Have you ever been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, dreamed of being your own boss, have a business you'd like to buy or start --- but don't know where to begin? The Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is the place to go.
The Onondaga SBDC is a group of seasoned business professionals based in Central New York that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with high - quality business consultants and workshops. Their services include offering help with choosing the correct legal structure (entity), preforming market research, developing a business plan, creating a financial plan, seeking financing, crafting a marketing plan, hiring employees, setting prices, and conducting business operations. The SBDC provides these services to both start-up and existing businesses at NO COST in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca counties.
Mike and Cindi Fowler had a dream to start their own preschool in Liverpool. He was a landscaper and former pharmacist; she was an educator with special needs teaching experience. They found the SBDC through recommendations from friends and business acquaintances who encouraged them to reach out for advice. They described their vision to the SBDC consultant Melissa Zomro Davis, who helped them develop the concept, draft a business plan, and find a developer to construct the building. Current plans call for the the Fowlers to start construction with Builder/Developer VIP Structures on True North Children's Center, a 15,000-square foot, 12-classroom preschool in Liverpool during the fourth quarter of 2018.
According to Mike, they recieved valuable information from the SBDC: " They supported the idea from the beginning and encouraged us every step of the way while directing us to the resources we needed to make a successful plan. SBDC helped us to create a workable business plan so we could acquire the financial resources. Their services are highly recommended."
Charlie Preuss, a retired veteran, imagined a concept to create virtual reality/video conferencing software specifically for project management in the construction industry. His idea was to develop a solution, where a construction project could be built in virtual reality with people collaborating remotely that would allow everyone to see all aspects of the project on one screen and to anticipate and resolve design conflicts before they arose on the job site.
He met Onondaga SBDC Business Advisor Mike Cartini while he was trying to start his business from the Tech Garden, a small business incubator space in downtown Syracuse. Mike provided resources to preform the market research on the viability of the business, he also helped create a pricing model and develop a launch plan. Today, Imajion is a veteran-owned business with four employees that has been in operation for two years. They have raised more than $1.5 million in private investment to fund the growth. Charlie sees a bright future for the software he has developed.
He credits Mike Cartini's input and ongoing market research, which provided access to high-quality research data that he would never have been able to find or afford on his own. Cartini's help also allowed Charlie to conserve time and financial resources so he could concentrate on the launch of his business.