small business management information

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       Division:         BU      Department: Maine Small Business Development Centers
       Location:         As assigned
       Schedule: Full time professional
       Organizational Relationships
           Reports to: Center Director
           Supervises: Associate and Volunteer Counselor(s), work-study students and/or interns
           Coordinates with:
                 Maine SBDC State Office staff, Host Organizations staff, Maine SBDC funding partners
                 (SBA, DECD, USM), Maine SBDC Center staff, and those outside organization
                 necessary to carry forth the primary purposes of the position including:
                          Presidents, owners, and chief executive officers of small businesses
                          Pre-venture clients considering establishing a small business (generally
                             referred; i.e. by banks, economic development offices)
                          Small business funding resources, i.e. commercial loan officers, venture
                             capitalists, FAME, SBA, etc.
                          Small business technical and business assistance resources, MITC, MMEP,
                             MDC, MWW&C, CESB, MTI, DECD, SCORE, WBC, etc.
                          Chambers of Commerce
                          Economic development and community development organizations
                          Professionals i.e. Private consultants, accountants, lawyers
                          Government officials

II.    Statement of the Job:
       Counselor is to engage him/herself and others in development activities that contribute to the
       improvement of the economic climate for and the success of micro and small businesses in their
       assigned region. Counselor’s focus is to assist in the creation of, growth of and the maintenance of
       viable micro and small businesses and the jobs these businesses provide.

III.   Essential Functions:
       1. Provide no-cost-to-client, high-quality, individualized business management assistance
           through one-on-one consulting and counseling.
       2. Coach and encourage micro and small business owner/operators.
       3. Conduct and/or organize information and training programs that build small firm capacity
           to operate, compete and thrive.
       4. Navigate micro and small business access to capital.
       5. Draw on, link with and build awareness of the multiple resources of academic
           communities, federal, state and local governments, private enterprise and the non-profit
           sector that support the Maine SBDC’s focus.
       6. Aid access to information, technology, markets and research that assists business owners in
           the profitable operation of their businesses.
       7. Facilitate network and mentoring opportunities for micro and small business
       8. Support partnering and collaborating organization economic development programs in as
           much as they are “Good Business” for micro and small business firms.
       9. Recognize, advocate for and champion micro and small business success.
       10. Preserve individual capital and self-worth as appropriate.

IV.     Marginal Functions:
       1. Listen well to clients. Appropriately apply general and specific knowledge and interpersonal
          skills to specific cases, adapting easily to the vastly differing characteristics of businesses and the
          people who run them.
2. Solve general and specific problems in a wide spectrum of business – manufacturing, service,
    retail, communications, etc. Pinpoint problem areas such as cash flow, work flow, organizational
    structure, and automation, and develop solutions for any of the wide range of complex problems
    that can decrease a business’s viability.
3. Help clients strengthen personnel management and supervisory abilities; provide guidance as
    needed in the design of organizational hierarchies, the delegation of tasks and responsibilities,
    how to handle “problem” employees, and the establishment of salary and wage levels.
4. Disseminate information and advice on policy and methods formulation and implementation.
    Teach clients how to prepare policy, production, marketing, industrial relations, distribution,
    safety, accounting and other types of manuals. Offer tactful, constructive feedback on the
    soundness of existing or proposed policies and procedures.
5. Guide clients on all aspects of financial management: structuring, packaging, securing, and
    managing capital, monitoring cash flow, investment strategies and resources, SBA or other loan
    workouts for companies with outstanding financial obligations who are under court order to
    liquidate assets and the full range of financial computing services (breakdown analyses, income
    statements, forecasts, etc.) available through the SBDC and other sources.
6. Help clients secure government contracts through the Market Development Center.
7. Help clients determine the marketability of their service or product by drawing on existing
    knowledge or referring to one or more of the many available sources of market data. Stress the
    importance of checking the market before starting or expanding a business. Design market
    surveys. Advise clients on how to select, develop, and implement the market plans and strategies
    best suited to their business.
8. Teach key personnel how to develop, maintain, and use records and reports, including business
    plans, accounting records, data bases, sales and income reports, customer profiles, employee
    records, and market surveys.
9. Assist clients in finding out legal requirements and procedures (e.g. incorporation, licensing,
    equal employment opportunity, and safety standards, pertinent to their industry.
10. Advise clients on (or assist them in learning) the statutory and accepted professional standards of
    safety for the type of product or service they offer, as well as for their facility and type of
11. Refer clients as needed to other in-state or national SBDC resources, or to outside resources, or
    to outside resources such as banks, venture capitalists, lawyers, consultants, market researchers,
    and other public and private sector agencies, companies, and individuals who might be of help.
12. Serve as a liaison between clients and those whom clients are referred. Serve as an advocate on
    the client’s behalf. Establish a network of professional contacts that will facilitate this role.
13. Develop and demonstrate a professional reputation within the business community.
14. When appropriate, visit clients at their place of business. Such visits may require extensive
    walking and could present accident or health hazards; be sure to take proper precautions at
    constructions sites, manufacturing plants, and other potentially dangerous locations.
15. Act as an in-house expert on selected business areas (e.g. strategic marketing-planning, creative
    loan packaging, feasibility studies.)
16. Provide guidance to associate and volunteer counselor(s), technical assistants and interns
    working on in-depth cases.
17. Stay abreast of and brief staff on current programs and major issues pertinent to small business.
18. Develop and present seminars in concert with the Director of Training.
19. As assigned by the State Director, participate in special projects and task force activities by
    developing concepts and research methodologies, managing projects, and supervising staff
    assigned to projects.
20. Coordinate scheduling of client appointments to ensure maximum use of counseling time.
21. Keep records in a timely manner as required by SBDC regulations.
22. Participate in conferences, trade show, and training sessions. This may occasionally involve
    setting up and staffing trade show booths, registering participants, and distribution of brochures
    and other literature, etc.
       23. If requested, offer input into SBDC policies and procedures on counseling, client records,
           marketing of SBDC services, scheduling, and other aspects of client management.
       24. Other duties as assigned.

V.     Supervisory Responsibilities:
       Limited to oversight as outlined in functions

VI.    Budget Responsibilities:
        Develop and implement budget forecasts for clients.
        Monitor actual versus budget amounts for clients.
        Analyze variances and recommended action for clients.

VII.   Public/Professional Responsibilities:
        Participates actively in professional organizations, associations, conferences, and workshops.
        Represents the Maine SBDC wherever appropriate.

VIII. Internal/External Contacts:
       As appropriate and necessary to the position both internally and externally within the
         government, non-profit, educational, financing and small business sectors.

IX.    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
        Knowledge of small business.
        Strong listening and coaching skills.
        Ability to multi-task.
        Strong written, oral and platform presentation communication skills.
        Strong interpersonal skills.
        Knowledge of adult learning techniques.
        Strong computer skills including Excel and PowerPoint applications.
        Knowledge of business management technical/business assistance.
        Ability to work well with others in a high-demand, service-oriented office.
        Proven analytical and research skills.
        Knowledge of business management.
        Ability to train key management people in effective management and supervisory practices.
        Ability to synthesize data.
        Ability to generate and recommend new ideas.
        Ability to tap resources that yield detailed and specific information on the varied aspects of
        Working knowledge of all general aspects of business that might require attention during
         counseling including:
         1. Personnel management
         2. Policy and procedure development and implementation
         3. Financial management
         4. Marketing, including knowledge of the Maine marketplace and general knowledge of the
             New England marketplace.
         5. Record keeping; report preparation and analysis
         6. Computerization; management information system
         7. Legal issues
         8. Safely Standards
         9. Capital Access
         10. Other broad business issues
X.   Qualifications
       A. Education:
                 B.S. in Business or equivalent degree.
       B. Experience:
                 Minimum 5 years of broad business management experience including: small
                   business operations and senior business-related management experience including
                   P&L accountability.
       C. Preferences:
                 MBA or equivalent advanced degree
                 Experience in delivering small business technical assistance.
                 Established network of professional or personal contacts needed to facilitate the
                   Counselor’s role as liaison and advocate for clients.
       D. Qualities:
                 Listens and communicates openly and candidly.
                 Collaborates and embraces partnership.
                 Respects others in and around the organization.
                 Learns and is willing to change.
                 Works with a sense of urgency.
                 Maintains a positive attitude.
                 Leads when needed.
                 Is flexible and anticipates the future.
                 Measures performance and is accountable for results.
                 Values diversity.
                 Takes responsibility and focuses on what’s important.
                 Acts like a professional; thinks like an entrepreneur.

     For Office Use Only:
     Approved:                1/18/02        Reviewed: 11/28/05
     Job Family:              14
     Salary Band:             104
     Unit:                    UMPSA
     Job Number:
     Employee:                Gordon Platt
     Position#:               00011380

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