What to Expect

The SBTDC is committed to providing high-quality, knowledgeable, and objective information, advice, and feedback to North Carolina’s small and mid-size businesses.

Once registered as a client, you will be assigned one of our professional business counselors who will schedule a time to speak with you about your business and business challenges. Our counseling services are offered at no-fee and delivered in face-to-face discussions or by phone or email as desired. In order to provide you with the best possible assistance, we may ask you to share private information such as a business plan, strategic plan, and/or your financial statements. A typical first meeting usually lasts about one-hour.

At the SBTDC, our professional staff are called “counselors.” Unlike the perception of business consultants who provide advice and are done, SBTDC counselors strive for greater engagement and partnerships with our clients. We do not profess to have all the answers or that we can solve all of your problems. But we can work with you to identify problems, evaluate options, and make recommendations. In addition, we help our clients develop and implement their plans.

What makes the SBTDC effective

The answer lies in a simple equation: Your knowledge and experience with your own business, your customers, and your industry.

+ the personal management experiences of the SBTDC’s counselors
+ SBTDC’s broad knowledge of business
+ SBTDC’s history with thousands of business owners
+ SBTDC’s relationships with financial institutions, private professional firms, university faculty & students, and partner organizations/agencies
= Your business. Better.

Confidentiality you can trust

The SBTDC and our employees are legally bound to a strict code of confidentiality that is signed and given to each client. In over 30 years, not one of our 100,000+ clients has ever disputed the confidentiality of our services.

Why we are here

Your success is North Carolina’s gain. The SBTDC is funded by federal, state, and private partners to help small and mid-size businesses become more successful and profitable – thus adding to the employment and tax base of North Carolina. Small and mid-size businesses have been proven to be the job creators in our economy over the last two decades. As a result of our services, the investments our partners have made in the SBTDC have produced a positive rate of return. SBTDC clients add jobs and increase sales at a much faster rate than their peers – generating additional tax revenue that more than covers our costs.

The commitment of our clients

The SBTDC is directed to offer assistance to all North Carolina small and mid-size businesses and prospective entrepreneurs; however, we can only do so much for you by ourselves.

Put your trust in us – We may ask you for some sensitive information about your business. It is important not only that you trust our handling of this information but also our need for such records. Often problems originate in areas of a business that may seem unrelated at the time. SBTDC counselors are highly trained to know where to look for potential improvements.

Be patient – Problems can arise overnight; but solutions sometimes take time to see results. Our 30-year history of results proves that we can help businesses resolve their issues and grow faster than other firms. However, it may take some time and hard work to get there.

Be open to new ideas – We do not profess to have all the answers or that we can solve all of your problems. However, our knowledge and experience can be extremely valuable to your personal decision-making. You are ultimately responsible for your business decisions. The SBTDC just asks that you consider our advice and information in your process.

Be willing to work with us – In order to best serve you, we may need some things from you – documents/information, participation in a survey, or the implementation of some action items. We are committed to doing all we can to help our clients succeed. We just ask for a similar commitment in return.

How to become a client

The SBTDC’s primary funding partners, the US SBA and University of North Carolina System, rightfully want to see that their investment in the SBTDC is accurately being spent helping businesses.

As such, the SBTDC is required to track the businesses we meet with, the time we spend delivering services, and the impact of our work. As a condition of our service, all clients must complete a request for counseling form and agree to participate in two surveys – one 90-days after our first meeting to evaluate the quality of our services and one two-years later that asks about the effectiveness and impact of our assistance. An additional survey is required of businesses who receive help identifying and accessing government contracting opportunities. These businesses will be asked to report their progress in receiving government sales contracts.

Response to these surveys is critical to our ability to deliver assistance to businesses in the future.