for federal government procurement opportunities that exceed $25,000. Commercial vendors seeking Federal markets for their products and services can search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community. Government agencies use the FedBizOpps system to post any and all relevant procurement information on the Internet, including procurement notices, solicitations, drawings, and amendments, and eventually receive proposals electronically.

FedBizOpps can be searched for procurement opportunities by; key word, solicitation number, date, procurement classification code, and agency for active or archived solicitations. Vendors can also sing up to automatically receive procurement information, by solicitation number, selected organizations, and product service classification, allowing vendors to react more quickly to procurement opportunities because they are better informed.

For assistance with Federal or State government opportunities please contact Dick Brown with the Orange County Small Business Development Center, at 714.564.5200.

Q: How do I get a good Public Relations article printed in the local paper that will promote my business?

A: Typically the media is not interested in publishing information regarding the promotion of your business unless your organization has something to offer that benefits the community. There are two types of articles you can write that will give your business exposure to the media.

Time hook: This type of article is time sensitive and is of interest to the community due to the issue being of interest to a large number of people at a particular point in time. Example-recently a client business was written up in the Orange County Register because of a concern that businesses were not using environmentally friendly products. An auto detailer called the paper and mentioned that he only uses environmentally friendly products and he was given a third of a page discussing his business.

Ever Green: This is a Public Relations article that is of interest to a large number of people in the community; however it is not time sensitive. It is just simply a great-human interest story that of interest to readers regardless when it is printed. Example-this could be a story about an organization that provides “7 Tips on how to care for an elderly patent.”

For more information or make an appointment with a business consultant regarding marketing, or register for a marketing training seminar, please call 714.564.5200.

Q: Can you assist clients who that are not fluent in English?

A: Yes. We have business consultants that may assist you in Spanish, Vietnamese, as well as English.

To make an appointment with any of our bilingual business consultants, please call 714.564.5200.

 

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