This article was originally published April 27, 2016 in the Vancouver Business Journal
A thriving, profitable business is the dream of any business owner. The key ingredients for this dream to become a reality? Growth and an actionable plan the owner can implement. Many small businesses turn to consultants for support during growth, but find the large fees associated with these services can be overwhelming.
For the past five years, the Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program (MAP) at Washington State University Vancouver has provided free consulting services to local businesses and nonprofits while giving students a chance to solve real business issues. Student teams work with organizations from all industries to make recommendations for change to drive business growth.
In 2014, Debbie Belden sought out the services of the Business Growth MAP to help her analyze her growing business. With the Business Growth MAP’s support, the business tripled in size. Farrar’s Bistro, a neighborhood grill, started in 2007 as small coffee shop, and its first kitchen consisted of a smoker, electric oven and panini press. Although the food was delicious, Belden envisioned creating a larger family establishment that served the high-quality food she loved while providing her with a solid profit.
Over the course of a semester, the student team worked closely with Belden and two volunteer business mentors to conduct an in-depth analysis of the restaurant’s challenges and capabilities.
Throughout the process, Belden shared her personal concerns as students provided fresh insight into the business issues she faced…to read more, click here.