As am I’m driving to work this morning the “Who Are You,” song by the Who starts playing on the radio. It dawns on me that a lot of people (my own family included) really have no idea what it is I do on a daily basis. And if I can’t even convey my job to my own family, I must really be slacking on conveying what I do to the general public and potential business clients.
My name is Michalina Lacy, and I am the Director and Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center. But what does that actually mean, is the question I get a lot from the public. I travel around a region of about 8 counties helping small businesses is the basic answer. And thanks in part to a grant funded federally by the Small Business Administration, the Ohio Department of Services Agency on the state level, and Ashland University on a local level, I can provide these services for free of charge.
What do I actually help businesses do? Well that’s what I love most about my job – I do something different on the daily! No day is ever the same as the other and I’m constantly learning and gaining experience from the clients I serve. One day I may be helping a new client properly set up their business, or maybe helping them put together a business plan in order to obtain financing for their new business. Other days I may be meeting with an existing business owner to help them develop new marketing ideas, or to get their business on social media channels. Other days I may be in the office working on research for a business, or helping a client with their marketing materials. There really is nothing I do not try to do to help my clients.
Although I will not provide legal assistance because that is what lawyers are for, and yes you should have a relationship with an attorney when you start your business. I will also not be doing your bookkeeping, as that is what an accountant is for, and yes you should develop a relationship with an accountant before starting your business as well. I will help guide you in knowing what you should be doing to stay compliant with regulators such as the Ohio State sales tax department, or the IRS, but I’m not equipped to do those services directly for you.
Overall, I’m happy to help you take your idea or business to the next level. And if you’re not in my region I will be happy to refer you to an SBDC advisor who can help you in your entrepreneurial endeavors!