FAQ

THE MICRO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

1.   What does technical assistance mean?
Technical assistance means that a business counselor will meet with you and discuss your business concerns and questions. It does not matter which industry you are in or what stage of business development. You will be asked to complete an intake making you a MBDP client and all your conversations will be kept confidential. Typical discussions include topics around how to form your legal structure, writing a business plan, marketing, financial management, and business taxes.

2.   Are your services free?
Yes, our services are free. The Micro Business Development Program receives grant funding from our community, the state of Vermont and federal sources, which enables MBDP to offer services for free. It is important to share your success stories with MBDP as your business grows, because this information plays an important role in securing future funds.

3.   What do I need to bring to our first meeting?
Each person is unique in what he / she may have for questions and where they are at in their business development. There isn't a set rule of what to bring, typically in the process of setting up your appointment, this would be discussed. If you want to share your product, business plan or any other items you would like the business counselor to see, that is completely up to you.

4.   Do I need to have my business registered with the Vermont Secretary of State before making an appointment with you?
No, you do not need to have your legal structure in place, actually that may be a question you are still trying to figure out. If you are in the initial stages with just a business concept, and just want some feedback, you can meet with a business counselor for that as well.

5.   Do you offer grants?
Unfortunately no, there is a miss-conception that there are grants for "for profit" businesses that are easy to apply for. Often, people go online and read about all the free money that is available to start a business. Most of the time what you find online will require you to pay for the information. Creditable funding sources will not require you to pay a fee. However, MBDP has special projects; sometimes it may include funding, technical assistance and / or educational opportunities.

6.   Does your program make loans?
The Micro Business Development Program does not make loans. Once you choose the lender you would like to work with, our role is to assist you with the application process and completing a comprehensive business plan. This is part of the documentation required to process a business loan.

7.   What is the best way to set up an appointment?
The best way to set up an appointment is to send an email to amyr@nekcavt.org. We have an office in St. Johnsbury and Newport and offer appointments at both locations.

8.   How do I learn about upcoming classes?
Throughout the year, we offer classes that vary in business related topics. The easiest way is to share your email address and / or mailing address so that you are in the loop.

9.   Can I give other business owners your contact information?
Yes, our goal is to help as many businesses as possible. Your referrals are greatly appreciated.

10.   Do I have to be a Micro Business client in order to do a profile page?
In order to do a profile, you need to be a micro business (a business with less than five employees). You don't need to be a Micro Business client, but our services are free and it's a great opportunity.

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

1.   What are some of the opportunities for female entrepreneurs?
The Micro Business Development Program has ongoing projects specifically for women owned businesses. When these opportunities come up we engage women to participate. These projects typically include networking, educational opportunities and peer support.

2.   What is the best way to know what current opportunities are available?
Throughout the year, we offer classes that vary in business related topics. The easiest way is to share your email address and / or mailing address so that you are in the loop.

3.   What is a "Circle of Support"? How can I volunteer as a Circle of Support person for a business owner?
Do you have a background in business, either through owning your own business or professional skills? We are always looking for women to support other women who are developing their business. A "Circle of Support" person typically meets with the business owner and focuses on what she needs for guidance, such as marketing, record keeping, or encouragement.

PROFILE PAGE

1.   Should I write my business description and business philosophy in first person or third person?
Your business description is where you share your passion for what you do. Choosing to write it in first or third person is up to you.

2.   What are key words? How do I incorporate them into my writing?
Search engines use words or phrases to match up someone's search with the results they list. Give thought to what words your potential customer might use to search for you online. Then use those words or phrases in the content of your business description and business philosophy.

3.   How should I label my pictures when I save them?
I would encourage you to save your pictures with your business name as well as an identifier of what the picture is (for example: kingdombakerydisplaytable.jpg). This way the search engines will capture your business name, which should be one of your key words.

4.   I was given a user name and log in, what happens if I forget it?
Please contact us to reset it for you.

5.   How do I delete my profile page?
If you no longer want to be on the website, please contact us and we can inactivate your page or remove it.

6.   How do I make updates or add information?
You will login with your username and password. Once logged in, you can simply click on a field in the admin, add, edit or delete the information and then hit the save button.

ADDITIONAL HELP

1.   What if I have additional questions that were not addressed here? Who do I contact?
Please go to the CONTACT US page and send an email using the appropriate subject topic in the email subject line. We will be happy to address your questions.