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Start-Ups

You Should Still Go to Office Hours, Even After College

By Barbara Beauregard   |    October 31, 2016   |    10:37 AM


For those who take advantage, college office hours bring substantial benefits that point toward greater success. That said, office hours aren’t just limited to students. 

If you run a small business, learn how online and university-sponsored business development programs can give your enterprise a boost.

Assistance from Proven Experts

A number of universities feature valuable programs that offer small business-owners and aspiring entrepreneurs valuable business tips. In many cases, these programs are free for businesses that meet certain standards. In other cases, they come with affordable fees. Typically, they are led by experienced small business owners and former business executives, who've acquired years of invaluable experience.

What to Expect

While every university business development program differs, most offer some or all of the following:

  • One-on-one business counseling and coaching

  • Free functional assessments

  • In-depth financial analyses for existing companies

  • Referrals to industry professionals

  • Low-cost training workshops, courses and events

  • Networking opportunities

  • Affordable, practical business management skills training

  • Marketing advice and research

  • Strategic plan development

  • Business start-up steps such as name registration, legal structure and license/permit issues

  • Guidance for financing/loan applications

  • Accounting assistance, financial analysis and tax planning

Other Options

There are a number of online small business office hour services in addition to university-sponsored programs. For instance, Y Combinator and Google both offer small business community office hours that help connect small business owners to experts and each other every day. These online programs are great ways for busy entrepreneurs to build a stronger knowledge base and network with people who can help their businesses succeed.