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Dusty Springfield unexpectedly summed up the Christmas season with the first two lines of her song Wishin’ and Hopin’:
Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night
Be honest, Christmastime is for wishin’ we had a better job, prayin’ for positive changes at work, and hopin’ something new and exciting falls in our lap. Ms. Springfield’s song, about finding the love of your life and maintaining it, is easily translated to professional life. Though I’m sorry to inform you that getting control of your professional dreams is not as easy as flirting.
The best way to fall in love with your work environment (and your boss) is to work for yourself. Be your business.
You can do it.
Sometimes, people think going into business needs to be a huge production, with stockholders and boards and expensive facilities. But it can be much easier than this, and the experts at your local Small Business Development Center can teach you how.
The Small Business Development Center, commonly referred to as an SBDC, is a government-supported non-profit entity. That means it’s free to you. There are locations throughout the United States, so there’s no excusin’. Find yours here (insert hyperlink: http://americassbdc.org/home/find-your-sbdc/).
A consultant with the SBDC can help direct you in the following areas:
1) Business plan development (yes, you need to do some plannin’.)
2) Financial analysis
3) Loan packaging
4) Marketing and promotion guidance, including how to dominate social media
5) Research on industry trends
6) Maximizing business operations
7) Product development and placement
8) Growth strategy
9) Succession planning
Essentially, an SBDC consultant can help with any aspect of starting or operating your business. Whether you want to clean houses or mow grass or start a manufacturing plant, the SBDC is here to help.
And, I can’t emphasize this enough, it’s free to you.
So stop dreamin’ and take control. Make this season and the new year everything you’ve been hopin’ for. Your local Small Business Development Center is here for you every step of the way.
Mike C. Paulus is a writer and Business Consultant in the North Central Region Minnesota Small Business Development Center. He publishes a popular blog The Sport of Start-Up at www.mikecpaulus.com.