It’s a rare business owner who founds a business solely to market to customers. There’s usually something more immediate on their minds: making delectable food, designing useful products or performing top-notch service.
But eventually, business owners realize that they need a plan of attack for getting their products and services in front of more people. And that usually means seeking out professional advice.
The good news is that there are a number of local organizations who are dedicated to helping businesses succeed. Here are four wonderful — and free — options for business consulting that can provide the right advice to kick-start a business:
- The Small Business Development Center at Western Washington University offers certified business advisory coaching to small businesses in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
- The Northwest Innovation Resource Center provides assistance for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, helping them find the tools and community resources they need.
- SCORE is a group of retired business professionals who provide mentorship and advice to small businesses in Whatcom and Skagit counties.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration offers information and resources for entrepreneurs.
These consulting options can be fantastic places to glean ideas to implement in your business.
If you’re the confident, do-it-yourself type, a meeting with the Small Business Development Center, for example, could be just what you need. They’re experts in determining the best path forward for a small business, and they can also help with course correction for a business that has gotten off track.
And with the NWIRC and SCORE, business owners and entrepreneurs can connect with a seasoned mentor who can provide guidance through challenging phases of startup and expansion.
Keep in mind, though, that while these services may be fantastic at helping develop brilliant ideas, what they can’t do for businesses is implement new plans.
Business owners can leave consulting sessions with instructions like “you need a blog on your website” or “email marketing would be great for your business” or “your company would do well on Instagram.”
Small-business owners who don’t know how to do those things, aren’t comfy with doing them or simply don’t have the time can benefit immensely from finding the right marketing partner to assist with these projects.
A common path is for individuals to consult with organizations like SBDC and SCORE to come up with a plan and then hire an experienced marketing professional to manage tasks like email marketing, blogging, graphic design and social media management.
This path helps companies keep moving forward while allowing business owners and other staff to remain focused on the core of their business.
When you’re ready to take that next step and partner with an experienced, trusted and talented marketing firm, give PR Consulting a call! We’re here to help Whatcom County companies grow and succeed.