Build Your Business to Withstand the Test of Time

Build Your Business to Withstand the Test of Time

On Your Mark, Get Set. . . Grow!

Designed specifically for new business owners (within 2-3 years in business) and serious entrepreneurs ready to start a business, SBDC StartSmart provides the resources and support to put your dreams within reach. StartSmart will help you build a business for today’s challenging times!  To get the ball rolling, please complete an application or contact your local SBDC office.

Why Choose StartSMART?

If you can dream it, we can help! Building a business takes the right tools—and a lot of hard work. SBDC StartSmart™ will show you the way.

SBDC StartSmart™ Provides the Tools to:

  • Improve knowledge of business fundamentals.
  • Build an infrastructure for business operations and processes.
  • Evaluate & refine your business concept.
  • Research markets and competition.
  • Develop a financial forecast to improve chances of success
  • Develop a thorough, practical business plan.
  • Receive on-going consulting from SBDC professionals keeps you on track.

SBDC StartSmart™ Graduate Takeaways:

  • “I came into the class not knowing ANYTHING about the money side, but now I have a good grasp on the financials for my business, and an excel spreadsheet to help me keep it all straight.”
  • “I’ve felt so alone in running my new business. I now have a network of professionals and other business owners for support and resources. I don’t have to do it by myself. Others are going through the same challenges and I am.”
  • “The professional resources and network of support I’ve gained, that will help me with my business now and in the future, are worth the price of the class. You can’t get that from a video.”
  • “This class made me think of things I didn’t even know that I needed to consider. The knowledge of the consultants is immeasurable.”
  • “I now have the knowledge and resources need to start my business with confidence.”
  • “I didn’t even know what kinds of questions I should be asking about starting and running a business.”
  • “This class walked my through the entire business plan. It’s now done, I understand all of it, and I can get the funding that I need.”
  • “When you write it down it become tangible.”
  • “The class has helped me think bigger about my business.”
  • “This course gave me a checklist of what I needed to do to start my business.”
  • “It gave me a sense of direction and focus that I didn’t have before.”
  • “Before this class I couldn’t accurately explain to my family or potential clients what exactly I did or why I am the best at it. I now have an elevator pitch that does that.”
  • “I came into the class with a vision and I’m leaving with a focused plan.”

StartSMART Graduate Success: Buona Caffe

Newspaper veterans John and Pat Curry love a good cup of coffee. So when they ran across a book on home coffee roasting several years ago, they purchased it and a small home roaster. Soon, John was spending Saturday afternoons roasting on their front porch in Athens.

In 2009, John and Pat were laid off from their media jobs within weeks of each other. Fortunately, John quickly found work, so they packed up their house — and their tabletop roaster — and headed to Augusta. As interest in their freshly roasted coffee grew, they envisioned an Internet-based company shipping coffee nationwide. They bought a one-pound roaster on eBay, built a website and launched Buona Caffe Artisan Roasted Coffee(the name means “good coffee” in Italian).

After attending the UGA SBDC’s “Starting a Business Course” and purchasing a larger roaster in January 2011, John was encouraged to take SBDC StarSMART to work on strategies to build a solid foundation for growth. With the knowledge learned from SBDC StartSMART and continued business consulting from the SBDC, Buona Caffe expanded their business to a new location and by the end of 2013, the company had grown from a husband-and-wife team to a staff of seven (including themselves and their adult daughter Elisabeth) and was named by Fodor’s Travel as one of America’s 15 best indie coffee shops. They finished 2013 with more than a 100 percent increase in revenues over the previous year — and numerous requests to expand in Augusta.

SBDC StartSmart™ programs include 24 hours of instruction delivered over a period of several weeks and covers eight modules that include critical issues for businesses in their “formative years.”

The program will be delivered in either 1) a three-hour, 1 module, per week class, or, 2) an 8-hour (full day including lunch), 2 modules, per week class, or, 3) a combination of full and half days. Check your preferred location for details.

Have more questions? Contact your local UGA SBDC office and learn if StartSMART is right for you.