It’s a rare leader 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.
Eventually, leaders 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 organizations in Whatcom County that are dedicated to helping companies succeed. Here are four free-to-use options for small business consulting that can provide the right advice to give you a much-needed boost:
- 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. Their certified business advisors can help you determine a solid path forward, and they can help with course correction if you have gotten off track.
With NWIRC and SCORE, business leaders 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 generate inspiring ideas, what they can’t do for businesses is implement any new plans. You may 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.”
Those who don’t know how to do those things, or don’t have the time to manage those tasks can benefit from outsourcing those tasks to a local PR and communications team.
A common path would be for you to consult with organizations like SBDC and SCORE to come up with a strategy and then retain an experienced communications team to consistently manage tasks like email marketing, corporate communications, graphic design and social media management.
This path can help you move forward while allowing yourself and other staff to remain focused on the core of your business.
If you’d like to learn more about outsourcing marketing, PR and corporate communications in strategic, proactive ways, give Bellingham PR and Communications a call! We’re here to lighten your load and help Whatcom County companies grow and succeed.