New tool to help small business

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Some small businesses are about to get some much needed help. Next week a "business boot camp" will begin, focusing on the smaller companies already here and ready to grow.

Sean Peters, Owner, Tech Squared, said, "It's been a very very quick education."

But there's still a lot to learn for Sean Peters. He opened up Tech Squared about 15 years ago. They help other businesses with their technology. His goal is to get his small business bigger.

"You're either growing or you're dying and I prefer to not be dying,” said Peters.

Christopher Borba, Principal, Emissary Investigative Services, said, "I don't have any background in business, so it's been the most challenging part."

Borba is a trained investigator with Emissary Investigative Services, but a newcomer to the business world.

"So there's a lot more that goes into running a business than I thought,” said Borba.

That's where Bart Smith with the Roanoke regional small business development center comes in.

Bart Smith, Director, Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center, said, "How am I going to find the right people? How am I going to expand? How am I going to find that next client?"

He says after a few years, many businesses can hit a roadblock when they're trying to expand.

"You can't juggle all the balls that you were juggling your first couple years,” he said.

The GrowthWheel program will be a boot camp of sorts. It will help businesses like Peters find their weaknesses and focus on how to grow.

"The Growth Wheel program for me is helping me fill in those steps to help me get where I want to be three years from now,” he said.

Roanoke's economic development authority came up with the idea and is reimbursing city businesses who take the class.

Classes start May 17 and run for five months. There are 10 sessions happening every other Tuesday. It’s a $200 cost for the classes. The website for signing up can be found to the right under “Related Links.”