SmartStart Series Designed to Help Entrepreneurs Build Business From the Ground Up

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

For many individuals, owning a business is the “American dream.” Developing a business that withstands the test of time means developing a set of tools that help build a solid foundation. 

The Del Mar College (DMC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) eight-week SmartStartTM series can provide resources, support and motivation to put the next business owners’ dreams within reach. Participants will learn how to plan and analyze their vision by creating a thoroughly researched and tested business plan with all sessions led by experienced SBDC facilitators who will deliver a unique and powerful learning experience.

The SmartStartTM series begins Thursday, Jan. 19, and runs through March 9 with the eight sessions scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the College’s Center for Economic Development (3209 S. Staples). A mandatory orientation is scheduled Jan. 12 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Cost is $125, which includes all eight sessions, a boxed meal and workbooks. Payment is due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10.  Seminar fee assistance is available for qualifying businesses. To register online, visit or contact SBDC program coordinator Monica Benavides at 361-698-1021.

To access a detailed, printable two-page flyer, visit 

Note: Del Mar College will be closed for the Winter Break starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, and running through 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. 

StartSmart™ provides participants the tools to evaluate their concepts and develop plans to move forward, acquire a working knowledge of business fundamentals and build an infrastructure for business operations and processes. Upon completing the series, graduates will have an actionable business plan, access to financial and business resources and a network of entrepreneurial peers and professionals.

Participants will walk through very key stages often overlooked but necessary to build a successful business. Modules include:

Jan. 19 - Foundations for a Successful Business 

Jan. 26 - Marketing Analysis & Research 

Feb. 2 - Capturing the Market 

Feb. 9 - Efficient Operations 

Feb. 16 - Financial Foundations  

Feb. 23 - Financial Plan 

March 2 - Bringing it All Together 

March 9 - Implementing and Presenting the Plan 

Corporate support for this program is provided by the Port Corpus Christi, CITGO and Nueces County. 

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