KCSourceLink - 2010 Year in Review
Seven years ago, a partnership between the SBA, the Ewing Kauffman Foundation and UMKC was born and it was called KCSourceLink. Our mission is to help small business grow and prosper in the Kansas City region by providing business owners easy access to needed services.
This report provides an update of KCSourceLink statistics for 2010, and we think you’ll find them pretty impressive.
We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together —and we could not have done any of this without our valued Resource Partners.
Requests and Success
KCSourceLink provides referrals to clients in two ways.
1. In Person
Business owners connect with our Network Navigators in person.
In 2010, we worked with 842 new clients and received 279 requests from previous clients for a grand total of 1,121 requests. In total, we made 3,298 referrals to our Resource Partners.
Our clients’ top five requests were:
- Business Planning: 728
- Start Up Assistance: 633
- Licensing, Registration and Regulatory Compliance: 498
- Loans: 134
- Marketing/Sales: 119
2. Via the Web
Entrepreneurs need access to resources 24-7, so KCSourceLink developed The Resource Navigator®, a tool that provides a systematic way to identify and organize community resources into an easy-to-use online database. Each web user simply enters minimal demographic information, and a powerful search tool scans the database and delivers back a customized list of resources, sorted by distance from the entrepreneur.
In 2010, entrepreneurs completed 1,165 searches. Their top five searches were:
- Business Planning: 290
- Financial Resources: 214
- Marketing: 114
- Selling to the Government or Corporations: 64
- Legal Services: 61
Anyone can provide a referral. KCSourceLink strives to link to the right resource at the right time.
How do we do it? We make it our business to know which local nonprofits are serving small business and how they are doing it.
As a result, 30 days after speaking with one of KCSourceLink’s Network Navigators, 97% of our clients were satisfied with our services.
Here is what our clients achieved
How do we know?
We ask. KCSourceLink collects regular feedback from clients via online and paper surveys, using a specially designed client tracking system called Biz-Trakker.
Thirty days after a client contacts us, we survey them to verify their satisfaction with the services they received from both KCSourceLink and our partners. Also, we inquire about the clients’ additional needs.
Six months later, we survey again to learn more about the outcome of our interaction with the client including economic impact.
Bringing Them Together
Resource Partner Relations
One of the most important things we do at KCSourceLink is bring together 165+ organizations. In 2010, we did some heavy lifting. Check out what we accomplished.
Keeping Up To Date
We updated contact information for more than 165+ organizations. As you know, maintaining contact databases is time consuming. Take advantage of all the work we completed. Feel free to do one of the following;
- Update your records and website.
- Link to The Resource Navigator®! There is no need to maintain a “Resources” section on your website. Your organization can utilize KCSourceLink’s latest resource management technology for free. By embedding the KCSourceLink’s Resource Navigator® on your organizations’ “Resources” section, you can provide a link to your clients to our network of Resource Partners and you NEVER have to update contact information again!
Email email@example.com for more information about embedding the Resource Navigator into your website.
We simplified the organizational descriptions in the Resource Navigator® to help business owners connect with the right resource at the right time. If you would like to review your organization’s profile, log in to our website and click on the partners-only section of our website.
Building the Network
We welcomed 21 new organizations into our network over the last year.
Magic Happens When Partners Come Together
We hosted seven Resource Partner meetings at various locations in the Kansas City region. At these meetings partners networked and learned more about each other’s organization. We had great attendance at each of our meetings this year with 72 organizations represented at our meetings.
- Save the Date! We will be meeting on the following dates;
- January 26th 11:30-1:00
- March 23rd 8:00-9:30
- May 25th 11:30- 1:00
- July 27th 8:00-9:30
- September 28th 8:00-9:30
- November 16th 8:00-9:30
In 2010, we looked for new ways to engage with business owners throughout the Kansas City region.
We participated in planning GovFest for the third year. GovFest is an award winning Global E-Week program that links our Resource Partners directly to local small business owners in an expo format. We connected 56 Resource Partners to 483 aspiring and existing business owners.
We supported the Mid-Continent Public Library with their initiative to reach the small business community by teaching a class called “The Secret to Business Success Is at the Library” to 75 branch librarians.
Resource Partner Events
We participated in numerous Resource Partner events including business classes, Fast Trac classes, Chamber expos and luncheons. If you would like KCSourceLink to provide information to your clients about small business resources in 2011, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for new ways to connect.
Engaging with the Community
We looked for new ways to engage with the community. We helped the YWCA connect with Resource Partners that could support their Green Jobs Initiative. We also participated in a panel providing information to women interested in starting green businesses and presented at a local church regarding starting a business.
We have tweeted the latest small business news, tips and tricks. We connected Resource Partners and clients through our Facebook Fan Page and the KCSourceLink group on Linked In.
- Follow us on Twitter
- Become a fan of KCSourceLink on Facebook
- Join the discussion on Linked In or Link to us directly!
We streamlined our newsletter communication. Instead of communicating with our partners, the technology community and small businesses in three separate email newsletters, we have rolled them into one dynamic newsletter that has allowed us to select only the very best content, without filling up your inbox!
At KCSourceLink, we see ourselves as an extension of our Resource Partners’ marketing departments. In October, we began sending a biweekly summary of upcoming classes and events to our partners and clients. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Resource Partners are posting their events and business owners are responding!
Connecting business to the right resource at the right time, via the web
In the beginning, what we did was so different, explaining what we did was challenging. Our website started out as a “brochure” website that provided information about our goals and services with basic links to our partners. Seven years later, people know who we are and what we do, which has allowed us to present information and link to partners in new and innovative ways. Last year, we launched our redesigned website and received a great response from the business development community. What did we do? We developed partner-led content!
Reorganized the Website
We organized the website by business development stages, so business owners can find the assistance they need quickly and effectively. We included steps, tricks and tips to help business owners move forward at each stage of business.
In response to Resource Partners’ requests, we developed a “Get Funding” page with all the information a business owner needs to apply for a business loan including the suggested steps for applying for a loan, required documentation and types of available funding.
The response has been overwhelming!
In 2010, we had more than 13,000 visitors on our website. On average, visitors stayed on our website for almost six minutes!