Grow Your Business

Thinking about starting a business or ways to improve your current business? We may be able to help. NEOEDD offers loans and other financing, as well as classes, workshops, and business networking events.

Start-up

How do you know if you've got what it takes to start a business? We believe that entrepreneurs are made, not born. Anyone can become an entrepreneur with the right mix of motivation, attitude, skills and follow-through. NEOEDD can help you review and develop your skills, and also the written financial plans that make it possible to start or improve a business.

Try these assessment tools and see how ready you and your business idea are.

This self-assessment survey from the Small Business Administration uses the results to direct you to online training and other resources: https://eweb1.sba.gov/cams/training/business_primer/assessment.htm

The Canada Business Network has several self-assessment tools. This one looks at common skills needed to grow a business: http://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/the-challenges-of-growing-a-business---and-how-to-meet-them/

If you can answer these twelve questions, you should be able to justify your business investment both to yourself and to potential investors or lenders: Is My Business Idea a Good One?

Sample Business Documents

The following templates may help you with your business. We use some of them in our Foundations business-planning class.

Business Plan

A business plan demonstrates to funders (and to you) that you have a viable business in the works. A quick two-page business plan template is here and a longer template is here. A template designed by Hatch Oregon is here.

Cash Flow Projections

The following download is a multi-page spreadsheet that covers cash flow, break-even, and other calculations. It contains a number of locked formulae that you cannot amend. You must have Excel in order to use it.

As they say, “cash is king.” You can own a profitable business and still run out of cash. How do you know if you will have enough money to pay monthly bills? Some bills will increase some months (heat, lights) or come due only a few times a year (insurance, taxes, dues). Use cash-flow projection tools to understand when you will need more cash and when you will need less. 

The cash-flow projection spreadsheets are based on selling units that have identified variable costs associated with them. This worksheet has quite a bit of automation to it. The automation makes it easy to calculate the effect of various selling prices or changes in the cost of production. This worksheet should not be used if there are significant differences in the timing between when you spend money on inventory or your cost of production and when items are sold. For instance, if you buy all your inventory in the winter and sell it all in the summer, this cash flow projection will not give you an accurate picture of how cash actually will flow through the business.

This file has templates for two years of Profit and Loss calculations with a cash-flow projection. This spreadsheet is a typical cash flow projection, with columns for monthly entries. It is highly customizable--you can change any row to the name of the type of income or expense that you have. It has minimal calculations.

Break-Even Point

It's good to know how much inventory you will need to sell, or how much work you will need to bill for, in order to break even in your business. At the break-even point, you will have enough sales to pay your overhead or fixed costs, and enough to pay for your cost of goods sold or variable costs.

Workshops & Counseling

Access our online calendar of classes.

Foundations for Business Success

Strengthen your business! NEOEDD offers the Foundations for Business Success course several times a year to help people in Baker, Union or Wallowa counties create professional business plan in seven weeks. The weekly sessions address the mission statement, start-up and overhead costs, profit goal-setting, cash flow, marketing, licensing and organizational structure. 

As a participant, you will receive detailed, constructive feedback as you go through the business plan process, step by step. Participants also learn about personal financial management and the demands of being an entrepreneur. The class is taught by Lisa Dawson, NEOEDD Executive Director. Participants have consistently given excellent evaluations for the course.

“This class is a must for new entrepreneurs or anyone who needs a refresher on good business practices. Lisa is a very competent facilitator who has a rare talent for drawing on participants’ strengths, which makes the class unique and extremely helpful.”
--Gwen Trice, Owner, Diversity Avenue

“I found the course to be very inspiring and informative with a lot of synergy and networking between the participants.”

--Dan Austin, Owner, Austin Tool and Machine

 

 

 

 

 

         

If you are ready to sign up, complete the Intake Form for your county (Baker, Union or Wallowa) and submit it to lisadawson@neoedd.org with proof of household income (tax return, profit-and-loss statement or pay stubs, etc.). Classes are subsidized by a Community Development Block Grant, which requires gathering income documentation.

Business Counseling

NEOEDD is a good place to begin asking questions about the issues that your business may be facing. NEOEDD is ready to assist any business-owner seeking to launch, expand or relocate in Baker, Union or Wallowa counties. We can give feedback on your business concept, review your business plan, and help you address business feasibility. We can discuss business management and succession, import/export assistance, industry marketing and networking, financial assistance, business planning, infrastructure needs, relocation, workforce training, and environmental issues and assessment.

If we can’t help, we can provide referrals to assistance at the regional, state and federal levels. Some of our common referrals are to the Small Business Development Center and Wallowa County Business Facilitation.

Contact us at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email lisadawson@neoedd.org to discuss your business needs.

 

Small Business Development Centers

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide confidential, one-on-one counseling services and training programs throughout Oregon. They specialize in helping businesses improve operations and profitability as well as counseling prospective business owners. If you have a business problem or question, they are there to help. They also offer online courses through Lane Community College.

In Union County, contact:

In Baker County, Contact:

In Wallowa County, Contact:

Greg Smith
541-962-1532
1607 Gekeler Lane, Room 148
La Grande, OR 97850
eousbdc@gmail.com

Jeff Nelson
541-276-6233
1901 Main St.
Baker City, OR 97814
jnelson@bluecc.edu

Marc Stauffer
541-398-2393
309 S River St.
Enterprise, OR 97828
mstauffer@bluecc.edu

 

Marketing

Market research can help you find new outlets for your goods and help you understand the trends affecting your industry. If you are already active in an industry, you may have information about what’s going on, but if your information isn’t up-to-date, market research assistance could be useful. NEOEDD works with the Oregon Microenterprise Network to offer free market research for our clients. We can help you answer questions about the size of the market and what other similar businesses are up to.

Business Loans

NEOEDD provides business financing through several loan programs. Our revolving loan program provides loans up to $100,000. We also provide access to the Northeast Oregon Business Development loan program, which can provide loans up to $150,000. In addition, we can help you determine which Oregon state loan program best fits your project. More information on loans.

If you need some time to develop your business idea and you don’t need a lot of money, the Individual Development Account (IDA) program may be a good fit. It matches the funds you save for your business with $3 of matching funds for each $1 you save, up to a total of $12,000. More information on IDAs.