Development center helps businesspeople develop a plan

"Small business owners frequently feel overwhelmed by day-to-day tasks, so a new local program has been developed to make life a little bit easier.The Kitsap County Small Business Development Center recently opened at the Olympic College Center for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning and is designed to help small businesses in many aspects of management.Although the free program is based in Bremerton, Susan Segler, business development specialist for the center, said her services are available to companies throughout the area.This is really Kitsap-wide, she said.By focusing on the development of a specific business plan, Segler said she can aid companies in understanding the market for a product, examining the potential for expansion and improving the services provided.I help them figure out what they want to do, she said.Such a plan is vital for proposals for additional funding, as well as for creating goals for the future. Segler said this can aid in easing the difficulties of being the owner of a small business.This gives you enough of the information you need to take the next step, she said.Rather than designing the plan herself, Segler said she coaches her clients as they write the plans, and edits it as it develops.They usually have all the information in their head, she said. They just need to get it on paper.Because business plans can contain information vital to the success of a small business, Segler said all information discussed in the consultations is confidential.When they come in, and have a problem, they're not going to hear about it from someone else, she said.The center is part of a nationwide program which has coordinated more than 1,000 center across the United States. Prior to the establishment of the Kitsap branch, Segler said local business were covered by offices in Port Orchard, Tacoma and Seattle.But now, they have something closer to home, she said.In addition to the free business counseling, Segler said the center also provides additional training and studies for a minimal fee.Prior to heading the Bremerton center, Segler owned her own business and later operated the program at Santa Fe College in New Mexico, which helps her understand where owners are coming from.This is what I enjoy doing, she said. I've been where they are.For more information about the center, or to arrange a consultation, contact Segler at 478-4839."

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