This month: Debi Roder
Looking for that connection to help you advance your business, or just answer that pressing question? Start with Entrepreneurship Manager Debi Roder from the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development. We put Debi on the hot seat this month with these questions:
Most importantly, how can you help Loudoun's entrepreneurs?
"Entrepreneurs should know I'm here as their advocate. Whether they need high-level business information, help with business locations, or strategic introductions, they can contact me."
What's your background?
"I've helped entrepreneurs from several angles. At NASA's Washington, D.C. office I worked to help small businesses earn contracts at the Office of Small Business Programs. At the Loudoun Small Business Development Center, I counseled clients one-on-one on issues like business plans and licenses. Now I combine all that experience at Loudoun Economic Development."
What's your top advice for entrepreneurs?
"Check on zoning requirements before you sign a lease. Use a broker to assist you with site negotiation -- their services are often free for tenants. Above all make sure you do a basic business plan and break-even analysis before signing anything. The worst thing you can do is commit to a lease without understanding how much it will take to cover the rent."