Transforming Missouri Businesses
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains is a technical assistance provider that works with business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. We offer business management training and confidential one-on-one consulting services to individuals who want to start a business or expand their existing business. Download our SBDC Brochure (PDF 547 KB).
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The SBDC contributes to the growth of Missouri’s economy by improving the competitiveness of small businesses through education, technical assistance and coaching.
The Missouri SBDC has 28 offices statewide with 35+ business advisors. Our team has a variety of expertise, including personalized business consulting in management, marketing and strategic planning; technology development & commercialization; international trade; business growth; and tools for performance excellence, research and financial analysis. We work together to best serve you!
Once you are accepted as a SBDC client, you qualify for free, confidential, one-on-one business consulting sessions. During these times together, we focus on what your business needs to survive and thrive. You can become a client now by taking the Client Online Assessment and completing the SBDC Client In-take Form (SBA Form 641). Once you are registered, sessions can be conducted in person, on the phone, or via email.
The SBDC is supported by federal and state programs to provide confidential one-on-one business consulting. Please note that while our professional business consulting services are available at no cost to eligible small businesses, appointments are required in advance. Additionally, the business assessment and client in-take form (SBA Form 641) are required to satisfy public funding mandates. The SBDC is obliged to account for the clients we serve, the services we provide, and the client outcomes resulting from our assistance. The continuation of our grant funding is dependent upon the economic impact of our clients. Accordingly, while we are happy to respond to questions at events, we respectfully require all clients seeking one-on-one appointments to comply with our office protocol. We are responsible and accountable for our time spent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: I would like to talk with someone about starting a business (or) I need help with my business.
Answer: We want to talk with you! New clients must first complete the SBA 641 Form (we cannot consult with anyone until this form has been received). We have hard-copies in the SBDC Welcome Folder and clients can also fill out the form electronically via our website—go to the Client Resources on the right-hand sidebar and click “Client In-take Form”. After we receive the SBA 641 Form, they are eligible to schedule an appointment.
Question: How can I schedule an appointment?
Answer: Contact the Small Business & Technology Center to schedule an appointment by phone at (417) 255-7966.
Question: What do I bring to my first appointment?
Answer: You are not required to bring anything to your appointment. Initial meetings are usually spent getting to understand where you are in your business and what challenges or opportunities are on your mind. We will introduce you to our SBDC services and develop a plan for moving forward. For a more productive meeting, it is helpful if you can complete the Client Online Assessment. For existing businesses, it is also helpful to the small business advisor if you provide a one-page executive summary and a copy of your most recent financial statements. Additionally, if you have a business plan that you would like to have reviewed, please submit the document at least one week in advance to allow time for proper feedback.
As a reminder, we do require the Client In-take Form to be completed in advance of your business consultation (and we can help you complete the form upon your arrival if necessary).
Question: How can I find out about training or register for an event?
Answer: Event information is posted on our website and included in the SBDC Welcome Folder. For information on SBDC training, click the SBDC Training link on the left-hand sidebar. To register for an event, click the “Register for Training Events” link under Client Resources on the right-hand sidebar. Clients can also go directly to http://SBDC.eventbrite.com to register. Clients are not registered until payment has been received. Registration is required two-days in advance and we prefer clients register through our website and pay with a credit or debit card. We will accept cash with advance notice (upon registration).
Question: Is there a cost or fee for services?
Answer: SBDC will never charge a fee for private consulting or coaching services but we do charge a nominal fee for business training and specialized services. Prices vary depending on our costs (we sometimes must pay a licensing fee for training materials). All prices will be listed on the event’s registration page. To view all upcoming events, go to our SBDC website or visit http://SBDC.eventbrite.com.
Question: Can we serve clients in Arkansas?
Answer: Our SBDC service area in the West Plains office covers clients in the seven-counties of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright. However, we are allowed to work with clients in any contiguous state. We recommend you work with the SBDC office nearest you (click here to find your closest SBDC); we are the closest SBDC office for many people who live in Northern Arkansas.