Monthly SBDC roundtables provide business advice, interaction

July 13, 2013 at 2:13 a.m.

Some of the best business plans SCORE mentor Bruce Bassett-Powell has seen are written on the back of envelopes.

"It's just a matter of putting down a road map on what you intend to do, how you intend to get there and what tools you have to get there," he said.

Trying to make writing business plans less daunting is the next topic of a free monthly roundtable at the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center.

"Back of an Envelope Business Plan" will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the SBDC office, 3402 N. Ben Wilson St.

For the past few months, Bassett-Powell, a furniture industry executive, has moderated the monthly roundtables. A resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground.

In conjunction with the SBDC, Bassett-Powell assists with various workshops and provides personalized counseling to Victoria small business leaders. He has worked as a Corpus Christi chapter SCORE mentor since 2009.

Bassett-Powell said the roundtable format is designed to be informal and interactive. He encourages attendees to lend their perspectives to the discussion while he serves as the moderator to keep the conversation moving forward.

"I pick subjects that are near and dear to businesses in a growing city like Victoria," Bassett-Powell said. "We hit the gamut from how to do inventory control to improving customer service."

SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said the monthly roundtables have been a valuable addition to the training lineup.

"As for the next roundtable discussion, Bassett-Powell said he has witnessed how the difficulty in writing a business plan has stalled the goal of opening a new business. In the past, he's asked people interested in starting a business to attempt to write a business plan and return a month later with a draft. Many people don't show up.

"They think it's too daunting to write the plan," he said. "It shouldn't be. The theme of my talk on July 18 is how not to scare yourself out of writing a business plan."

To register for the free roundtable or learn more about future events, call 361-485-4485, email or visit



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