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Growing for Profit

This Fast Track series focuses on the business of farming and will feature a wide variety of topics. The goal of this series is to provide agricultural producers of all sizes, industries and stages of growth the tools to succeed at the business of farming. Whether a prospective small farmer or an established family farm evaluating growth this series has something to offer. Topics include developing a business plan for your operation, legal and tax structures suited for farming, tax basics, regulations, and financing the agricultural enterprise.

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About the SBDC

Help for small businesses in North Florida, across the State and around the Nation.

Small Business Development Centers have assisted hundreds of thousands of potential and existing business owners by providing the management advice, training and information they need to start, grow, and profit. With funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration and partners ranging from institutions of higher learning to state agencies to municipalities, to private organizations, SBDCs are able to offer this management assistance to business owners at little or no cost.

Why the SBDC?

More than 90 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are small. Small businesses are truly the backbone of our economy, employing more than 60 percent of all workers and creating 80 percent of all new jobs. (For more stats on the importance of small business, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration. Yet small business owners face some tough challenges. The primary causes of small business failure are undercapitalization and management inexperience. If small businesses are the engine driving our economy, we can’t afford to have them stall. As a result, Congress created the Small Business Development Center program in 1980 to provide this much-needed management assistance that many small business could not afford in the private sector. The SBDC at University of North Florida actually started in 1976 as part of an eight-state pilot program, giving it the distinction of being one of the longest running SBDC programs in the nation.

How can the SBDC Help?

SBDC programs deliver up-to-date management advice, training and information to help business owners make sound decisions and to assist potential owners in getting started on the right foot.

Start-up assistance begins with a menu of SBDC workshops.  Practical, convenient, concise and affordable, these group training programs cover topics from STARTUP basics, to marketing, accounting/record keeping, financing, and taxes.

Business plan assistance walks start-ups and existing business owners through the process using a low-cost interactive tool, Pitch-Then-Plan, designed to get your plan down on paper.  Review of draft business plans and feedback on the plans strengths and weaknesses is just one of the counseling services available in the SBDC at no charge.

One of the critical issues potential and existing business owners face is financing the start up or growth of a business.  Access to capital is part of the counseling process our Certified Business Analysts provide to our clients.

The SBDC offers existing business owners interested in reviewing strategic business processes, increasing sales and/or improving the bottom line access to the latest information needed to succeed including market data, financial analysis, business planning tools, and specialized programs.

Where is the SBDC located?

The Small Business Development Center at University of North Florida serves 18 counties with offices in Jacksonville, the Heart of Florida, North Central Florida, Nassau County, Putnam County and St. Johns County and is part of the Florida SBDC Network and the national Association of Small Business Development Centers.