ERIC Number: ED380555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Meeting the Needs of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses. A Guide for Service Providers. Business Assistance Note #1.
Bergman, Terri; Kaufmann, Barbara
Many small and midsized businesses seeking to change by purchasing new technology, restructuring their work processes, and/or upgrading their employees' skills require outside assistance from educational institutions (including community colleges, universities, and state literacy and training programs), nonprofit organizations, and private consulting firms. According to the employers, employees, and service providers who participated in a series of 18 focus groups across the country, businesses want the following from service providers: customer focus, customized program content and delivery, expertise, affordability, commitment, personal connection with the service provider, guaranteed outcomes, and comprehensiveness. When determining whether a service provider will meet their needs, businesses use informal networks, check references, look for credentials, and examine sample work. Service providers seeking to meet business needs must do the following: maintain contact with their customers (stay in touch with customer needs, be an information source to business, market themselves); build close provider-client relationships (clarify clients' expectations, "work the relationship," provide value at reasonable cost, reduce the paper burden, and develop the ability to meet multiple needs); and focus their services on bottom-line results (market results, align services with clients' strategic goals, focus on expected results, and base fees on performance). (MN)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Alliance of Business, Inc., Washington, DC.
Note: Produced by the National Workforce Assistance Collaborative.