Starting with the Northland Small Business Development Center

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Building a small business is a dream for many, but where do you start? Curt Walczak from the Northland Small Business Development Center is someone who can help. He’s a Senior Business Consultant, having helped places like Frost River and the new Duluth Spice and Tea Exchange.

He is one of 14 consultants that covers all of northeast Minnesota from Duluth to Grand Marais to I ‘Falls, and all of the Iron Range, then to Grand Rapids and everything in between.  Each consultant on his team has different areas of education and expertise, including real world private business experience.

Curt tell us, “Whether you are just getting started with your business or have been in business for many years we offer information, advice and guidance all for no charge.” This information also remains confidential unless the client agrees.

The Northland Small Business Center’s website is great place to get started. You can sign up on their website, to receive their services where you will then be assigned to one of these consultants.

“We have a template for a business plan that we go through with them step by step. We don’t write it for them. We help them with that.” The next step is to go through the spread sheets, or financial details. If someone needs funds, they can help you find where to get the money. “I call it the nuts and bolts.”

“There’s two big reasons why small businesses. One of them is they don’t have enough cash to start with. Another one is they really haven’t done enough research. They don’t know who there customer is or what to price their products,” Curt explains. “I think what they need to know is there is a lot of support out there between the SDBC and the entrepreneur fund. We’re all here to help them out and give them a lending hand.”