All services are provided by our staff of highly qualified consultants. In addition to practical experience in small businesses, our staff holds advanced business degrees. The Wilkes University SBDC also taps the expertise of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, and other business professionals to deliver its educational programs.
The Wilkes University SBDC provides no cost, confidential consulting services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Whether you need help identifying local markets for your business, or developing a business plan and want a second opinion, or have compliance issues you would like to clarify, SBDC consultants are ready to help you grow your business.
The SBDC’s one-on-one management consulting emphasizes education and guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems. Consulting is confidential and provided at no charge by a staff of skilled professionals.
Consulting Areas of Expertise Include:
- Applied Engineering and Research
- Business Plan Development
- Capital Acquisition
- Computing Applications
- Customer Service
- Energy Efficiency
- Environmental Management
- Feasibility Analysis
- Financing and Loan Packaging
- Financial Analysis
- Government Contracting
- Home Based Business
- International Business
- Legal Issues
- Marketing and Advertising
- Market Research
- Minority Business Development
- Product Development
- Public Relations
- Regulatory Assistance
- Strategic Planning
- Technology Commercialization
- Women’s Business Issues
- Worker Health and Safety
Specialized Consulting Services
The SBDC also offers services to small business owners through a number of specialized programs. These programs provide assistance in areas requiring greater depth of knowledge and experience beyond standard business management expertise.
- Environmental Management Assistance Program – The Environmental Management Assistance Program offers confidential compliance assistance with environmental and health and safety regulations, on-site assessments to look for opportunities to cut costs through pollution prevention and energy efficiency, and assistance developing and marketing environmental technology.
- Government Marketing Assistance Program – To help companies sell to federal, state, local, quasi-governmental agencies, the Government Marketing Assistance Program provides a computerized bid lead program, and assistance in marketing products and services to government, proposal preparation and contact compliance. The program saves businesses time and money by matching a firm’s goods and services with bids and leads publishes in the Commerce Business Daily and The Pennsylvania Bulletin, as well as requests for small bids from the Defense Logistics Agency and various other government agencies.
- Technology Commercialization Assistance Program – Technology Commercialization Assistance Program assists high growth and technology firms with sophisticated business management issues including alternative financing, human resources, patents and trade marking, intellectual property, and product commercialization. Cooperating with their host institutions, the Technology Commercialization Assistance Program also helps struggling US Department of Defense contractors locate markets outside the Department of Defense.
- International Business Assistance Program – To help companies export Pennsylvania products and services, the International Business Assistance Program helps companies in assessing their international trade readiness; evaluating their products or services for export potential; identifying the best foreign market opportunities; developing strategic and marketing plans; identifying foreign sales agents and distributors; planning market entry strategies; explaining international trade procedures and regulations; providing information on technical standards and export/ import documentation; determining sources of trade financing and risk management; identifying trade mission and trade show opportunities; and determining import restrictions, duties, and tariffs.
- Engineering Development Services– Engineering Development Services bring products to market by offering engineering services early in the development cycle, before major investment is attracted. With the help of engineering students, faculty and outside resources, skilled SBDC staff perform patent searches, assist with technical appraisals, conduct brainstorming sessions, evaluate and review design options, source component supplies, and provide computer aided design (CAD) drawings.
What To Expect
As a client of the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center, you have certain rights and responsibilities.
As an SBDC client you have the right to expect:
1. Consulting Assistance Provided at No Charge – Because the SBDC program is supported by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community Economic Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the host University and other funders, consulting is provided at no charge to you. Fees may apply for training programs, special services (such as research), material, and publications.
2. Confidentiality of Information Provided – All SBDC representatives agree to abide by the Pennsylvania SBDC’s Standards of Professional Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy. Information you provide will be held in strictest confidence and will not be released to any parties outside of the Pennsylvania SBDC network. Information on you will not be sold or provided to other organizations. Specific information on you and the nature of your engagement with the SBDC will not be released without your consent. No information you provide will be used to the commercial advantage of any SBDC representative or to the advantage of a third party.
“Information about the SBDC’s service delivery is reported in aggregate to its funders and the general public. Specific information about you will not be released without your consent.
“The SBDC will collect and report in aggregate to its funders and the general public information on you such as demographic statistics; size, location, age and industry of your business; the general nature of your engagement with the SBDC; and impact statistics such as financing obtained, sales increased or jobs created.
“If you were referred to the SBDC, the SBDC will notify the referrer that you have sought assistance from the SBDC. The SBDC, however, will not disclose in detail the nature of the assistance you are requesting.
3. Unbiased Recommendations - SBDC representatives will not knowingly recommend the purchase of goods or services from any individual or firm with which any SBDC representative has a financial, familial or personal interest.
4. Non-Disclosure of Trade Secrets – Sensitive trade secrets pertaining to unique facts of your business will not be used to benefit another client of the SBDC or any SBDC representative. You understand that sensitive trade secret information is information which is not obvious, which is unknown, or which is unique and pertains to new inventions, secret manufacturing and processing procedures or formulas, or any new innovative process. You understand that it is your responsibility to inform the SBDC of any such sensitive trade secrets both verbally and in writing.
5. Assistance, Guidance, Recommendations and Education – The SBDC program is an educational program. The SBDC will work with you on your specific issues to help build your management skills and knowledge. It is your responsibility to accept and implement recommendations.
The SBDC will not:
negotiate on your behalf
write your business plan
act as an employee of your business