Suzanne Moseley, a business advisor with the UT Tyler – Longview Small Business Development Center, has seen it all when it comes to the business world.
“I have experience in businesses both failing, and succeeding,” Moseley said. “I have learned from my mistakes, and I have learned from my success as well.”
Before working with the SBDC, which now has offices in Harrison, Gregg, Marion, Rusk, Panola and Upshur counties, Moseley was a business owner.
With a master degree in business, Moseley has spent all of her professional career growing businesses, and learning how they operate.
Growing up in the Marshall area, Moseley moved away for school, before coming back to the area when she was 20 years old.
She worked for 15 years in the oil and gas industry, and also spent a number of years working locally as a realtor.
Since October 2020 Moseley has been working with UT-Tyler – Longview in their Small Business Development Center in Marshall, offering free business advice and assistance to local small business owners.
With funding coming 1/3 from the Small Business Association, 1/3 from the state and 1/3 from UT Tyler, the SBDC was able to expand and open a larger office in Marshall, along with additional local offices in neighboring counties.
On Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Moseley works in the Marshall SBDC office, located at 110 South Bolivar, Suite 102, next to the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce office.
Throughout the rest of the week Moseley travels between the other local offices, but still keeps her email and phone lines open to anyone in need of assistance.
“We can help people using strategies they might not even know about,” Moseley said.
The center offers a wide range of free assistance to business owners, including assistance in obtaining a loan for your small business.
“We get a lot of our customers straight from lenders, and we help them put together a business plan,” Moseley said.
The SBDC offers assistance to businesses in all stages of growth as well, including those interested in getting a new business off the ground, assistance to businesses that are struggling, and growth of current thriving business endeavors.
“We have worked with a number of businesses who have been hurt hard by this pandemic, and maybe that’s because of a few specific things that we can fix, like marketing,” Moseley said. “Many of these businesses have been operating for years by word of mouth, and now everything has shifted to online shopping, and we can offer assistance on how to shift your marketing focus.”
The SBDC offers a marketing template which they work to personalize to each business to assist them with this change, and also offers assistance with putting together financial projections, a portion of a business plan vital to receiving any type of funding.
“Lenders really want to see that steady cash flow, so that they know that that business has enough money to pay their bills,” she said.
Additionally, they help businesses look at local demographics and numbers for particular fields for competitive market analyses, and assist with the creation of loan packages and securing government contracts as well as help with book keeping, and utilizing Quick Books.
Moseley said that the SBDC also offers assistance to those looking to navigate the CARES Act, which she said has funds available to help get businesses back on their feet.
“Some businesses are still hurting because of the pandemic,” Moseley said, “Salons, restaurants, anything that is tied to the school system, and we can offer help to all of them.”
The SBDC also hosts a number of webinars for community members, which are free to participate in. The next webinar will be hosted along side the Longview Chamber of Commerce, titled “The Retail Resiliency series” hosted by retail specialist Marc Wilson.
The series will begin March 3, at 9 a.m. and will continue once a week on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. until March 24. Community members interested in registering for the event can do so at https://longviewchamber.com/calendar/#id=21784&cid=317&wid=301.