Small Business
Development Center

We are an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University that has been serving Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1983. Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to provide start-up and small businesses with professional knowledge and assistance. Our mission is to help small businesses grow and succeed.

AMBLER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A new center opening up at the Temple University Ambler campus is looking to provide business training for new companies, and it’s free for veterans.

It’s called the Outreach Center, and it is an incubator for new businesses created by veterans.

Maura Shenker, director of the Small Business Development Center, says one of the problems for veterans is a lack of a good credit history.

“A lot of ways that civilians build credit: buying a car, buying a house, paying their cable bill on time, paying power companies on time, you know building a credit history, people in the military just don’t have those opportunities,” she said.

Shenker says the center will give trainees not only office space, including computers, printers and Wi-Fi, but also alternatives to traditional bank loans.

“Such as CDFI’s, and that stands for Community Development Financial Institutions,” she said. “They’re basically nonprofit banks that can do what’s called a character loan, meaning instead of just looking at your credit score, they look at your whole personal history.”

Applications will be accepted from now through the end of May.

Originally posted by Kim Glovas for KYW: View Original Post

On April 25, small business owners, real estate professionals, city officials, and members of the community convened for the “Building Communities: 2019 Construction Mixer.” This joint event between Temple Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and The Enterprise Center (TEC) celebrated 31 years of the SBDC Construction Management Certificate, a 9 month program, and three years of TEC’s Construction Consortium.

The crowd of over 100 attendees heard from TEC’s Della Clark, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Harold Epps from the Commerce Department. Sponsors of the event included The How Group, Montage Diversity, Ideal Electrical Supply and leading sponsor Target Building Construction. Guests enjoyed bites from local business, Affinity Confections, while making new connections.

TEC and the SBDC encourage all attendees to continue to keep in touch with our programs.

Originally posted by Temple News
On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us.

She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the outreach arm of the university’s Fox School of Business, she established herself as a successful business owner.

“I started with an investment of $1,500 of my own money,” said Benjamin, who grew up in North Philadelphia near 12th Street and Lehigh Avenue. “I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to just start a business, I wanted to build a company.”

This year, a little more than a decade after establishing herself as an entrepreneur, Benjamin’s company, TWB Cleaning Contractors, anticipates turning nearly a six-figure profit.

Through consulting, training and access to affordable workspace, the SBDC has helped entrepreneurs like Benjamin successfully grow their businesses since 1983. The center also offers an incubator program that provides coworking, cubicle space and an opportunity to network with other business owners.

“Trina is an ideal incubator tenant. She first took our 10-week business planning class and entered the incubator as she prepared to grow,” said Jamie Shanker-Passero, associate director of the SBDC and manager of the incubator. “She is ambitious but understands that growth must happen strategically.”
While working within the incubator program, Benjamin went from working as a subcontractor to negotiating her own large cleaning contracts.

Her first steps toward entrepreneurship began in 2008 when she started a cleaning business with a childhood friend. Initially, she went into business in order to supplement her income. It wasn’t until the company started to grow significantly in its fourth year that she considered going solely into business for income.

“We got to the point where we could hire employees. That’s when I realized how lucrative this could be if we could put in 100 percent of our time,” she said. “I had a larger vision. I knew that if we could put all of our focus on the business, I knew we’d be successful.”

Her partner didn’t agree. Giving up a day job in order to take on entrepreneurship full time was too much of a risk. So in 2013, after working together for nearly six years, Benjamin severed her relationship with her business partner and set out to become her own boss, full-time.

Nearly a year later, she came across information on Temple’s SBDC through an internet job search.

“I am a witness to women entrepreneurs making great strides,” said Benjamin. “We’re here to stay, and we’re determined and persistent.”

According to a 2017 report released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, becoming a business owner may represent the most viable career alternative for some ethnic groups. Twenty percent of Africans and African Americans are starting or running new businesses, higher than the national rate and up from 15.5 percent in 2016, the report states.

Although men still make up the majority of business owners, women entrepreneurs are significant contributors to the U.S. economy, said Ellen Weber, executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at the Fox School of Business.

“When women start businesses, they provide income for their families and employment for their communities,” said Weber. “They also create products and services that deliver value to the world around them. Women entrepreneurs start businesses to create economic and social value.”

This is true for Benjamin’s business. Each summer, TWB Cleaning Contractors sponsors young Philadelphians enrolled in the Youthworks, a summer job program sponsored by the City of Philadelphia. Over the summer, five school-aged students spend six weeks working for her company.

“Having come from a public health background, I’ve seen firsthand what people will resort to in order to feed their families,” said Benjamin. “One of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner is being able to offer employment opportunities to people in my community who are underemployed or unemployed.”

Temple SBDC Celebrates SBDC Week

April 2, 2019 //

March 20th is National SBDC Day. The 1,000 SBDCs across the county took the day as a way to highlight the important assistance that SBDCs provide to small businesses. Businesses who work with SBDCs see 4x sales growth compared to the National Average.

The Temple SBDC celebrated with a week’s worth of programming.

On 3/18, a Supplier Diversity Fair took place at Temple Center City, bringing in a dozen resource partners and procurement opportunity providers like the Philadelphia School District and SEPTA. Attendees were able to connect directly to the procuring units and ask questions about bidding on opportunities.

On 3/22 the SBDC Incubator hosted a Lunch & Learn on insurance best practices for small businesses. John Blystone, of The Blystone Company, advised incubator tenants about the niche insurance needs for their specific industries.

The main events took place on 3/20. In the morning, Mayor Kenney and 100 members of the community convened at Morgan Hall. The Temple SBDC received a proclamation from the Mayor acknowledging March 20th as National SBDC Day in Philadelphia. Iola Harper and Councilman Al Taubenburger were honored for their work in improving the small business landscape in Philadelphia.

That afternoon, the sun was shining as the ribbon was officially cut at the new Ambler outpost of the Temple SBDC. Temple Ambler Staff and Montgomery County commissioners Val Arkoohs, Joe Gale, and Ken Lawrence Jr. welcomed the SBDC with open arms. Clients are now able to use the space for one on one consulting and business programs and events will be scheduled soon.

The Temple SBDC is grateful for all the support it received and looks forward to continuing providing valuable services to the business of Philadelphia, lower Montgomery, and lower Bucks counties.


Originally posted by Temple News

Every business, large and small, has to start from the ground up—a novel approach, a new idea, a niche left unfulfilled.

Temple University is giving entrepreneurs—military veterans in particular—a new place and an essential partner to help their business concepts become reality. On March 20 at 3 p.m., Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will cut the ribbon on a new office located in the Ambler Campus Library Building.

“We want to be able to conveniently provide our services to individuals in Montgomery and Bucks counties. We also have an opportunity to focus on other business industries, such as manufacturing,” said Small Business Development Center Director Maura Shenker. “We have the opportunity to offer our non-credit programs at the Ambler Campus, to host business symposia in the Learning Center auditorium, and try new ideas such as a veterans’ cohort of our business incubator.”

The SBDC, an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management, has been working to help fledgling businesses bridge the gap between concepts and customers since 1983.

“Our mission is to support entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing the knowledge they need to make smart decisions and achieve prosperity,” Shenker said. “Our consultants work with entrepreneurs in one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan and investigating funding opportunities.”

In addition to the wealth of consultancy services the SBDC provides, the Temple Ambler office will offer a business incubator specifically designed for military veteran business owners that will serve eight to 12 businesses.

“We will be working with veterans to take them through the entire business development process, from pre-venture to starting a business to building revenue,” Shenker said. “It is about a nine-month process that we will begin in May.”

The incubator, Shenker said, provides start-up businesses that don’t yet have a home of their own with shared office services.

“It provides them with ready access to computers, phones, space to meet clients while also giving them easy access to consultants and SBDC services,” she said. “It gives them a place where they can really get their business going without feeling like they have to go it alone.”

Shenker said the SBDC has been working closely with Dennis Miller, executive principal of Wheel Dog Industries, a public policy consulting firm specializing in veteran and military affairs, to develop the veterans’ cohort. Miller, a United States Marine Corps veteran, will be among the speakers at the March 20 grand opening in addition to the Montgomery County Commissioners. The SBDC is also coordinating their efforts with Temple’s Military and Veterans Service Center.

“The Small Business Development Center is a perfect partnership for the Ambler Campus and the surrounding community,” said Vicki Lewis McGarvey, vice provost for University College and interim director of Temple University Ambler. “Having a business incubator on a college campus where military veteran entrepreneurs can access an incredible wealth of resources simply makes sense. We’re very excited to partner with the Small Business Development Center to provide specialized support for start-ups in the region.”

Shenker said the Ambler Campus provides the SBDC room to grow.

“We’ll be hosting meetings every month on campus with groups designed to support local businesses, such as the Small Business Administration and the Montgomery County Commerce Department,” she said. “We’re also hoping to host a manufacturing CEO roundtable.”

The SBDC is additionally planning to offer a 10-week “entrepreneurial success” non-credit program at Temple Ambler in spring 2019.

“SBDC offers a variety of educational events and programs. The entrepreneurial success program focuses on getting a business up and running, soup to nuts,” Shenker said. “Toward the end, we bring in funders to meet with our participants to give them a chance to make crucial connections.”

Click here for the application for the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Program.

On February 19th, Temple’s SBDC hosted another successful Temple Business Roundtable (TBR) at the new IEI building on Temple Main Campus. Four expert panelists were brought together to discuss government procurement, focusing n “the why” and “the how”. Each panelist provided the up-and-coming entrepreneur attendees with insight and helpful tips regarding government procurement and general business success.

Panelist Nathan McCann, Vice President of Community Lending for Community First Fund, brought his twenty years of experience to the panel. During the discussion, Mr. McCann mentioned the importance of having equity; “without [equity], banks are less likely to provide funding towards your business idea.”

Victoria Hosendorf, Vice President at The Enterprise Center and Director at the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, offered her best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, “Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ because that is how you are going to grow.” For all entrepreneurs, she also suggested self-reflection as a key to growing your business.

Panelist Mark Jackson, the Director of Milligan & Company’s Tax and Small Business Client Services emphasized the importance of consulting with a professional and developing a business plan because “when your numbers are in order, it is so much easier to focus on your business.” He imparted insight on being cautious and precise when it comes to business taxes and tax liability.

Panelist Nick Esposito, a DBE Specialist at SEPTA, added valuable insight on the free certification process that SEPTA offers. The organization has been able to make major cuts to the processing time in order to better support local businesses.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs were present at the event and stayed after the conclusion of the discussion to network with other event attendees, staff from Temple’s SBDC, and the esteemed panelists. We look forward to next month’s TBR.

Senior Business Consultant, Karl Kraus, has been with the Temple Small Business Development Center since 2005. Karl holds an MBA in International Business and a B.S. in Chemistry.  He is Past President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Product Development and Management Association and is a member of the

Technical Advisory Committee at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Karl is a Managing Partner of Material Growth Partners, LLC, a firm focused on working with both new product

developers and the investment community in commercializing new technologies.

Throughout Karl’s time at the Temple SBDC, he has advised numerous successful business start-ups and provided insightful one-on-one business consulting and advice for many entrepreneurs seeking help with their business endeavors. He has had a great deal of experience working in multiple industries such as pharmaceuticals, air pollution control, textiles, and industrial equipment.

Below, Karl discusses his experience as a consultant as well as provides meaningful advice for individuals interested in learning or expanding their skills as an entrepreneur.

What areas do you specialize in?

I specialize in business strategy, marketing strategy, technology commercialization, manufacturing, and science & technology. I work with companies specializing in areas of manufacturing technology commercialization and bringing new technologies to market.

What is your favorite aspect of working as a consultant?

My favorite aspect of working as a consultant is learning about unique business ideas and all the different markets as well as the satisfaction about helping clients and enjoying the clients’ success.

What did you study in college? Do I need a college degree to start my business?

I obtained a MBA in International Business and received a B.S. in Chemistry.

And, No – just ask Bill Gates, Rachel Ray, Russell Simmons, or Michael Dell. There are examples of successful entrepreneurs as young as 14 years old.  Formal education and age have never been a barrier to starting a business.

Were there any obstacles you had to overcome when you entered the consulting/entrepreneurial world?

Yes – When I started Material Growth Partners, I had to figure everything out on my own. I didn’t know that the SBDC even existed! I had to build my professional network of people in order to get the word out and establish the company in the region.

What do you think are the biggest challenges in starting a business?

Realizing how much time is required to start-up and run a business, and financial issues such as a variability in week-to-week/month-to-month income and having enough funding not only to start the business but to support the growth of the business.

What are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting a business?

Some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs making when starting their business is insufficient planning, not vetting their business concept and revenue model with an experienced entrepreneur or advisor, and not dedicating their full efforts to their business.

What was the unique business idea you have worked on?

The most unique business I have worked with created a collapsible bike helmet to encourage bicycle commuters to protect themselves: Kova Helmet Website.  Not only was this entrepreneur mission-driven to promote safety, but she also had to learn how to develop and fund a new-to-the-world product and utilize her network to get the assistance she needed to make her vision a reality.

Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

  1. Know what you are selling

  2. Know who you are targeting as customers

  3. Understand why they would buy what you’re selling rather than other solutions for their problem/need

  4. Determine how you will make money selling it

  5. In everything, double the amount of time you think it will take


Thanks to Karl for speaking with us and offering his guidance to the businesses who come to the SBDC. If you would like to set up a (free!) appointment with Karl or one of our other business consultants, please sign up here.

Maureen O’Halloran Herczeg will return to the Temple Small Business Development Center in October 2018 as the SBDC’s Financial Analyst. She previously served the Center’s clients as Government Procurement Specialist from 2000-2004.

In her role as Government Procurement Specialist, Maureen assisted small business owners from across many different industries with pursuing government contracts and subcontracts at the federal, state, and local levels by providing individual consulting, market research, and training. Additionally, she advised clients on the Small Disadvantaged/Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise and HUBZone certification processes. As Financial Analyst, Ms. Herczeg will work closely with the Fox School of Business to manage the Center’s budgets. She will also return to her position as Government Procurement consultant.

Maureen comes to the SBDC from the Controller’s Office at Arcadia University, and previously the Business Office at the School District of Springfield Township, where she managed both organizations’ Accounts Payable departments.

Prior to working at Arcadia University and the School District of Springfield Township, Maureen spent a number of years working in small businesses, most notably as a Research Analyst at a boutique federal market consulting firm and the Business Office Manager and Marketing Coordinator for a small, family focused legal firm.

Maureen holds a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from the
Temple University Fox School of Business.

Calling all entrepreneurs and small business start-ups…

Every entrepreneur has questions. You need answers! We’re here to help.
Temple’s Small Business Development Center is hosting Temple Business Roundtables, a series of monthly business round table discussions. Our series kicks off on October 23rd at Temple University Center City. Registration is FREE
TBR will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with everything needed to make an informed decision about starting and running a small business.
Panelists will answer questions about all aspects of beginning and running a small business. We’ll have experts with the knowledge you need about legal, financial, marketing, HR, management, and funding resources.
Register for our October event here
Can’t join us in October? We’ll be hosting another TBR event on November 14 at Temple Ambler. More details and registration here

Welcome Jamie Shanker to TU SBDC

October 8, 2018 //

Temple University Small Business Development Center is excited to welcome Jamie Shanker as our new Associate Director of SBDC Business Development, starting today, Monday October 8, 2018.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Jamie managed a Women’s Business Center in Camden, New Jersey. In this position, she managed programs, grant reporting, marketing, and the coordination of small business services. She led over 50 trainings and 600 hours of one on one business counseling. Jamie understands the challenges of small business ownership as the owner/operator of a local food tour company.

Jamie has also worked with small businesses as the Development Director of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association and as the Commercial Corridor Revitalization and Business Association Manager for Mt. Airy USA Community Development Corporation.

She is a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law where she focused on nonprofit law and she received a B.A. in Social Justice from Franklin and Marshall College.
Although originally from Queens, NY, Philadelphia has been home since 2009. Jamie lives in Graduate Hospital with her soon to be husband, Rick. She loves riding her bike and exploring the diverse food of Philadelphia.

Last week I had the thrill of co-presenting with colleagues from Scranton SBDC and Bucknell SBDC at the national America’s SBDC conference in Washington DC. We spoke about the challenges of supporting entrepreneurs at different stages of business growth. Why do some consultants ‘click’ with certain clients and not with others? And how do these relationships affect the quality of the services we provide?

We think that understanding who we are as people – first knowing our own personalities and quirks – allow us to best serve our different clients. We kicked off the session with a pop quiz “What Color is Your Personality?” – a quick self-assessment of your leadership style, broken down into four categories. Each category color examines how you view yourself and how others may view you. As an added bonus, we then made suggestions for ways to consult with clients who exhibit these traits.

What Color is Your Personality?

If you are an ORANGE, you may see yourself as:

• Fun loving, enjoys life
• Spontaneous
• Flexible, adaptable
• Carefree
• Proficient, capable
• Hands-­‐on person/Physical
• Independent
• Good nego6ator
• Able to do many things at once
• Curious, likes variety and change
• Sees shades of grades
• “Here and Now” attitude
• Witty, funny

Other people may see ORANGE as:

• Irresponsible
• Flaky
• Unorganized
• Scattered
• Cluttered
• Invading others space
• Disobeys rules
• Manipulative
• Unable to stay on task
• Uncontrollable
• Can’t be trusted
• Selfish or unsympathetic
• Wishy-­‐washy

Tips for consulting with ORANGE clients:

• Go back to the basics
• Keep asking what their product is
• Ask them questions, then stop talking and listen; clarifying questions are helpful
• Give it to them straight
• Focus on action
• Talk about results
• Keep the conversation lively

If you are GREEN, you may see yourself as:

• Superior intellect
• 98% right
• Tough-­‐minded
• Powerful
• Visionary
• Original, unique
• Eminently reasonable
• Rational
• Calm
• Under-­‐control
• Precise, objective
• Holding firm to policy
• Seeking Justice
• Firm-­‐minded

Other people may see GREEN as:

• Intellectual snob
• Arrogant
• Heartless
• Doesn’t care about others
• Ruthless
• Unrealistic
• Eccentric, weird!
• Emotionally controlled
• Cool, aloof, unfeeling
• Afraid to open up
• Critical and fault finding
• Lacking Compassion
• Stingy with praise
• Inconsiderate of others

Tips for consulting with GREEN clients:

• Use clear & precise language
• Use logic in support of your recommendations
• Be prepared with your facts and examples
• Give options
• Keep the conversation relevant
• Ask meaningful questions
• Ask what they think first and then how they feel

If you are GOLD, you may see yourself as:

• Stable
• Providing security
• Dependable
• Firm
• Efficient
• Realistic
• Decisive
• Executive-­‐type
• Orderly and neat
• Organized
• Punctual
• Goal-­‐oriented

Other people may see GOLD as:

• Rigid
• Controlling
• Boring
• Stubborn
• System-­‐bound
• Unsympathetic
• Judgmental
• Bossy
• Fussy, limited flexibility
• Uptight
• Predictable
• Rigid idea of time

Tips for consulting with GOLD clients:

• Get to the point quickly – be efficient, organized, and don’t waste their time
• Give clear, precise statements, with complete thoughts
• Offer information in a sequential fashion
• Follow an agenda
• Don’t get sidetracked
• Be definitive and decisive; unresolved issues are not acceptable

If you are BLUE, you may see yourself as:

• Warm
• Caring, Compassionate
• Romantic
• Spiritual
• Cause-­‐oriented
• Unselfish, caretaker
• Empathetic, people-­person
• Affirming and accepting
• Kind and considerate
• Sympathetic
• Desiring harmony, unity

Other people may see BLUE as:

• Overly-­‐emotional
• “Bleeding heart”
• Mushy, immature
• Other-­‐worldly, weird
• Unrealistic
• Smothering
• Too trusting
• Hopefully naïve
• Easy to manipulate
• Soft, fawning, groveling
• Out of touch with reality

Tips for consulting with BLUE clients:

• Relate what you are saying to feelings
• Avoid open criticism
• Use stories, metaphors, analogies to communicate your message
• Put people’s needs ahead of procedures
• Be honest and genuine
• Appreciate their passion
• Share the vision of what is possible – engage their imagination

Many thanks to Lisa Hall Zielinski (lisa.hall@scranton.edu) for this information!

Thanks for Joining Us!

July 31, 2018 //

To everyone who came out on Saturday to learn more about our Construction Management Certificate Series…Thank You!

We’re excited to enter the 31st year of this amazing program! The Construction Management Certificate Series is a 9-month series of classes designed to provide business management tools to existing and aspiring independent contractors. Did you know that participants who complete the series will earn a Special Certificate of Completion from the Temple University Fox School of Business and the Small Business Development Center?

There’s still time to register! Classes begin Saturday, August 18th at 9am.

If you have questions about the program and subjects covered, please email Bettina at sbtrain@temple.edu or call 215.204.7282.

**NEW** This year, graduates will receive a digital “badge” to post on their LinkedIn profile, website, or online resume. The badge shows the world all that you’ve learned!

Register now

Learn more about the Temple University Small Business Development Center

Speak to a Business Consultant FREE

The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC) explains that “neighborhood commercial corridors are the economic veins of our City.  They provide jobs and offer residents local access to needed goods and services.  When safe, clean and vibrant, they attract new residents to the surrounding residential area, which can lead to revitalization of the entire neighborhood.  In fact, research shows that commercial corridors that are in “good” or “excellent” condition increase home values by 36% within ¼ mile, but poor condition corridors decrease surrounding home values.”

“These corridors are an essential part of the fabric of Philadelphia…,” Mayor James Kenney said in announcing a community improvement program. “As the neighborhood business corridor goes, so goes the neighborhood…When the neighborhood business corridor is strong, it’s safer, there are more people working, there’s more of a community feel in the neighborhood.”

“Commercial corridors are the modern Main Streets of their communities – they represent growth of both economic and social capital,” said Maura Shenker, director of Temple University’s Small Business Development Center. “Collaboration is key.” In Mount Airy, Power Up graduates become leaders, taking on important roles in local business organizations.

Read more here…

 

Transportation is a growth industry in Philadelphia. According to a May 2018 report, Trade, transportation, and utilities added 8,000 jobs in the local area. If you’re a fledgling contractor or a novice in the construction business, the Construction management Certificate at Temple University can get you on the fast track to success.

We have a limited number of scholarships available!

Thanks to a partnership with Cheyney University, we have five (5) $1500 scholarships available to construction/contractor  businesses that are certified DBE, MBE, WBE, and/or VBE.
Want to learn more? Register here for a free information session on Saturday July 28th at 10am.

From concrete pavers to landscapers, from heavy highway builders to drywallers – almost any type of construction business could qualify; what’s most important is your commitment and potential to succeed.

Recipients will be selected based on their interest in entry into the transportation arena and on a first come/first served basis, provided they are eligible, registered for the course and have made the first payment.
We offer a 10% discount to all Military Veterans
Calling all Owlpreneurs! Discounts are also available to Temple Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff.
Please email sbtrain@temple.edu or call 215.204.3856 for more information about scholarship opportunities or to register with payment by check or money order.

Construction management combines two of the most important industries in Philadelphia – building and business. According to Pennsylvania and U.S. government statistics, Construction Managers are one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing careers.

Construction managers oversee the overall construction project. They act as an interface between the owners or architects and the construction workers. They take responsibility for the day-to-day work and report back on progress, costs, and issues. So if you’re a problem-solver able to prioritize and delegate tasks while effectively communicating with your team – you may have what it takes!

Our Construction Management Certificate (CMC) is an intensive 9-month program designed for existing and aspiring independent contractors who want to succeed in this $1 trillion industry. You get the tools you need to meet tighter project delivery times while learning to navigate the complex environment of regulatory and economic challenges. Temple University Small Business Development Center (TU SBDC) teaches you the specialized project management techniques you need to manage the planning, design, and construction of a project, from beginning (pre-design) to end (closeout). After completing the program you’ll be able to control a project’s time, cost, safety record, and quality – for all types of projects.

If you’re ready to learn more about the CMC, please join us on Saturday July 28th at 10am for coffee and conversation with our expert instructors.

You can register here for this free information session.

An added bonus – just for fun!

Here are the Eight Traits of a Great Construction Manager:

Although construction projects are always a team effort, construction managers take the lead. As such, the difference between weak and strong leadership can play a huge role in the final results of a whole group’s efforts.

1. Enthusiasm

Sometimes, people are so hard at work that they forget the purpose of what they’re doing; they begin to see the individual steps as the whole job, rather than considering what the finished product will be.

An awareness of what a construction project is ultimately meant to be—the why this thing is being built? factor—is key to what makes a great manager. Their enthusiasm to see the project through to its ultimate purpose will motivate the entire team to respect the significance of what they do, and work harder to do it the best they can.

2. Organization/Priorities

Construction projects almost always go through changes, whether it’s shifting deadlines, a bump (up or down) in budget, or a change in the availability of resources.

That means, as a construction manager, you will absolutely need to write and rewrite the plan, likely several times over. Being able to prioritize what needs to be done soonest, and always staying on top of what you have at your disposal (in terms of minutes, money, and materials) are pivotal to success.

3. Knowing Your Workers’ Skills

As a construction manager, you’ll be looking after a (fairly sizable) team. You should be aware of who excels at what, and give the right job to the right person.

Everyone in your team will have skills and experience, and of course the hope is that they’ll be able to adapt these skills to various problems, but that doesn’t negate the fact that individual workers will shine brightest in certain areas, and therefore be best utilized in certain tasks.

4. Team Player

Construction managers are responsible for bringing everyone together and keeping morale high. Directly related to these characteristics, a construction manager should be friendly and approachable.

Why?

Because when workers are happy with their management, it fosters better work habits, and it also opens communication for feedback, which lets the manager improve even further (and make sure everybody is on the same page)!

5. Communication Skills

Communication skills are central to good management of any kind. There’s simply not much as important as a construction manager’s ability to delegate tasks; furthermore, good communication might mean being able to look at the total scope of the construction project, and break it down realistically into small, doable tasks given to each member of your team.

On a simpler level, making sure no detail gets ignored or forgotten about and that everybody has gotten the memos that apply to them are essential parts of managing a team.

6. Optimism

Being down is no good. When you’re leading a team, you need to be optimistic and confident that the project will be successful, believe that every one’s role is important and every worker is valuable, and that level-headed problem-solving will always get you through the day (more on this in #8). 

7. Calmness under Pressure

Related to #6, calmness under pressure means understanding that a construction project will force you to face particular challenges, and there is always a way to figure out a solution if cool heads are put together and everybody stays on course. Panicking simply doesn’t do any good for anyone.

8. Problem Solving

Problem solving of every kind—whether technical, monetary, or social (i.e. addressing complaints about a particular project)—is a must in the world of construction management.

You don’t know ahead of time what obstacles a construction project will face, and as such, you need to think quickly, pragmatically, realistically, and diplomatically, sometimes figuring out solutions within a month, and other times within an hour.

Ready for more? Register for the July 28th information session here