North Central Idaho Small Business Development Center

New SBDC logo

Small Business Consulting at no-cost to you

Welcome to the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) in Lewiston, Idaho. Time working on your business with us will be well invested.

Two On One Meeting

Do I qualify for SBDC consulting?

Our mission is to assist clients from North Central Idaho who are planning to start, improve, grow, purchase, diversify, sell, or exit out of a for-profit small business. Anyone with less than 100 employees is considered a small business to us. Our region is North Central Idaho, from Riggins to Potlatch.

If you have little business experience, we may ask you to attend Business Essentials workshops and/or submit your draft plan prior to an appointment.

What if my business is in Washington? "Territory" is not a big deal to us.

How much does SBDC consulting cost?

Consulting is at no-cost to you, except for your time. Idaho SBDCs don't have anything for sale except affordable workshops. Our SBDC is funded by a cooperative agreement with the SBA, the State of Idaho, and Lewis-Clark State College.

Do I want SBDC consulting? 

Could SBDC consulting save you time or make you money? 98% of our clients rate our consulting as good or excellent and 99% will recommend our services to another. Providing valuable consulting to existing and potential small business owners and managers is the primary purpose of Small Business Development Centers. Helping you improve your financial performance, competitiveness, and Idaho's economy are our goals. Our clients consistently out perform their peers. If you like to talk business, you will value SBDC consulting.

How do I make an SBDC consulting appointment?

To set up an appointment, just call us at (208) 792-2465 or email the SBDC at LCSC. Our consulting services are only available by appointment and additional follow-up appointments may be scheduled at the end of our initial meeting. Learn more about how to register online for first time SBDC consulting.

What about Business Coaching?

We call our work with business clients by different names. In Washington we are "Advisors." Our state website refers to business "Counseling."  Some might call us "Mentors." The term "Business Coach" is used in some of our Idaho offices. Here in Lewiston, we are using "consultant," but are considering a change to "coach." This is a definition we like: The difference between coaches, mentors, advisors, and consultants.

What can I expect from SBDC consulting? 

Confidential, no-cost consulting services may help you with:

  • answers to questions
  • ideas
  • problems
  • plans

Our areas of expertise are financial analysis, planning, cash flow projections, marketing, start-up regulations, and human resources. We can provide practical information, research, and connections for most aspects of business management.

Occasionally, we are able to match up business student teams with our clients for class projects in areas such as marketing or human resources.

Although some of our consulting sessions are single occurrences, the majority of our clients meet with us over several weeks or months. We currently have over 15 active clients who have worked with our SBDC for over ten years. They like to have someone to bounce ideas or troubles around with. Some have moved from starting a business to exploring retirement. A diverse client base helps us increase our levels of expertise. Some clients are highly successful, some are struggling, and some have moved from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Our tagline is: direction, solutions, impact.

What tools do you use in consulting?

Conversation: 

Business Model Canvas, Business Plans, Marketing Ideas, Strategy, Feedback, Questions, Problem Solving, Coaching

Analysis:

Feasibility, Profitability, Profit Cents, Cash Flow Projections, Valuation, QB Reports, SWOT

Research and Information:

IBIS World Reports, SBDCnet website and customized research, Census, Credit Report, Websites, Product Testing, Secret Shoppers, Consultant Analysis, Answers to Questions, Focus Groups, Sourcing, Commercial Lease Checklist, Biz-Buy-Sell, Industry Benchmarks

Learning:

Top Ten Lists, Newsletters, Sample Plans & Forms, Step-by-Step Instructions, Workshops & Training   

Connections: 

B2B Referrals, Government Contacts, Resources, College faculty and services, Student Team Projects, Paid Student Interns, Technology Advisors, Environmental Specialists

 

What else can you tell me about working with the SBDC? 

We may send follow-up information and questions, newsletters, and surveys. We ask clients to verify that the email address ISBDC@LCSC.edu, baleachman@lcsc.edu, and jschumacher@lcsc.edu are on their approved sender's list. This is to avoid having messages delivered to junk boxes or spam filters.

Additional information about our services and affordable workshops is available on our state website at www.idahosbdc.org.

 Confidentiality is a priority and we also avoid conflicts of interest. Please note that we work with many businesses and could be working with one of your competitors.  We do not share private information that could benefit one client over another. 

The list of Consulting Topics is to give you ideas on some of the subjects you may want to discuss with us.

If you want to know more about the LCSC SBDC Consultants, we have included some history.

You can register for local consulting at the State of Idaho Small Business Development Center website. 

If you recieve consulting from us, you will likely be asked to participate in surveys. See a sample Impact survey

Here are Instructions for finding us and our SBDC Parking for Consulting Appointments.

What does success look like to you? Do you have a feasible strategy to get you there? Let's talk about it!

Please note: We are not attorneys and we do not provide legal advice. We recommend you seek the advice of an attorney for help with legal questions. We have some listed with our B2B Referrals