Yesterday's BASE meeting
We had a nice meeting of the Beach Area Self-Employed group yesterday. Ten people were at the meeting - about average for this group, but the discussion was really interesting - people seemed to open up about what they are doing and what they need.
Tamira Benitez, the representative of the Small Business Development Centers gave a nice presentation and engaged everyone who was at the meeting. She addressed many of the concerns I had from an earlier attempt to work with this agency specifically:
1. That their services were "one off" - meaning you just got one meeting with an "expert' who gave advice about our business. I am convinced that this approach simply doesn't work and that any kind of business help needs to be part of an ongoing process. She made it clear that you could have multiple meetings with different experts there.
2. That you would just be given one meeting with a counselor assigned to you and if it doesn't work tough cookies. This seems to be one of the problems with the SCORE program that a few people mentioned at our previous meeting. They now seem to have more flexibility in letting you select the counselor who is best for you.
3. That you would only have access to one person. They have 12 advisors on staff and other experts - marketing, finance, technology, etc - as well as relationships with other agencies with expertise in government contracting and international trade that they can tap into. They say they will make these experts available to you as needed.
4. That you have to travel to meet with them. San Diego SBDC is headquartered in South San Diego near the border. Even the closest office to us on the USD campus is not all that easy to get to. While doing the first meeting in person is probably a good idea, Tamira made it clear that follow on consultations can be done by phone, email or video conference.
They also seemed more understanding of the environment many self-employed people face - often with multiple projects, ventures and gigs hammered together to make things work. I am not sure they are quite there yet but they do seem to better understand the realities many of self-employed people face. To book an appointment with SBDC visit this link http://sdivSBDC.org - be sure to come back and let us know how it went.
As I mentioned there will be no meeting in December - that month is just too crazy for most people, so the next meeting will be January 10th - same place, Charlie's Best Bread, as long as they will have us.
As I also mentioned though, I would like to put together something better for online communication and discussions. While Google Groups does have some decent features, that really never happened here so I don't think there is much to lose in trying something else. I have selected a platform called groups.io - it has much better user controls plus integration with Slack and a few other features I like. I believe I can do this transfer without anyone needing to take any action but if you would like to get an early start and help us test please request an account at this link: https://groups.io/g/sdip
For those I don't hear from until next year, I wish you great holidays and wonderful success in business and all you do.
Phone Number: 858-848-5001
Business Email: rob@...
Website URL: http://Action.Associates