State Program Director Tells Businesses to Get Back to Basics

By Paolo Cisneros, The Sheridan Press, February 14, 2013. Reprinted with permission.

The Regional Director of the Wyoming Small Business Development Center told members of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that focusing on the often over-looked fundamentals of running their companies could help fuel expansion and support a successful adaptation to the ever-changing 21st century economy.

“Business is all about change,” Susan Jerke told the audience at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon. “The whole world is about change right now.”

A statewide organization, the center is funded at the federal level by the Small Business Administration and at the state level by the Wyoming Business Council. The center is housed on the campus of the University of Wyoming.

The collaboration between the three organizations allows the center to provide a wide array of free services to Wyoming business owners looking to grow their operations.

In a brief presentation on how business owners could harness the fundamentals of entrepreneurship to reestablish their footing in the local economy, Jerke said a sharp sense of focus is essential.

“The best way to predict the future is to create the future,” she said. “You always need to be reinvesting yourself.”

Saying that most failed to businesses flounder shortly after launching, Jerke added that proper planning is a key component in the effort to build a successful company.

Later in her presentation, Jerke touched on topics including the importance of establishing a social media presence, embracing change, networking and confronting the realities of a given business’ financial situation.

“When you really dig in and learn about your business, that’s when you’ll emerge on the other side (of difficult financial times),” she said.

Jereke also took time to review the services offered by Wyoming Entrepreneur, the business-focused network comprised of the center and two other programs at the University of Wyoming.

Assistant Director of the Wyoming Technology Business Center, John Dick, also addressed the crowd to outline his organization’s involvements with tech start-ups across the state.

With presences in Sheridan, Laramie and Gillette, the UW-based center offers networking events for entrepreneurs, incubation facilities for companies and outreach counseling among other services.

Founded in 2006, the WTBC partners with businesses that the organization’s management believes have the potential to generate between $3 million and $5 million in annual revenue.

“These are the building blocks of Wyoming’s economy,” Dick said. “We focus on the bread and butter of these companies.”


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