Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast ISBDC (Part 2)

Startup Fort Wayne LogoThis is the second in a series of pieces on entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana. Join us as we explore the resources available to you as a resident of this area and some of the new businesses that are shaking things up in the area. Let’s Startup Fort Wayne! 

We are continuing our spotlight of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Northeast ISBDC) with our second and final part of the spotlight on strategic planning and marketing research assistance available at Northeast ISBDC.

Here’s a quick summary of what we covered in our last piece on the Northeast ISBDC:

  • It is one of ten regional offices of the statewide ISBDC, an organization funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • All services except for workshops and business evaluations are free to clients.
  • The type of assistance given by the business advising team varies from client to client.

In the last piece, we talked with Regional Director Wesley Shie and two business advisors, Mary Popovich, and Scot Goskowicz. Here’s what they had to say about how the Northeast ISBDC can help businesses in the critical areas of marketing research and strategic planning.

Marketing research

The team at Northeast ISBDC is available to consult with business clients about their marketing research needs. Consultations are available to help clients develop prospect and competitor lists, research their industry, or perform business to consumer (B2C) market research.

“One of the common areas that people come in and have struggles with is in their ability to market themselves effectively when they are in business,” said Goskowicz.

With access to ReferenceUSA, the team at Northeast ISBDC is able to pull market research, show how households spend, and what businesses are available to market to.

“If you’re starting up, it’s critical to know who the other kids are in the sandbox with you so you know, from a competitive standpoint, where you sit from a price and a functional and quality standout.” said Goskowicz.

With access to other leading databases, Northeast ISBDC can help businesses research their industry to learn market trends, best practices, current conditions, and other vital information to help them develop a solid plan.

Northeast ISBDC can help clients access customer information with Esri Business Analyst Online to help them get a better view of market demographics.

“Esri is really about the marketplace – will their business work in a certain geographical area based on data,” said Shie.

Strategic planning

Is your existing business at a crossroads and in need of a new vision?

The team at Northeast ISBDC has been formally trained in a new strategic planning model called the Strategic Design Prototype, which is another area where the team at Northeast ISBDC can help businesses succeed in the region.

“[This model] is a strategic planning model developed by Ball State University, which was rated nationally as one of the best models to use in planning for final outcome,” said Goskowicz.

By applying the model, the team can work with clients to determine where they are currently, what goals they want to set, and what they need to do to reach those goals.

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The process takes about two-and-half to three hours and in the end, clients should get specific action steps to carry forward. Mature businesses looking to grow and sustain can benefit tremendously from this consultation.

“It helps develop a vision for their business, which is very critical to their long-term sustainability,” said Shie.

The team at Northeast ISBDC is here for you: Billie Wunderlich, office manager (bottom left); Wesley Shie, regional director (top left); Scot Goskowicz, business advisor (top middle); and Mary Popovich, business advisor/marketing coordinator (bottom right) with office suite partner Gil Perry (top right).

The team at Northeast ISBDC is here for you: Billie Wunderlich, office manager (bottom left); Wesley Shie, regional director (top left); Scot Goskowicz, business advisor (top middle); and Mary Popovich, business advisor/marketing coordinator (bottom right) with office suite partner Gil Perry (top right).

What’s next?

For more information on the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, please visit their website or call (260) 481-0500. Northeast ISBDC is located at 4312 Hobson Road, Suite B, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815.

There are two upcoming workshops by the Northeast ISBDC this month:

Up next in the Startup Fort Wayne series, we catch up with two recent college graduates and their award winning animation and design studio – a Huntington, Indiana startup, Syndeo Studios.

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Tim Zink

Author: Tim Zink

Director-at-Large of Communications for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. Adviser to current Living Fort Wayne leadership team. Contributor to Living Fort Wayne since April 2014.

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