Certified Business Advisor

Highline College   Des Moines, WA   Full-time     Business Development
Posted on June 9, 2022
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General Summary

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with a priority review date for applications received by July 5, 2022. 

The Certified Business Advisor (CBA) provides confidential, no-fee, one-to-one business development counseling to business owners and entrepreneurs in Southwest King County who are seeking assistance in the development, maintenance or growth of a small business.

Advisors must be well organized to manage more than 90 clients annually. Business clients will be from every sector of the local business community and require a full range of business services. Advisors must have comprehensive knowledge and experience of small business operations.
Advisors must understand the client’s situation, analyze the problems and guide the client in developing a solution he or she is willing and able to implement.

Advisors typically identify a range of solutions, discuss the pros and cons of each and explain abstract concepts with real world examples. Advisors constantly seek professional development opportunities to expand their core competencies in all areas of business, including technology, necessary to start, grow, sustain and transition a small business.

This is an exempt position for the Southwest King County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Highline College that reports to the Center Director. The SBDC for Southwest King County works primarily with clients located in Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Tukwila, and selected neighborhoods of unincorporated King County. 

 The CBA collaborates with other business assistance programs such as the StartZone Microenterprise Development Program, Community Education, academic programs and community partners to identify and address community small business support needs. In addition, the CBA cultivates positive working relationships with community stakeholders and referral partners, and ensures activity compliance with grant regulations.

Washington SBDC is part of Americas Small Business Development Center, established 42 years ago as a way to support small businesses and is partially funded through the Small Business Administration (SBA) annual budget. This position is grant funded in part through the Small Business Administration, renewing annually. Highline College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been fully funded since its inception in 2001.

This is a full-time, exempt, grant funded position. Monthly salary dependent on experience. 

Please be advised beginning October 18, 2021 of the Washington State employees requirement to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Additional details located in the Supplemental Information section.    Essential Tasks

Reporting directly to the Lead Certified Business Advisor this position will:
Department Job Performance Standards:

  • Produce thorough and accurate business advisor work in a timely manner;
  • Demonstrate problem solving and ability to teach, coach, manage and work with clients and staff with motivation and enthusiasm;
  • Communicate professionally and effectively in English at all levels of the organization, with other agencies and the general public, including culturally diverse populations, with the use of tact, discretion and courtesy. 

Position Functions:
Business Management Counseling: (55%)

  • Listen constructively to clients as they present information about themselves and their companies;
  • Provide technical assistance to clients for the formation, stabilization and expansion of small businesses; counsel clients on aspects of business development such as business plans, management issues, marketing, organizational structure, and financial analyses;
  • Deliver practical products and services to help participants from immigrant and BIPOC communities, start small businesses and keep them growing, including workshops, practical worksheets, templates and other tools;
  • Create, manage and submit client activity reports according to annual deliverables calendar;
  • Identify research or educational opportunities for clients based upon their needs;
  • Request, conduct, review and disseminate research;
  • Review, analyze and provide information regarding client financial statements;
  • Collaborate with other Community Education (CE) and College programs in identifying and conducting market-driven training, and assist in recruiting attendees for small business-related training programs;
  • Participate in the area’s economic development peer community through attendance at regional or local meetings, committees or similar events;
  • Represent the SBDC at events, meetings and functions on a local, state and national level;
  • Develop and implement cooperative relationships with other SBDC business assistance professionals;
  • Provide support and consulting for special projects of the department or the Washington SBDC.

Community Engagement and Marketing (25%)

  • Develop and implement strategies to connect the SBDC with potential clients;
  • Specific focus toward immigrant, minority communities and people of color;
  • Deliver significant outreach to the community through regular engagement with SBDC and StartZone funders and partners, Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Councils, service clubs and community organizations;
  • Develop and sustain referral relationships with community organizations, banks, accountants, attorneys and potential partnerships and referrals sources from other businesses, agencies and organizations;
  • Provides expertise and guest lecturer services to Highline College departments related to business and entrepreneurship.

Operations Administration and Reporting (15%)

  • Record and report on client activities using the current Client Management Activity System as well as other digital applications such as (Word, PowerPoint, email and Excel etc.);
  • Compile reports for stakeholders and grantors;
  • Ensure activities operate within the SBDC and other funding agency guidelines;
  • Supervise daily operations of SBDC activities in the absence of the Lead CBA.

Professional Development (5%)

  • Participates in continuing education opportunities to enhance knowledge of business development and related fields;
  • Participates in conferences and continuing education opportunities to enhance leadership, management and organizational knowledge and skills.

Ability to:

  • Obtain (or possession of) Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) Business Advisor certification*;
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint;
  • Communicate clearly (verbal and written);
  • Communicate complex business concepts and information in English;
  • Work in a multicultural environment;
  • Work a flexible schedule with hours to meet department and client needs.

Required Skills & Abilities

  • A strong understanding of basic financial statements for small businesses;
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills.


Required Qualifications
In order to be considered for this position candidates must meet all required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field and (4) years’ experience in business ownership, business management and / or program development. A Masters degree in a related field may substitute for up to one year of required experience. 
  • NOTE:   Successful applicant must obtain certification from the Washington SBDC as a Certified Business Advisor within six months of start date and maintain certification thereafter. The SBDC for Southwest King County will facilitate this process with the successful candidate. No financial cost of the certification process is borne by the CBA.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated local economic development, community, and business relationships;
  • Experience in advising small businesses;
  • Five (5) or more years of small business ownership and/or management;
  • Experience developing and/or teaching management workshops;
  • A professional-level understanding of financial statements for small businesses;
  • Strong financial analysis skills;
  • Experience with private-sector marketing programs;
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations including staff and customers/clients;
  • Ability to converse in Spanish or other foreign languages.

Highline College

2400 S 240th
Des Moines , WA