By Dan Chavez, Staff Reporter
Starting a small business can be a daunting prospect, but entrepreneurs whether novice or experienced do not have to go it alone, said Trish Abbin, who is a Business Specialist at the New Mexico Small Business Development Center here in Albuquerque.
The NMSBDC is an established resource for students or anyone who is interested in starting a business but need help getting their business idea off the ground.
According to nmsbdc.org there are 21 locations throughout New Mexico, and two centers that serve the local area, with one at the CNM Workforce Training Center at 5600 Eagle Rock Ave. NE and in the South Valley at 1309 Fourth St. SW.
The Workforce Training Center location will be having pre-business workshops on Jan. 8 and 22 at 10 a.m., which is open to all students and will be free, and can help with learning about business resources and getting assistance to starting a new business, according to the nmsbdc.org site. The SBDC can help people with a variety of issues when starting a new business, to include computer and technical training, one-on-one business counseling, information access and referrals, as well as help with finance, accounting and procurement, according to nmsbdc.org.
Clients can also get help with business and marketing plans, and caters to all types from women and minorities to young students and Spanish speakers, according to nmsbdc.org.
The South Valley NMSBDC has helped many people in their efforts to get business ideas up and running and a wide variety of people with all types of business ideas come through the door, she said.
The business ideas brought in by clients vary greatly and there are a wide variety of personal situations, she said.
Clients asking for help may have very different types of questions on starting up their business ideas, but most questions and problems seem to be about funding a startup, she said.
Traditional sources of business funding, such as banks, will rarely lend money to a person looking to start up a small business, and those entrepreneurs that manage to secure a bank loan would require having an excellent credit rating, she said.
“Probably the biggest question that we get from people or the biggest reason people come is they went to talk to a bank about getting a business loan and the bank said, ‘no, you’re nowhere close to getting ready, go see these people (NMSBDC),’” Abbin said.
Because a client’s credit rating is a major determining factor for funding, Abbin requires clients to pull a credit reports, and their credit will determine what type of lender will approve a loan, as well as the likelihood that a client will get a loan at all, she said.
A higher credit score will mean the entrepreneur has far more options than someone who has poor credit, and creditors such as a bank may lend out money depending on the amount requested as well as the collateral that is being offered, but only if the borrower’s credit is excellent, she said.
There will be the client who has very poor credit, so low that they will never be approved for any type of loan, but Abbin avoids directly telling this person that they cannot get financing.
“I do talk to them about their credit and a lot of times we will work with them. You bring in their credit and we will go over what things you can take off to raise your score,” she said.
Abbin said she gives the client homework assignments that she puts in a file, and when the assignments are compiled, they will amount to a completed and detailed business plan.
Rather than seeing an impossibly large project of starting a business, the entrepreneur works on small steps to succeed, she said.
New business entrepreneurs commonly have a general idea of what they want to do for a business, but they do not yet have a business plan nor have they gone through any part of the process involved in creating a business, she said.
“It’s anything from you have an idea and you’re not sure what to do with it, to people who have been in business for many years and need some sort of assistance with their business,” she said.
The success of a business usually depends more on the person running the business rather than the business idea itself, she said.
The people who are more passionate and driven will be more likely to work harder in an effort to see their business succeed, she said.
“A lot of times that’s where you get the person who has the drive. They see a business and it’s not necessarily the passion, but they know it’s needed, so they know they can take that business to a point of making money and success,” she said.
The first step, Abbin said, is to give the SBDC a call at 248-0132 to set up an appointment or go to nmsbdc.org for more information.
For more information on SBDC campus workshops, contact Christina McQuerry at 224-5250.