A report out from our convening for small business service
providers on February 26, 2020
Reaching our Small Business Clients was the theme of the first Convening of Small Business Service Providers of Inland Southern California held February 26 in Rancho Cucamonga. The Microenterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California sponsored this event to bring together those agencies providing services and products for the small business owners in the region. The participants represented nonprofit and government agencies who work with new and growing businesses of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Their clients were varied. Some served low and moderate-income Latina business owners and some specialized in serving businesses earning under $1M annually. One new nonprofit helped those who were starting a “side hustle” to earn more money for their families.
The group discussed their different methods of reaching clients including working with partners to send out announcements, distributing flyers in public library programs, getting referrals from current clients, and using social media. The sheer size of the region is one of the major challenges to finding customers. We learned the importance of using the language of the client with social media. Cities that help businesses with regulations could try to be more of an assist to business, rather than focusing solely on regulation compliance.
Our customers can be the best source of word of mouth referrals. Success stories help other business owners get a sense of what is offered. Many stressed the importance of meeting the needs of the clients with the programs offered. Offering programs with childcare and program hours more amenable to the clients’ real-life is recommended.
The Microenterprise Collaborative introduced their new webtool for helping small business owners access the various resources available in the area. The Collaborative’s Program Manager, Tyra Wheeler-Zubia demonstrated the webtool that allows the business owner to indicate information such as the location, business need and business type in order to connect with the right resource. The webtool, the Inland SoCal SourceLink can be accessed through the Microenterprise Collaborative’s website at Microbizinsocal.org.
The participants agreed to meet again, and another convening is tentatively scheduled for July 8.
For more information about the Inland SoCal SourceLink or joining the network of small business service providers operating in the region, fill out the contact form to the right and Tyra will get back to you.