SBDC, Gateway Business Group team up to support local businesses

Local business owners will have the opportunity to enhance their skills when it comes to promoting their business during the upcoming Pitch Your Business Workshop.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Springfield and the Gateway Business Group (GBG) have collaborated for the event, which will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at COhatch – The Market in Downtown Springfield.

The goal of the event is to help business owners develop ways to quickly communicate what their business is about when opportunities to network arise.

“I think you never know when and opportunity is going to fall into your lap,” says Rob Alexander, executive director of the SBDC. “You’re either going to be prepared for that moment or you’re not, and I think a lot of people aren’t prepared for that moment and that’s what we’re trying to change.”

Alexander says he hopes the attendees are a mix of seasoned owners of mature companies who are still in the market to make new sales and build their skills for making new connections, as well as startup founders who are still working to get their business off the ground and build awareness.

“This event is really about giving them some information about how to make a really powerful pitch and putting them in a safe environment to practice so that when it matters most, it’s not the first time you’re saying (your pitch) out loud,” Alexander says. “I think without practice, we’ll feel more nervous. We’ll probably ramble, and it won’t be very powerful.

“But, with a little bit of intention and direction you can really nail that moment.”

Alexander says he and GBG President Rick Slark will be there to provide tips and advice for how business owners can craft their pitch. Slark is the owner of Slark Consulting Group and also a business coach with SBDC.

The event will also serve as a networking opportunity, where SBDC and GBG can build off each other’s audiences and help connect more people, Alexander says.

“This event probably sounds scary to most people, and your gut may tell you not to go to something like this, but the only way you grow is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and work your way through them,” Alexander says.

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.