TOP 10 QUESTIONS ASKED AT THE SBDC.
What is the NMSBDC?
The New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network (NMSBDC) was established in 1989 through a partnership with the US Small Business Administration, the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges, and the New Mexico Association of Independent Community Colleges. The NMSDC Network State Office is located on the campus of the Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM. The program provides no-cost business consulting and low-cost business training to entrepreneurs throughout the state. Strategically located in 26 communities throughout New Mexico, NMSBDC’s consultants bring over 773 years of combined small business management and ownership expertise and have helped to create more than 30,000 jobs in the state since NMSBDC’s inception. Entrepreneurs have access to experts in everything from accounting to social media, and franchising to e-commerce. For more information visit www.nmsbdc.org.
All SBDC programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals with at least two weeks in advance notice. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
I want to start a small business. Where do I begin?
The best place to begin is by finding your local SBDC and contacting them directly. Some centers have a free information seminar for potential entrepreneurs that you can attend prior to meeting with a Business Advisor, while others have you set up an appointment first. Your Business Advisor will assist you in developing a business plan. This service is free and confidential.
Does the SBDC help existing businesses?
Absolutely! We pride ourselves in helping small business owners who have already made the investment and commitment in New Mexico by jumping in and starting their own business. We can assist existing entrepreneurs with the challenges that they often face as they grow: financing an expansion, redesign of a business and/or marketing plan, development of a strategic plan, management reorganization…and so much more!
Does the SBDC charge for its services?
The SBDC does not charge for one-on-one counseling. However, sometimes there might be training that the SBDC does charge a reasonable fee to cover expenses.
Are there any GRANTS available for my small business?
Generally speaking, grants given to small business start-ups are very rare. Information on grants can be obtained here or through the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. The harsh reality is that 95% of businesses are financed through personal funds (savings, friends, family).
WARNING: be leery of scams that claim that there are grants for small businesses and that they will provide the information to you for a fee. Please contact the State Attorney General’s office or check with the Better Business Bureau on the status of such organizations.
Please do your research before paying for such questionable services.
How do I license my business?
The NMSBDC will help guide you step-by-step through all processes involved with your business. Here are the general steps for licensing a business. (Please check with your local city, town, or county clerk’s office for more information or visit with your local SBDC).
- Select a legal business structure: Sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, or Corporation.
- Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.gov) if your business requires one.
- Obtain a State Taxpayer Identification Number (CRS-1) with the State of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
- If applicable, request approval of business location (zoning) including home-based businesses from city, town, or county planning and zoning office.
- Get a license to conduct business via a business registration fee from city, town, or county clerk’s office.
What is a business plan and do I need one?
A business plan is your ‘roadmap’ to entrepreneurial success. A good business plan defines your business and the product and service that you are providing to meet the needs of your customers. It is a necessary tool in obtaining financing and assists you on starting and running a profitable business.
Will the SBDC write my business plan for me?
No. The SBDC will pair you with an experienced Business Advisor who will guide you through the “how-to” of writing your business plan. Your Business Advisor will give you advice on developing a comprehensive business plan, project cash flow, and capital requirements. They will work one-on-one with you to get your business off the ground, and for as long as it takes you to accomplish your goals.
How long will it take me to write the business plan?
The length of time it will take is dependent upon the amount of time you can dedicate to writing the plan on an ongoing basis.
What business should I choose?
This is a question that needs to be answered by you, the potential entrepreneur. All businesses require a lot of hard work and determination, so it is important that before you start a business you research your idea. Your Business Advisor will talk with you about your ideas, assist you in researching industries, markets and trends, and help you decide what business would be best for your particular talents and interests. Assessing your skills and the market are good places to begin.
How do I apply for a loan with the SBDC?
The SBDC does not have any money to loan but your SBDC Business Advisor will suggest appropriate sources for financing. With a complete business plan you will potentially be able to apply for SBA guaranteed loans and approach local investors and banks for capital. To find out more about SBA’s guaranteed loan programs visit their website.
What do I have to do to get a loan?
Do your homework. Before approaching a lender, get a copy of your credit report and make sure it is accurate. If there is anything you feel is inaccurate, correct it with the reporting agency. If there are blemishes – prepare explanations. Work with your SBDC Business Advisor to prepare a written business plan with credible financial and market data. If you are already established in business, be prepared to provide two to three years of financial statements and tax returns. Understand that if you have a poor credit record or cannot demonstrate a personal investment and the ability to repay a loan, you will not be considered a good risk. Instead of applying for a loan now, you should work at maintaining good credit (timely and consistent payment of debt) for two years and then apply for a loan.
Can the SBDC tell me what bank, lawyer, accountant or insurance company is the best for me and my business?
Because the SBDC has strong partnerships with all of the local banks, attorneys, accountants, and insurance companies we do not feel that we should recommend one over another. Although both the Society of Certified Public Accountants and State Bar offers referral services.
CPA Referral Service: (505) 224-1699
Lawyer Care Service: (505) 797-6066
It is highly recommended that entrepreneurs seek both legal and accounting advice when starting and maintaining their own businesses. It is also important to maintain a strong relationship with both your banker and insurance agent.
How is the New Mexico Small Business Development Center (SBDC) different from the Small Business Administration (SBA)?
The New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network (NMSBDC) consists of 20 centers statewide. Our Certified Business Advisors provide expert, confidential advice to enterprising New Mexicans. The SBDC offers individual counseling, conducts seminars and training sessions, sponsors conferences, provides information electronically as well as in person and by telephone, and, in general, assists anyone seeking advice about operating a small business. For an SBDC near you visit the NMSBDC web site at www.nmsbdc.org.
The SBA is a federal program that provides financial, technical, and management assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their businesses.
The SBDC is a SBA resource partner and administrator of the SBDC program. Although the SBA sponsors and administers the SBDC program, an important aspect of the program is its acceptance and financial support by state and local governments, educational and business communities, and private foundations. Because these organizations desire to improve economic development through the growth of small businesses, they provide matching funds that frequently exceed the SBA funds allocated to each SBDC.