Navigating the nitty-gritty of business ownership: Writing a business plan and other useful tips from Kitsap’s SBDC’s business advisor!
23 Dec 2022
Over the past few years, individuals across the country have been creating new businesses out of their innovative ideas. While these entrepreneurs may be knowledgeable in the areas those ideas center around, they often need guidance in understanding how to start a business. Experts indicate the best first step to get that operation moving forward in 2023 is to write a business plan now.
Fortunately, Kitsap entrepreneurs can access expertise from Kitsap County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and its Business Advisor, Joyce Oswald. “Research, research, research - knowledge is power and doing your homework will pay off always!”, she said. “There are so many online resources that can help aspiring business owners and the great benefit of the pandemic years is a myriad of online webinars that have been posted on many official websites.”
Oswald has extensive experience with assisting businesses through the life cycle, from startup to exit strategies and assists businesses with developing business plans to help meet their needs.
Helping startup businesses in the area
“Prospective business owners sign up for our no-cost services online and then we schedule an advising appointment with them as soon as possible. We provide counseling and training to include working with the SBA and lenders to develop and provide informational tools to support business start-ups and existing business expansion. We help startups navigate the process of registering their businesses, creating a business plan, formulating financial projections, developing banking relationships, branding and marketing their products or services, hiring and retaining employees and planning for the future. Our goal is to help startups navigate the complexities of business ownership while supporting their efforts all along the way.”
Kitsap’s SBDC is part of a nationwide network of over 900 SBDC's in the US, funded by the Small Business Administration in addition to local stakeholders. The SBDC provides problem-solving assistance to help small businesses access capital, develop and exchange new technologies, and improve business planning, strategy, operations, financial management, personnel administration, marketing, export assistance, sales and other areas required for small business growth and expansion, management improvement, increased productivity and innovation.
Kitsap Economic Development Alliance: Empowering business owners to face challenges on the way
Oswald says, “I've been very impressed by the talent here in our region - we have so many people that are ready, willing and able to startup businesses that truly add value to our community. Challenges are helping those startup business owners find capital for their business ideas and ensuring that they don't become overwhelmed. I feel very fortunate to share my experience as a business person and an educator to empower business owners to keep moving ahead and face those challenges. I have found that we have a wonderfully supportive community -- from our cities, state agencies, banks, credit unions and other lenders to chambers of commerce, downtown associations and are our very own Kitsap Economic Development Alliance that is 100% encouraging to startups and existing businesses.”
Creating a business plan that works: Online support and local facilities
Oswald says that there are a number of online opportunities that provide technical support and assistance to businesses in the area. She says, “ The Washington Department of Revenue has an on demand video on "Business Tax Basics" - this short video really helps with the paperwork challenges that startups face. My goal in the Kitsap area is to provide as many educational opportunites as possible. In November, we collaborated with Western Washington University's Cyber Range faculty and staff to provide a "Cybersecurity Awareness Workshop: Security Measures to Keep Your Business Safe and Secure" at our Poulsbo campus. We look forward to hosting more no-cost events in the future. I would recommend that prospective startups sign up for every class, workshop and event that can help them learn more about all of the resources available. Last month, Vibe Coworks in Poulsbo hosted a no-cost "Startup Day" - a great opportunity to learn, network and put thoughts to action. Although most people don't look forward to writing a business plan - it can really help organize one's thoughts and help synthesize not only a startup business owner's technical knowledge but the practical challenges that lay ahead - and my hope is that they'll ask for help!”
Are you a new business owner? Is your business local? Our team at kitsapeda.org is focused on the future of Kitsap’s economy, making sure our community has the necessary resources to encourage small business owners and develop innovative products locally. Find out more about how your local business can grow and prosper at kitsapeda.org.