Dear Editor

Dear Editor:

It was interesting to read the lengthy op/ed article (‘Upside Down Under’) in the 11/27/17 issue of the Republican discussing various economic development projects that went down down in flames. 

Posted 12/7/17

The author mentions a variety of reasons that might have caused the failures including “…lack of management or marketing, start up debt, unscrupulous employees…”.   One thing not mentioned that probably was a major contributor to the failure of the various businesses was the lack of  a Business Plan to provide a road map for the startup of the project.

What is even more important the goal of success would require each of those ‘start-up businesses’ to have a Business Plan if they were to be successful with their for-profit businesses.   Most financial institutions, economic development organizations and even many foundations require a business plan to be in place before they will participate financially.

Entrepreneurs should be aware of the ND Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program.   It is funded by a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the ND Department of Commerce and various other state and local agencies.   The SBDC program has 10 offices located around our state and is administered by the University of North Dakota (under contract with SBA) with offices in Gamble Hall in Grand Forks.   Cavalier County residents can access the SBDC by contacting the Cavalier County JDA office or the regional office at North Central Planning Council in Devils Lake.

The SBDC program is limited to working with ‘for-profit businesses’ and is absolutely free to the small business owner or entrepreneur!   The SBDC offers a wide variety of services including, but not limited to:  Business Plans, Start Up Logistics, Financial Projections  & Budgeting, Operating Challenges, and Procurement-Doing Business with Government Agencies to name just a few.   All of these items would certainly be of value to anyone starting their own business!

SBDC services are limited to ‘for-profit’ businesses and can make the difference on new start-up or existing businesses ability to succeed.   Who knows maybe a bit  SBDC guidance could have helped some of the businesses mentioned in the article to succeed instead of failing!

For more information on this free program for small business owners and entrepreneurs go to www.ndsbdc.org

Mike Connor

Rural Starkweather

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