The director of the Small Business Development Center touted the free
services of the Center to the Vardaman Chamber of Commerce last
Thursday. Don Fischer, director of the Center which is housed at Ole Miss, says
SBA focuses on three groups of people– existing businesses, businesses
in trouble and new businesses.The Ole Miss Center serves 17 counties in north Mississippi and counseled 420 clients last year.
“Those already in business want to re-invent their businesses, grow
their businesses or find new markets,” Fischer said to the group of
almost 30 at the meeting.
Many of the clients they saw, he said, were businesses in trouble, but 50% of the group was starting a new business. Fischer said that 50% of new businesses will fail within the first year due to a lack of management skills. SBA clients get basic management skills through training workshops and counseling. One of their prime services, he said, was to help clients develop a business plan.
“If you go to a bank to borrow money, they will send you to us first,” he said. “We’ll help coach you through the process.”
He said that businesses should surround themselves with six best
friends– a lawyer, an accountant, a banker, an insurance agent, the
local Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center. Fischer left workshop materials, including CDs, with the Vardaman Chamber for anyone interested to use. The Chamber meets the third Thursday of every month at the Masonic Lodge north of the City Hall in Vardaman.