Advising Expertise to Help your Business Thrive

Solano-Napa SBDC has 30+ expert Business Advisors available to help small businesses in Solano and Napa Counties – at no charge and 100% confidential! 

How Can Solano-Napa SBDC Help Your Business?

We are here to help you through every stage of your business:

Startup Planning Workshops

Learn the basics to launching your business including:
• Business licensing requirements
• Legal form of organization
• Components of a business plan
• Startup costs
• Business name
• Business feasibility
• Other startup concerns and issues

Launch Preparation

Get help launching your business: 
• Writing your business plan
• Identifying your financial needs
• Market research 
• Financial planning
• Location identification
• Dealing with leases

Funding Support

Whether you’re in business or just starting, get help with:
• Loans
• Grants
• Angel/venture capital
• Crowdfunding & creative funding

So that you can:
• Buy an existing business
• Buy commercial property
• Buy equipment and more

Overcoming Obstacles

Get help when you need it:
• Business Rx to identify issues
• Finding & hiring employees
• Employer compliance
• Other HR concerns
• Getting your business online
• Implementing or upgrading your accounting system
• Lease renegotiation

Growth & Development

SBDC is your resource as you build your business:
• Expanding target areas
• Expanding products/services
• Marketing & sales strategy
• Online marketing strategy
• Financial analysis
• Management & Operations
• Getting certified for government contracts
• Exporting/international trade

Exit Strategy

When you’re ready to sell or transfer your business, SBDC can help you with:
• Succession planning
• Business valuation
• Startup support for new owners

What to Expect from your Advising sessions

At Solona-Napa SBDC we recognize every business is unique and recognize that every business owner will have different needs at different times as they launch and grow their enterprise. The SBDC advising process involves the following stages:

  1. JOIN and submit a request for an advisor.
  2. START the online intake and get matched with an expert advisor based on your needs.
  3. MEET with your advisor to identify your needs and set your goals.
  4. REPEAT – Work with your advisor to reach your goals.
  5. CHECK-IN – Your advisor will reach out to see how you’re doing and to check on your progress.
  6. COMPLETE – Your SBDC team is here for ongoing support as your business grows.

Business Advising FAQs

What can a Business Advisor help with? (areas of help)

We have over 30 expert Business Advisors who can help you with most of your business concerns: Accounting, Business Planning, Buying a Business, eCommerce, Financial Analysis, Funding/Access to Capital, eCommerce, Food Product Business, Franchising, Hospitality, Human Resources, Online Marketing, Market Research, Marketing Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Operations, Restaurants, Real Estate, Retail, Sales, Selling a Business, Social Media, Startups, Strategic Planning, and more.

We cover most business areas. Note that we do not work with legal or tax concerns for businesses.

What is the cost of Business Advising?

SBDC is tax-payer funded, so our advising services come to you completely free, and all one-on-one advising is 100% confidential.

I’m just starting up; can I get a Business Advisor?

If you are not yet in business but need help with any aspect of planning and getting started, visit our Starting a Business in Solano or Napa webpage. If you are an existing business, visit the Existing Business section. You must complete the prerequisites prior to receiving individual consulting assistance.

What should I expect from SBDC Business Advising?

Advising sessions are collaborative meetings between you and your Business Advisor. During these sessions, you can share your business goals, progress, challenges and questions. Your Business Advisor will provide advice, resources, and insights so you gain clarity on your next best steps. All of the information you share is confidential.

How long do sessions last?

Most regular sessions are scheduled for an hour and are held virtually. You can meet with your Business Advisor through online meetings or phone calls or, when necessary, in-person. While mentoring sessions have goals and objectives, the partnership is informal and informational with your assigned mentor.

What if I don’t know where to start or have multiple concerns?

If you have many concerns about your business performance or need to understand more about your business overall, we suggest starting with a Biz Rx Assessment at no charge, exclusively for businesses in Solano and Napa Counties. Learn more about Biz Rx.

How do I get started with Solano-Napa SBDC?

If your business is in Solano or Napa Counties, you can request our services. If you are starting a business in Solano or Napa Counties, check out our Business Startup guide. It includes helpful information, along with startup workshops (you must complete these prior to any work with a Business Advisor).

I’m interested in acquiring certifications for my business. Can you help me with this?

Yes, we have a specific group called the SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with business advisors knowledgeable about certifications, government contracting and procurement. 

Request our services.

I’ve contacted the SBDC but haven’t heard back. How can I get help?

If your business is in Solano or Napa Counties, please call us at 707-646-1071.
If you are elsewhere in northern California, contact 833-ASK-SBDC.