Missouri SBDC at UMKC’s business coaches provide no-cost coaching to entrepreneurs and small business owners who need assistance launching or growing their small business.

SBDC coaches are experienced and knowledgeable business advisors that work with you, providing expertise, guidance, accountability and feedback, as well as access to a wide range of local, regional and national resources. It’s all designed to make your business more effective and competitive.

SBDC coaches work as teammates, providing practical, hands-on training for small businesses. Skilled professionals offer experience in many areas, including marketing and sales, accounting, financial analysis and cost control, personnel, inventory control, business start-up or acquisition and business liquidation or sale. Coaches can assist you in local, state, national and international markets.

SBDC coaches are qualified to help you take financial inventory and assist you in determining your business’s strengths, weaknesses, growth potential and capital needs. Our consultants are uniquely qualified to help you explore financing options and can also provide assistance in developing financial plans and presentations for banks or investors. Financial analysis tools are also available.

For long-term success, your business must continuously assess its operations to ensure it can remain competitive in the face of changing market trends. Missouri SBDC at UMKC advisors can provide business assessments that highlight opportunities for improvement and a plan of action to incorporate suggestions into your daily operation.

In addition to the wide range of services SBDC offers for a variety of industries, we specialize in:

  • Developing technology-based businesses through our SBTDC branch
  • Working with university researchers in commercializing innovative technologies
  • Helping traditional businesses poised for growth and expansion
  • Assisting serial entrepreneurs with new ventures

All information you provide is strictly confidential, which allows you to share financial and other sensitive information with your advisor.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Apex Accelerators (formerly MO PTAC) assists businesses – including small, disadvantaged and women owned firms – in obtaining federal, state and local government contracts. The specialists have years of experience and can help you identify opportunities and understand the contracting process so you can take advantage of government sales dollars.

CONTACT: Shelly Cunningham cunninghammic@umkc.edu

When your company has reached at least one of these milestones, the Missouri SBDC at UMKC offers targeted services for growth. Has your business:

  • Grown past the start-up phase, but is not yet fully mature, or
  • Reached $750,000 in total receipts and has 10- to 99 employees, or
  • Entered national and global markets that bring outside dollars to your community

These “Stage Two” companies comprise the top 13 percent of businesses, create 35 percent of all jobs and generate about 35.4 percent of all sales in the U.S.

To assist your business, the SBDC offers a unique set of services designed specifically to meet the needs of growing companies facing challenges that accompany business success.

With daily threats to websites and online accounts, how can you protect your small business from a cyber attack? Take this comprehensive 20-30 minute course and assessment designed for non-technical business owners and employees. If you have government contracts, learn about DoD requirements in a 10-15 minute online assessment. If you are planning to do business internationally, there is a 10-15 minute course and assessment to help you understand the potential challenges.

CONTACT: Get started here: Small Business Big Threat

Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Would you like to find more of your best customers? Economic gardening services help you understand your customer mix and enhance your marketing strategy to attract more of the right customers for your product or service.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

How do you compare financially to your competition? We can tell you. Then, we can show you how to improve your company’s performance. Our ProfitCents tool converts financial numbers into plain-language analysis with easy-to-read charts and graphs. The report uses ratio and trend analysis as well as unique industry comparisons and to analyze your firm’s financial health in hundreds of categories — from sales to inventory to payroll. Each report is unique to your company’s financial condition, financial performance and industry, because no two businesses are exactly the same.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Do you struggle with recruiting, onboarding and retaining good employees? Do your employees struggle with basic workplace skills, such as communication, conflict resolution and customer services? Our human resources experts can help you put the right people in the right places and teach your most valuable assets how to work together.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Do you want to export your product, but think it’s too complicated? Do you want to reach new international markets? Our specially trained team can assess your readiness to export, create an export plan, teach you the requirements for export and help you identify markets and export partners. Ninety-seven percent of all exports are made by small businesses. Why not seize that opportunity?

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

How well does your management team perform? We offer QUIKSMART, an assessment based on the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence that will examine your operations in seven key areas, including customer and market focus, strategic planning, process management, human resources, information and analysis, leadership and results.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Do you spend your day solving problems that never should have occurred? Are your employees busy with no noticeable results? The balanced scorecard is a measurement and management system that channels the energy and skills of your employees into the most productive activities to help you achieve your vision.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Can you describe how you want your company to grow, and how you will get there? Our experts facilitate a seven-session strategic planning process that results in a plan you can use to drive improved performance.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

What are your long-term plans for your business? Who will take over in your absence? What is your company worth? We can help you structure your business for that inevitable transition of ownership. Even if it will be many years before a change occurs, it’s best to start planning now to ensure your company can survive after you retire.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Are you developing a cutting-edge technology, but need help getting it patented or copyrighted? If you need strategies to advance, protect and commercialize your research, innovations and new technology, Missouri SBTDC at UMKC can help you assess the commercial viability of a product and assist with manufacturing contracts, intellectual property issues and presentations to investors.

To get a quick jump on technology business training, check out these ELEVATIONLAB programs for technology ventures:

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program equips U.S. manufacturers to proactively respond to import competition. For some companies, imports post a serious threat. Working with TAAF specialists, firms can identify and prioritize opportunities for increased profits, job creation and long-term financial stability. Businesses can apply for cost-share funding to implement projects that are focused on improving a firm’s internal operations and competitive abilities. TAAF’s professionals work collaboratively with manufacturers in each phase of the program.

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

Are you a university scientist or engineer interested in translating your research into the commercial marketplace? Missouri SBTDC works to create connections between business development resources and innovations being developed by university employees interested in translating their research into the commercial marketplace. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner needing research and development, the SBTDC can connect you with the appropriate university resources and help in applying for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program grants.

Take advantage of these ELEVATIONLAB programs for technology commercialization:

CONTACT: Complete the Contact Us form to request assistance.

“Jill Hathaway in particular has been a mentor, a consultant, as well as a personal coach in supporting me throughout my career. She and SBDC provide an extensive curriculum that assists companies in growing their business. I believe every time I meet with her I grow from the experience, not to mention I am always amazed at how much information and support I receive. As I sit here and write I know without a doubt that I can say my success has been achieved by the support I received from SBDC.”

Terri Ritchie, Co-Owner, Thunderbird Electric Supply

“I would just like to express my sincere appreciation for the support that SBDC, specifically Jill Hathaway has given me and my design business, Window Treatments and More! Inc., this past year (2017).  After 35 years in business, I can easily say, there is always more to learn-update-reevaluate about your business! This team has been such a joy to bounce ideas off of, and fill in the “blanks” I would just never have thought of! This lady has been so patient and understanding of time constraints of running a small/WBE business, I would strongly recommend, at any point in your business legacy, make time to stop and work with this wonderful business resource.”

Marsha Ross, ASID Designer/Owner, Window Treatments and More! Inc.