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Here’s How You Become a Biz Whiz

Scratching your head about challenges to your company? The nation’s 900 Small Business Development Centers, which are funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, have solutions.

The philosophy behind these centers is akin to the idea of teaching a man to fish so he can feed himself for life: SBDCs offer free and low-cost training, advice and counseling so business owners can confidently solve future problems and rise to opportunities. Training sessions (from single two-hour classes to intensive multiweek courses) and one-on-one counselors instruct entrepreneurs on business plans, balance sheets, importing/exporting, manufacturing assistance, market research, contracting with government entities, employment laws and more.

Impressed with the centers’ adviser-counseling model, Visa is contributing to SBDC coffers through at least 2015. Janet Zablock, head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc., appreciates how the centers “educate, empower and elevate small businesses…. We see the advisers at the SBDCs as important assets to help business owners grow.” To find a center and learn more, visit SBA.gov and search on “SBDC.”

Are you part of a mastermind group, a team of respected advisers who can give you suggestions, solutions and feedback? See more on how to find a group, what the benefits are and how to conduct your meetings.

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