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Meet Sharon Murff: Helping Indiana Small Business Owners Find Free Counseling and Make Smart Decisions

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Meet Sharon Murff: Helping Indiana Small Business Owners Find Free Counseling and Make Smart Decisions

By NOsburn
Published: August 15, 2011 Updated: August 17, 2011

 

When a friend or family member asks what you do to help small businesses, what do you say?

When asked what I do to help small business, I tell people that I assist small businesses in making informed decisions whether they are a startup or an existing business.  When it comes to accessing capital, I get small businesses to look at how important it is to know your business plan and to keep updating it – not put it in a file cabinet or drawer somewhere.

What’s your favorite thing about what the SBA does for small businesses?

I am excited about the resource partners that I can direct small businesses to.  During any given day, I receive multiple calls and talk to people that are in need of different types of assistance. When I can direct them to someone that can help them free of charge or for a small fee, I feel good.  When I tell people that they can get help preparing their business plan for free from many different resources it makes me feel glad to know that I have helped direct someone to a great people as well as saved them some money that they can now use for something else.

Is there a particular small business “success story” that comes to mind when you think about how the SBA helps people?

I am a very caring person by nature so this Success Story really touched me.  Mahan Technical Design, a ballistic armor company, had a very interesting beginning.  The owner (Benjamin) was serving in Iraq and realized that facial shields would help cut down on injuries from ground shrapnel and prevent injury.  So he began the quest to find a company that made them.  Well, the quest turned up empty so Benjamin started designing them on his own.  Today I can say that the facial shield is being used by SWAT Teams, police departments and is approved for government military use through GSA.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners out there?

Make sure you do your research and understand that going into business takes hard work and dedication.

Anything else to add?

Here is just a thought: As a small business owner, don’t be pressured into hiring friends and family.  Think about how their skills fit into your business plan and try to make an objective decision.   

Meet the SBA is a series of features of SBA employees – both in Washington, D.C., and around the U.S. – who work every day to help small businesses grow and create jobs.  Employees were nominated by their colleagues to be recognized during Public Service Recognition Week 2011.

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