Consulting Services

No-cost, confidential small business consulting.

NO-COST, CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTING SERVICES

The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center can provide consulting on every stage of business from starting a business to growth strategies for established businesses. With access to comprehensive research tools we can be your trusted business research partner so you can make data-backed decisions.

Duquesne University SBDC services cover a range of topics relevant to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Click on the links below to learn more.

Learn the basics of starting a business and successfully operating a business.

Get consulting services to assist with an expansion plan, identify funding sources, or marketing to help your business grow.

Prepare yourself on how to purchase a business or sell a business with guidance from our experienced consultants.

Learn how to start, manage, and grow your agriculture-based business with assistance from our Ag Business Specialists.

Learn how to protect your company’s assets from potential threats.

Consulting services to assist with developing a disaster plan and securing federal and state disaster loans.

Learn how to comply with environmental requirements and get assistance with permit applications.

Become a successful exporter and find new markets with assistance from our certified international trade consultants.

Learn how to effectively market your business and drive business growth.

Prepare for government procurement and contracting with assistance from our government marketing specialists.

Businesses that sell products or services can benefit from supply chain consulting which can impact revenue and overall profitability.

Explore product development and learn how to bring new technologies to market.

Request Consulting

Duquesne University SBDC services cover a range of topics relevant to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Click on the links below to learn more.

Learn the basics of starting a business and successfully operating a business.

Get consulting services to assist with an expansion plan, identify funding sources, or marketing to help your business grow.

Prepare yourself on how to purchase a business or sell a business with guidance from our experienced consultants.

Learn how to start, manage, and grow your agriculture-based business with assistance from our Ag Business Specialists.

Learn how to protect your company’s assets from potential threats.

Consulting services to assist with developing a disaster plan and securing federal and state disaster loans.

Learn how to comply with environmental requirements and get assistance with permit applications.

Become a successful exporter and find new markets with assistance from our certified international trade consultants.

Learn how to effectively market your business and drive business growth.

Prepare for government procurement and contracting with assistance from our government marketing specialists.

Businesses that sell products or services can benefit from supply chain consulting which can impact revenue and overall profitability.

Explore product development and learn how to bring new technologies to market.

Request Consulting

Business Financing to Start and Grow

The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) works with you to provide you with tools and resources to best finance your small business. We do not provide direct financing or small business loans, but we work with several lenders.

We have served more than 5,000 small businesses in our area, and we have helped our clients to get total funding of $165M.

At the Duquesne University SBDC, we know how to get the best funding option for you, which might be a commercial loan, a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, or a grant. Whether you need a business plan, financial projections, or a letter of intent, we can help you to get there! We have a network of SBA certified lenders, and we will help you find the best lender that fits your needs.

Apply for free consulting and start working with your consultant in two weeks.

First Step Workshops

You can attend one of our First Step workshops which cover topics such as the major components of the business plan, financial statements and projections, financing options, market analysis, taxation requirements, and insurance. You can attend First Step workshops in Pittsburgh, Beaver, Butler, or Lawrence County before you start working with our consultants.

Entrepreneurs with sufficient business backgrounds or who have taken our First Step workshops already can apply for free consulting and start working with our business advisors in two weeks!

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FAQs on Starting a Business

Corporate entities such as LLCs, S Corps, etc. require filing with the State Corporation Bureau and involve numerous documents and processes.

Have you spent any money to get the business started? Any money you have spent to establish the business prior to providing any services or serving any customers are considered startup costs and must be factored into cash flow projections.

It’s a document that establishes a plan for where your business will start and how it will grow over several years.

Cash flow projections determine the cash position of the business at any given time. In essence, the cash coming in as revenue each month and the related expenses each month. The ratio between these factors (revenue and expenses) determines the cash position of the business.

Yes, a business plan is critical for starting a business. It is especially useful for knowing the position of your business at any given time. If you plan to obtain a loan, a business plan and cash flow projections are a must.

FAQs on Buying a Business

Yes, you will need a business plan and three-year month-to-month cash flow projections to buy an existing business.

There are many documents that you should receive from the business you buy before you make the purchase. These include 3 years of business tax returns, three years of business financial documents (e.g. balance sheet, profit/loss, budgets), tax identification number (TIN), and more.

You should be able to supply 3 years of tax returns, 3 years of W-2s if you have been previously employed, a personal financial statement, a detailed credit report (no more than 4 months old), and more.

Yes, the terms and financing of your purchase are the key parts of your business acquisition, and there are many options for both. Optimizing these parts of the deal will be important for your business’s success.

FAQs on Business Financing

These adjust periodically, but currently, these range between 6 and 7.5 percent pending credit.

Typically a loan for purchasing a business is 10 to 15 years. Loans for equipment and working capital tend to be between five and ten years.

The SBA will guarantee a loan offered by the lender such that the lender does not have to assume full risk for it. Depending on the promise of the business, the robustness of the business plan, and the quality of the cash flow projections, the SBA can assume risk up to ninety percent of the loan. The advantage to the lender is that it then does not have to assume full risk. The SBA is NOT a bank or direct lender. Rather, it is a partial guarantor on the note.