Consultant Profile: Jill McCollum Region: Clemson Title: Region Manager Start Date: March 29, 1993
QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network? ANSWER: Started professional career in December 1981, after graduating from Winthrop College. I joined Bankers Trust of SC in Columbia as Assistant Branch Manager and became Branch Manager in 1983. After moving to the Upstate of SC, I joined First Citizens Bank of Greenville, then on to Security Federal until 1987. I returned to graduate school at Clemson University, receiving my Master's in Operational Management in 1991. From December 1991 until March 1993, I worked as the CFO for a small business in Anderson.
QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant? ANSWER: While in graduate school, I received a graduate assistantship with the Clemson Region SBDC, where I saw first-hand the impact that the SBDC has on economic development and small business success. When I saw the position open at the SBDC in Greenville in 1993, I knew I had to apply!
QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer aspiring business owners? ANSWER: Don't be afraid to identify your weaknesses in running a business, and address them through either training and education, or by hiring or partnering with someone with the necessary skills. Many prospective business owners are skilled and knowledgeable in one or two aspects of their business, but do not realize the importance of knowing how the entire business needs to function.
QUESTION: Do you have a particular area of interest/expertise that you offer clients? ANSWER: After serving as CFO for a successful small business with as many as 50 employees and annual sales of over $3 million, I am able to offer expertise in banking and finance—experience with both personal and commercial loans.
QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest accomplishment? ANSWER: Helping many clients become successful small business owners and watching them grow throughout the years.
QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina? ANSWER: I feel every small business needs to utilize our services because somewhere along their path there are going to be gaps that they did not foresee and we can help them address these issues before problems occur. We have the tools and experience that offer the small business the complete package of information and data that help them make smart business decisions.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC? ANSWER: Being a key component of economic development and knowing we make an impact on the places in which we live.