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Dickinson SBDC helps entrepreneurs with all aspects of starting a business

After nearly a year without a major presence in Dickinson, the North Dakota Small Business Development Center is back up and running again. The SBDC helps people with various aspects of their small businesses, including start-up logistics, busine...

Notepad with words business plan concept and glasses.
Notepad with words business plan concept and glasses.

After nearly a year without a major presence in Dickinson, the North Dakota Small Business Development Center is back up and running again.

The SBDC helps people with various aspects of their small businesses, including start-up logistics, business expansions, the purchase or sale of a business, business plans, financial projections and budgeting.

Darrell Neubert serves as the part-time Dickinson SBDC business advisor and also teaches business-related courses at Dickinson State University. He has been with the SBDC since January 2017. However, he previously provided entrepreneurial coaching and counseling at DSU through the Innovate ND program until the Strom Center closed in April 2016. The Strom Center provided entrepreneurship and business development help to people throughout southwest North Dakota and had its own off campus facility in Dickinson.

"The core of the SBDC is really helping small businesses get started or grow," he said. "... My focus is usually with entrepreneurs that need that business plan, support and the financials that goes along with that and to either go to an investor or to a bank and get the loan that helps that get going. But we can help with anything."

The Dickinson SBDC, which provides services for Region 8-which includes Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger and Stark counties-has multiple types of clients, Neubert said.

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"Right now I've got a really weird mix of obviously some oil field related stuff, some normal type business you'd see in any town, some inventors with great ideas, some agriculture related stuff," he said. "We've got a pretty diverse area, so I've got a decent mix of interesting things and at different stages of getting ready to go."

Neubert said he hopes to be able to dedicate himself full-time to the SBDC this summer when school is no longer in session.

"Right now we're taking everything slowly and want to do what we can with what we can," he said. "I think over the summer I'll have a lot more time to devote to the position so it'll be like a full-time position over the summer."

Neubert said when the program was a part of the Strom Center there were two full-time SBDC counselors servicing the region. Between the closure of the Strom Center in April 2016 and January 2017, Laura Weber, the business assistant from the Bowman County Development Corporation, would travel to Dickinson on occasion to meet with clients, Neubert said.

Neubert said he wants people to understand they are not operating like they did when they were at the Strom Center.

"This is just SBDC and SBDC provides these certain services," he said. "It's going to take the community coming together to figure out how to rebuild something like the Strom Center was. I don't think that's going to come from one person certainly."

The Stark Development Corporation has also been an asset to the SBDC, Neubert said.

"I think we both have the same goals in helping businesses start in the area," Neubert said.

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Ryan Jilek, the executive vice president of the Stark Development Corporation, said the SBDC and the SDC have a good relationship.

"The SBDC is a critical piece to our community and I think a strong healthy relationship with economic development is a key factor in that," Jilek said.
He said Stark Development Corporation often recommends that clients go see Neubert at the SBDC.

"Since I've been here in January we've sent many clients in his direction or have met mutually with Darrell with myself and the clients as well," he said.

Jilek said it is encouraging to see small businesses starting up and that the SBDC is there to help those people.

Troy Huber purchased Between The Lines Official's Gear in January and consulted with the SBDC on the purchase. He plans on meeting with Neubert in the future to see how the SBDC can help them in other aspects.

"I think from the standpoint of never owning a business they were helpful to understand what we needed to do to get started," Huber said.

Between the Lines is an online sports officiating apparel company that ships items throughout the United States.

Huber said the SBDC is a good resource for those looking to break into the small business sector.

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"I would suggest that anyone that's looking at doing anything like this to get in touch with (the SBDC) and sit down with them to go through with them about what your thoughts are and get their input and come together and work on it with them," he said. "... Without them it would have been who knows how long a process to everything going, but at least with them involved it's a place to start."

Related Topics: DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY
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