Center guides businesses

The Florida A&M University Small Business Development Center, located at 1363 East Lafayette Street, provides management counseling and educational programs for business owners.

It was established as an outreach program to teach prospective and existing business owners about the many aspects of small business management.

“The SBDC offers prospective and existing entrepreneurs counseling, training workshops and seminars, a resource library and a computer learning center,” said Chris Workman, a counselor at the SBDC and owner of several businesses. “We also provide business plan research, access to government sales, international businesses and recent inventions.”

Derrick Williams, a 22-year-old constructional engineering student, said he recommends the SBDC to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I went into the SBDC wanting to start my own business, but I didn’t know how to go about it,” Williams said. “The SBDC clarified some of the questions and concerns I had about starting my own business.

“I have learned that it takes vision, commitment, research, planning and action to start a successful business,” he continued.

SBDC draws in several students to come in but often “some students come in with unrealistic goals or businesses that are very high risk,” Workman said. “A majority of students believe they can walk in with an idea and walk out with a check, and when they realize it takes more than just a creative idea we tend to lose them.”

Workman’s advises for young student entrepreneurs to follow a four-step process.

“Students should identify a business idea, analyze the need of your business, assess the feasibility of the business, and take action,” he said.

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