Michael Duncan came to the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for advice when he was starting his sixth business in 2005. Now an SBDC consultant, Duncan’s the one giving the advice.
Duncan started working for Longwood SBDC in 2014, initially specializing in financial projections for small businesses. He previously served as the deputy director of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville; launching a number of business ventures in the area before and after that tenure.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur,” Duncan says with a smile.
Duncan initially served as interim director at SBDC’s Danville office.
In his current position as an SBDC consultant, Duncan works with clients across the Longwood SBDC service area that extends from Petersburg to Martinsville and Stuart.
“That’s 9,400-some square miles — bigger than some states,” he adds. “I pretty much go wherever they need me to go.”
Duncan’s area of expertise is manufacturing.
“Pretty much anybody who wants to make something, I’ll take a look at it,” he adds. “Because of my manufacturing background, I tend to get some interesting clients.”
Recently he advised a metal fence manufacturer on an expansion project and worked with a specialized steel company start-up.
“The steel start-up did not get off the ground,” he adds. “It was a good idea, but the market wasn’t there.”
Providing potential business owners with analytics on concept feasibility, Duncan adds, is an important service provided by SBDC — one that can save expense and heartache down the road.
Duncan currently enjoys being on the road again as an SBDC consultant.
“It’s interesting work and I like the variety,” he adds. “I get to have all the fun of taking care of clients and helping them with business needs.”
From client to consultant, Duncan’s traveled the course with SBDC — and he likes what he sees.
“SBDC’s a hidden gem,” he concludes. “I like sharing all their resources with other business owners.”