Q: What is the SBDC?
A: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) is part of the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) statewide network, established under the federal Small Business Administration program. The SBDC at RVCC is focused on helping established and aspiring small business owners launch, manage and grow their ventures.
Our services include training and free counseling on small business topics including: marketing strategies and tactics, business plans, managing your business, start-up procedures, accounting and finance, tax, legal and insurance guidelines, food industry expertise, transition planning and more. We can also assist with small business loan package development.
The NJSBDC program has served more than 270,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners since its inception, through counseling and training activities.
Q: I’m thinking about starting a small business but not sure how to begin. How can the SBDC help?
A: Whether you are at the “idea” stage of your small business aspiration or further along, our small business counselors can provide the expertise you need to start your business. Contact us by email or by phone: (908) 526-1200 x8516, to schedule an appointment for a free hour of discussion with one of our counselors to ask questions, assess your small business idea, gather information and resources about what is needed to establish your business and determine what you need to move forward.
You may also take advantage of our small business classes and seminars at the RVCC main campus and satellite locations, offering training and information on a variety of small business topics.
Q: Does the SBDC accept walk-in counseling?
A: No. We offer small business counseling by appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact the SBDC office by email or by phone: (908) 526-1200 x8516, to determine the counselor, date and time that best meets your needs. If this is your first visit, we will ask you to fill out our Request for Counseling form prior to your counseling meeting.
Q: My small business has been in operation for several years. Can I take advantage of the SBDC?
A: Yes. We offer assistance for all phases of small business operations, from start-up to established. Small business owners can benefit from guidance on a wide range of topics that may be of special concern, such as: How do I reinvigorate my marketing to attract new clients and keep my current clients interested? Do I need to redo my business plan if I’m expanding? What strategies can I use to manage competition? Are my accounting processes as efficient as they can be? How can I best prepare to seek financial assistance to grow my business? Contact us to discuss your small business needs and we will arrange a consultation with one of our small business counselors.
Q: Can you help me register my business?
A: We can assist you by providing information about the process and forms you will need to complete to register your business with the State of New Jersey.
Q: Can you help me write my business plan?
A: We can offer guidance about how to draft and develop your business plan, including reviewing your written plan at key stages to assist you in finalizing your plan.
Q: Do you provide small business loans or financing?
A: We do not provide loans or financing. However, we can assist those who are seeking financing by providing information and guidance on the overall process, helping you to develop an appropriate business plan and supporting materials needed for a loan package, and acting as a liaison once you are prepared to approach a lender.
Q: Do you offer legal advice?
A: No. We do offer classes providing general information about legal processes of interest to the small business owner; however we cannot provide legal counsel that is specific to you or your business. We can offer a list of local professionals as a recommendation for those who are seeking to retain legal counsel.
Q: Can I register online for courses? Will I receive a confirmation?
A: Yes, you may register online through the Raritan Valley Community College/Corporate and Continuing Education website. For classes requiring payment, you will be asked to provide credit card details, in addition to other information. If you are paying by check, it must be received at least 48 hours prior to the start of the class. A confirmation email will be sent to you a day or two before your class commences.
Q: What is a CEU?
A: Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are earned for completing the required number of classes in a focused area of interest in the small business field, such as marketing, record keeping or entrepreneurial processes.
Q: Can you tell me more about your certificate programs?
A: Our certificate programs offer a comprehensive set of courses focused on key small business topics, and are designed to provide you with the specific and practical skills, knowledge and resources that will help you enhance, grow or establish your small business.