Small businesses learn smart growth strategies

Small businesses learn smart growth strategies
The GrowSmart program provides entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to grow. (Dennis Washington, Alabama NewsCenter)

Entrepreneurs in Alabama are learning smart ways to grow their businesses thanks to a specialized training program called GrowSmart.

The program is provided by the Alabama Small Business Development Center, which collaborates with the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business and Alabama Power. The goal of the program is to provide entrepreneurs with tools and best practices to reach their business goals.

“Too often our small business owners are too focused on the day-to-day operations — they can see month to month or quarter to quarter, but they can’t see long term and are not planning for the future,” said Mike Brooks, associate director of the Alabama SBDC Network. “We take today to see what is going to make them successful tomorrow.”

GrowSmart helps small business with tools, knowledge from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

GrowSmart offers five, one-day sessions spread out over five weeks. The current session is underway at the Innovation Depot in Birmingham. Troy Ephriam, CEO of Ephriam and Associates Environmental Consulting LLC, said he signed up to get help scaling his business.

Participants of the Alabama SBDC’s GrowSmart program listen during one of the sessions at Innovation Depot in Birmingham. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

“When you’re trying to scale a company, you’re also fine-tuning your business model and your business plan,” Ephriam said. “This course couldn’t have come at a better time for us to help us strategically fine-tune where we are now as we scale the company’s business model.”

Caroline Bradford, president of Bradford Supply, Inc., said she loves how GrowSmart helps her focus on good opportunities.

“As an entrepreneur, we’re always hungry,” Bradford said. “Those resources through this class have really been provided to us, to take a holistic view of our company and assess our needs, competitors, the marketplace, and use those strategies and methods they are providing us to go back in with a different viewpoint on how we are going to continue to grow and realize how we are going to grow healthy.”

To learn more about the Alabama SBDC’s GrowSmart program, visit

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