Meet Tim Jeffcoat: Helping Oklahoma's Small Businesses get Capital, Counseling and Contracts
by NOsburn, Former Moderator
- Created: July 18, 2011, 9:20 am
- Updated: July 19, 2011, 11:00 am
When a friend or family member asks what you do to help small businesses, what do you say?
I tell them that we enable small businesses success, whether that business is a start-up or an existing business. When they say “How?”, I tell them about our three Cs – Capital, Counseling and Contracting. As a Deputy District Director [for the SBA in Oklahoma], I am exposed to a broad range of SBA activities, so I actually get this question pretty often. I never tire of talking about business – especially sales and marketing – and the three Cs.
What’s your favorite thing about what the SBA does for small businesses?
Everything we do is valuable! Even so, my favorite is the 8(a) program. This area can have a profound impact on a small business. In my short time – 16 months–with the SBA, I have seen firms with just a handful of employees and meager revenues win major government contracts. They then hired 50-plus people, began growing revenues to healthy levels, and enabled them to contribute to their local economies.
Is there a particular small business “success story” that comes to mind when you think about how the SBA helps people?
The question should be “how many” stories come to mind! In the Oklahoma district there are many great stories that range from financing a global sesame-seed producer to working with the company that sells the second-most-collected T-shirt in the world – Eskimo Joe’s. My favorite is the small company that truly finds a profitable and interesting niche, such as Komex, a small 8(a) that uses only “Green” products in their janitorial firm. This approach earned them a reputation for really caring about the service they provide.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners out there?
Focus is the key. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, be the absolute best to a targeted segment. Delight them and anticipate their needs so well that you surprise them with your level of understanding. Deliver the quality they seek and never give them a reason to ask you to improve.
Anything else to add?
Whether a business is existing or start-up; prospering or struggling; they can always benefit from counseling. Sometimes, the best counseling is ongoing counseling given as the company faces challenges over time. So my recommendation is to assemble a Board of Advisors or Mentors, composedof subject experts that will “tell them like it is.” The input they get from experienced mentors will be invaluable.
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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The Official Blog of the U.S. Small Business Administration with news and views from top SBA officials