ND Small Business Development Centers
ND Small Business Development Centers

Helping North Dakotans Start, Manage, and Grow Their Business.

August 2020


From all of us at the North Dakota Small Business Development Network (ND SBDC, ND PTAC, and VBOC of the Dakotas), we hope that you have been safe and healthy since our last update. Once again, thank you for your continued support and work on the behalf of North Dakota’s small businesses.

Professional Development is something we focus on year-round, but every August we put a special emphasis on professional (and personal) growth and development. Because of this, we want to shine the spotlight on our advising staff (Center Directors and Business Advisors) and all of the work that they do to support North Dakota’s small businesses across the state. While we are always working to help small businesses improve, we take great pride in how we improve ourselves, our processes, and our program offerings. The more we learn, the better equipped we are to assist our clients. All of our staff are knowledgeable and experienced professionals, and they are each certified in one or more specific facets of business management.

Meet The Experts!

We asked our staff: “why is professional development important to you?”

  • Professional development is essential for anyone who wants to be successful, often specialized careers have certification courses and ongoing educational requirements. Although we do get to be very specialized in many ways, we also see clients in every industry and every business type so our professional development I’d say is much more dynamic than others in the sense that we can’t just pick one thing. The value of professional development for me lies in the details of each course, but also the overall commonalities and transferable knowledge, also the network of subject matter experts that we have is so diverse and incredible.
  • Professional Development is very important. It allows us as staff to reach out to each other for guidance, rather than having to learn it all ourselves – not only that but through that guidance, we learn as we go. Or as I say, we learn as we grow. Also, so many things change so professional development helps with staying on top of current trends, changes, and how to change with them.
  • Professional development is important because there’s no perfect solution to most problems that businesses face.  A team with a diverse set of skills and perspectives will ultimately be more beneficial as a group than any individual advisor. It also allows the advisors to become subject matter experts in areas that they themselves and/or their clients have an interest/need.
  • Holding the CBA Certification, I feel that it provides me with more credibility to the elected officials within my community… I personally believe that it has affirmed my knowledge base and gave me more confidence with advising clients.
  • These specialties really allow me to prepare our clients for action. I help my clients prepare to be a business owner, manager, entrepreneur, technician, and not just an author of a business plan.
  • I feel that professional development is important because it helps us expand our knowledge base while keeping us up to date on necessary information in our field.
  • In my role as a SBDC Advisor, but [also] in my role as an Economic Development Director, I find that the two positions cross paths many times, and it has been very beneficial to the communities that I serve, to understand in detail, the back-end work and dedication that goes into a successful business.
  • PTAC staff spend substantial time each month attending specialized training, especially involving federal procurement regulations and the associated information technology systems.  It is important for us to stay up-to-date so we can provide the best assistance to North Dakota businesses selling their goods or services to local, state, and federal agencies.

We hope you enjoyed meeting our team as much as we enjoy working with this talented group of individuals. If you know of anyone who may appreciate or benefit from meeting with one of our professionally certified advisors, and taking advantage of their wealth of knowledge and expertise, please forward this update to them or direct them to this blog site to sign up for these updates. We look forward to continuing to serve you and our entire state. And as always, reach out to let us know where we can be of assistance.

Thank you,

Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network




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