SB Works offers affordable business services, co-working space and experienced consultants for local small businesses.

We work with clients directly, as subject matter experts or as general advisors. Our approach is based on a strong belief in partnerships and cooperation. We are invested in our clients and their communities.
And as a community, we see the need to:
  • Expand and Improve Services for Small Business
  • Give a Greater Voice to Small Businesses
  • Cultivate the Small Business Environment
We intend to remain ambitious in our relevancy, adjusting our services within the small business marketplace as it continues to evolve.
American society loves its small businesses. Their owners are fun, talented, and ready to be engaged in creating great things – but technology is moving fast, and running a business has become more difficult than ever imagined. Should owners quit? Hardly.
SB Works’ is here to encourage a fair opportunity for small businesses in an ever-changing world. Our mission is to lower economic barriers for local businesses by troubleshooting, advocating, and developing strong partnerships.

SB Works believes that small businesses are some of the most important contributors to American communities. Our goal is to protect and promote the character and contributions of the business owners. We believe that the character of the community is defined by the small business owner – as a contributing member of the community, even more than their products and services.

Our concern is that many local, state and federal programs no longer serve the economic, social and psychological demands of the small business owner. A new approach is needed – an approach that goes beyond profits and asks a different question:
As trusted advisors, how can we help individuals use theirbusinesses to live a rewarding life?
SB Works’ motivation is to understand each business owner’s desire to balance their personal and professional pursuits. It’s not just about profitability but what owners value within their lives. So, we identify what they value, measure their personal goals, and support their attitudes on accountability, autonomy and personal satisfaction. If you would like to join us in our efforts as an advisor, complete the form here and we’ll get in touch with you.

How We Can Help: Case Studies

Business Owner Needs Help with the Books

Situation: Tony is the Owner and Manager of a successful auto-repair shop. His bookkeeping has become too complicated and time-consuming for him to manage. Mistakes were made with tax filings and a deadlines was missed.

Challenge: Tony is acting as his own bookkeeper but does not have the expertise of an accountant nor the time to devote to managing the company’s finances. A full-time accountant is more than he needs and far too expensive. Tony’s personal life is suffering in order to keep the books current.

Action: SB Works meets with the owner to find out the exact concerns. After a preliminary assessment on business operations, they use their expert referral network and put him in contact with a professional small business accountant. The accountant sets up several consultation sessions with the business owner to review his current situation and his financial management/recording approach.

Results: The business owner is able to correct his tax mistakes with a minimum penalty. He also saves time and avoids the expense of employing a full-time accountant by adopting an efficient business accounting system, based on the expert input of a small business accounting professional.

Professional service Grows out of its Home

Situation: Lisa has a woman-owned business that specializes in filing bilingual tax returns. It has grown too large for her to manage on her own. She is encountering significant distractions by using a spare bedroom as her home office. She tries working from coffee shops, but needs space to make calls and meet with clients on occasion.

Challenge: As a professional service provider, Lisa needs a dedicated, focused, work area free from the distractions of home. It also needs to offer services and amenities not available at a coffee shop or public library. Since her work is seasonal, she probably doesn’t need a storefront location or year-round lease, but it’s probably time for her to commit to a flexible, independent office space.

Action: At SB Works, Lisa can rent space during the busy months of the tax season. She will have her dedicated working area with desk, filing cabinets and access to a conference room, copiers and kitchen. Most importantly, it provides a distraction-free environment with all the amenities of an office.

Results: Lisa is able to effectively and easily complete the goals of her business, serving customer needs in a more professional manner than was previously possible. The flexible lease length and affordable rental prices allow her company to conduct business without wasting money on rent and utilities.

Small Business wants to be "Preferred"

Situation: Manny is a local distributor of office equipment. He is a DC resident and hires locally whenever he can. He’s recently hired a few more Ward 5 residents just out of high school but has struggled to find more retail clients in order to keep their work schedule full. Manny’s Business Development Team thinks becoming a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) will provide opportunities to supply equipment directly to DC government agencies, but they are new to the process and a bit overwhelmed by the paperwork.

Challenges: Beyond getting the business registered and paying their taxes, Manny’s staff has little experience in retailing or in becoming a preferred vendor to government agencies. Given its complexity, the CBE certification process can be intimidating, and new enterprises are prone to mistakes.

Actions: The Business Development Team scheduled time to meet with SB Works Permitting & Compliance Specialist, one of our Advisors-in-Residence. These Advisors are available to meet with SB Works’ clients and develop a strategy—in this case, it’s a lengthy checklist of required items. So while the business owner is able to generate supporting documents and draft the online application, the team gets an experienced specialist to coach them through the process.

Results: The Advisor-in-Residence helped Manny and his team avoid potential mistakes and delays in the CBE certification process, allowing the business to gain quicker access to its expanded client pool and business possibilities. Through the experience and local knowledge of the Advisor, the business person is able to take immediate advantage of their new certification.

Career Transition Leads to a New Business

Situation: After 25 years with a government agency, Deborah is ready to leave her position and start a new career. She is cautious but confident about her retirement savings. Deborah is not ready to retire, but desires a flexible schedule where she is available to help her daughter raise children. She has public relations experience and enjoys the work, but is in new territory when it comes to being a consultant.

Challenges: Deborah knows what she wants and enjoys her profession but lacks the business skills that turn passion and commitment into personal and financial freedom.

Actions: SB Works offers a full range of services and resources that a new service provider like Deborah needs to make it in an ever-changing marketplace. SB Works is a central source of technical business assistance. Here, Deborah can receive guidance from our legal Advisor-in-Residence for help with incorporation and also get connected to a marketing consultant to develop innovative branding. If she qualifies, she might also be eligible for additional services at discounted rates.

Result: Deborah is able to get affordable, professional assistance within skill areas that are usually difficult to acquire. Now Deborah can focus on the more enjoyable and rewarding aspects of the business venture while helping raise her grandchildren.

Local Business person wants to Network

Situation: Scott makes furniture and does some upholstery work. He’s a traditional craftsman often working alone but he’d like to connect with fellow business owners and community members. He’s uncomfortable with the happy hour scene and business association meetings. He’s not a drinker or as outgoing as the sales, marketing and PR-types.

Challenges: Traditional networking options can be inappropriate due to personal or scheduling reasons, and these options represent a significant time investment with limited potential for payoff. Time is an extremely limited commodity for shop owners, and it needs to be spent wisely.

Actions: SB Works features events of with a variety of sizes, topics, and schedules. SB Works hosts large general meetings and smaller, specialized groups in a conference room environment. Events are social but focus on what it means to be a small business owner. SB Works will host community and professional meetings that provide great opportunities to network with people in other fields or communities. These networking events center on community business education or development programs, in a casual, relational environment where all types of businesses are welcome and content is reliably high quality.

Result: These events in a shared central space ensure that attendees find new connections and knowledge. We want it to be time well-spent, providing a productive, inclusive, atmosphere for community engagement.