SBA of Fresno is reaching out to Small Businesses

December 18, 2008 12:49:21 AM PST
Every day we see or hear about a business closing its doors for good because the owners couldn't survive the economic downturn. The Small Business Administration of Fresno is reaching out to those who work for themselves hoping to give them a lifeline.Jessie Robb owns and runs a private substance abuse treatment program called 11th Hour in Fresno. She's been named one of the top 10 business women of the year in Fresno ... twice. But its hardly a guarantee that business will always be good.

"I was really amazed at the number of businesses that are struggling and gone under and that's why I wanted to go today to make sure we're on the right track," said Jessie Robb.

Wednesday Jessie sat in on the second free workshop offered by Fresno's Small Business Administration. It blossomed after the SBA got deluged with phone calls from people who work for themselves on the brink of shutting down because of the bad economy.

"We realized there was this huge need, people in business looking for some answers," said Mike Souza.

Mike Souza says the most important aspects of owning a business are management, marketing, and finances, but what sinks most businesses is the money part.

"They're usually so involved in running the business that they don't pay attention to their finances ," said Souza.

His Suggestion ...

"Make sure you get a monthly profit and loss statement, what's happening to your sales and operating expenses and how it relates to your bottom line," said Souza.

Jessie says the name of her 20 year old business, 11th Hour, which implies running out of time, in no way reflects how she runs it.

"It's kinda like a chess game have to be a few steps ahead, in business you have to anticipate things and preventing things," said Robb.

But she learned some valuable things at the Small Business Administration's Workshop and will follow up with its marketing department. The SBA is already planning several more workshops for the growing number of struggling business owners.

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