Advising

How we support entrepreneurs and small businesses

Business Advising What we can help with Advanced Specialists Data & Information Webinars & eCourses Special Programs


“You listened, you heard me, you supported and encouraged, you reminded, you inspired, you educated, and you guided.” – Sally Jaskold, The Only Donut in Belfast

Business Advising

Request Advising

Taking the step to seek out advice for your business can feel intimidating. With over 40 years of experience, the SBDC understands the pressures business owners are under and strives to provide a welcoming and supportive experience.

All advice is personalized to you and your business. All information you share is completely confidential. All services are provided at no-cost through partnerships with the federal and state governments.

We are your cheerleaders and your sounding board as you make critical decisions that impact the future of your business. How can we help you overcome your challenges and/or accomplish your goals?

COVID-19 UPDATE: At this time, business advising is available virtually through email, phone and videoconferencing. 

Request Advising

What can we help with?

  • New Businesses – Starting a business can be a daunting task. The SBDC is committed to helping you start a business that will last. From early-stage feasibility testing and business plan development right up until opening day, our business advisors are here to assist you in making your business startup as smooth as possible so you are poised for success. Request Advising or check out our online resources for New Businesses.
  • Business Growth – Ready to grow your business? Growing fast and need help? We can help you create and implement growth plans…and find the funding to support these projects. Whether you are planning for the future or in the midst of it, we can help you confidently navigate the next steps that ensure the future of your business. Request Advising.
  • Buying and Selling Your BusinessReady to exit your business? Considering purchasing a business? We can help guide you through the process. Our advisors can help you understand the value of the business, provide tips and best practices in preparing for sale, and help guide you through a successful transition. Request advising.
  • Financial Analysis – We know that you did start your business to analyze the numbers. That’s why our business advisors are experts in financial analysis. For better or worse, your financials can tell you a lot about the health of your business. They can guide decision-making and help identify issues that might stand in the way of growth and success. Request advising.
  • FundingNeed funding to start or grow your business? Our business advisors can help you identify funding sources for your project. They can also help you prepare a business plan that is sure to impress your lender and help you secure the funds you need. Request advising.
  • MarketingMarketing is critical to the success of your business. It can also be very time-consuming and potentially expensive. Our business advisors can help you understand your customer, identify affordable marketing tactics to reach them, and analyze the success of your efforts. Request Advising.

Access to Marketing & Bookkeeping Specialists

SBDC advising specialists group pictureMaine SBDC clients can access in-depth expertise in digital marketing and accounting and bookkeeping.

Digital Marketing Specialists provide guidance in areas such as:

  • Websites & Ecommerce
  • Social media and email marketing
  • Advertising and measuring success
  • Digital marketing strategy specific to your business

Our Accounting & Bookkeeping Specialist provides guidance in areas such as:

  • Record keeping for recent disaster relief programs
  • Tax implications of disaster programs and preparing for tax season
  • Setup and management of accounting systems such as Quickbooks
  • Setting up financial records

Request advising to get connected to a specialist.

 Access to Detailed Market Data

Working with the SBDC will give you access to an array of advanced tools and information that can help guide your planning and decision-making. These services are provided at no cost to clients and include:

    • Market Research Reports – Business advisors can provide you with detailed reports on your industry and market utilizing advanced tools like VerticalIQ and SBDCnet.
    • Financial Benchmarking – Business advisors can provide you with detailed financial reports that can help you optimize your operations through the use of ProfitCents, a leading benchmarking tool.

Request advising to get access to your customized report.

    Webinars & eCourses

    Just looking to learn more before you jump in? Our webinars are provided at no cost on an array of topics that help you start, run and grow your small business. Check the schedule and line up of live and ondemand seminars. 

    Special Programs & Assistance

    Maine SBDC has partnerships with various organizations to help entrepreneurs in various areas.

    • Working with the Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maine SBDC helps provide guidance to entrepreneurs and business owners who have physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.
    • Working with the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development’s CDBG (Community Development Block Grant), Maine SBDC provides guidance to help low-to-medium income entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
    • Working with the Maine Technology Institute, Maine SBDC provides guidance to entrepreneurs to access loans and grants for their new ideas, products and methods.

     

    *Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact 1-800-679-7232.*