Strategic Thinking Now 

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Click the images below to read the selected blog posts. You'll find many articles on a wide variety of topics that include change, business planning, leadership, marketing, email and social media marketing, strategic management, disaster planning, and much more.

Maximize Your Potential: Build a Sustainable Growth Blueprint

As a small business owner, you may be so caught up in the day-to-day operations of your company that you haven't had the time or the inclination to create a formal business plan for growth. A business plan is your personalized growth blueprint.

While it's understandable that you're focused on keeping your business afloat and managing the daily challenges, having a solid plan for growth is essential for the long-term success of your business. 

Small Business Makeover Program Launched During COVID

Link to Prescott Times online interview.


Small Business “Makeover” Program 

Was Designed to Keep Local Businesses Alive

By Jeri Denniston


During the height of the COVID pandemic, the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) launched the Small Business Makeover Program, thanks to an influx of CARES Act funding. 


I was the director at the time and had been introduced to a program on Hulu called "Small Business Revolution". While that was a nationwide program funded and supported by Deluxe Marketing, the concept struck a chord with me. Why couldn't we create something similar but on a much more local scale? 


With CARES Act funding from the State SBDC office, we hired a program manager to design the program for us. We also hired a website developer to create a website that would be used to promote the program and encourage local businesses to apply.


We invited local leaders from the various town economic development offices and chambers of commerce throughout Yavapai County to form a selection committee with our SBDC team. Their job was to review the 20 +applications we received and choose our initial two businesses to receive a "makeover" – an in-depth assessment of their top 2-3 business challenges.


Our team then helped each business owner and their staff address those challenges. The SBDC center also provided a small amount of funding to help the two businesses with website development, marketing, operations, and other challenges unique to each business.


Other businesses that applied but were not selected were entered into a “Mini-Makeover Bootcamp,” receiving confidential one-on-one coaching with SBDC consultants, access to subject matter experts, access to the Arizona Commerce Authority's Small Business Academy program, and resources to suit their specific needs. 


Highlighted on this page are the two businesses that were selected during the Small Business Makeover program.

Small Business Makeover logo with Yavapai SBDC logo
Montage of photos of SBDC team telling Body Bliss owners they won

Body Bliss™ Intentional Aromatherapy®, has been selected as the next Makeover of a Lifetime winner with the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Makeover Program.

Funded in part with CARES Act funding, the Small Business Makeover Program was created to support businesses in Yavapai County and to provide support and access to resources in this time of economic recovery.

“The Small Business Makeover is one of many great initiatives and services offered by the SBDC. We love to see our local businesses working with the SBDC and want to congratulate Body Bliss on their success in the program,” said Molly Spangler, Economic Development Director for the City of Sedona.

The SBDC offers free business planning, counseling, access to funding and more. Please register at to take advantage of this great resource.

Body Bliss™ is a Cottonwood, Arizona based manufacturing company of body products run by owners Pamela Sculthorp and Jennifer Rivera and 20 employees. The main retail store is located in Uptown Sedona, Arizona and because of the sustainable, botanical raw materials in each product recipe, Body Bliss™ is embraced by wellness-oriented spa professionals from coast to coast.


Source: City of Sedona Government Facebook Page

Rob Valenzuela Owner of Insurgent Brewing Co.

Insurgent Brewery Co. in Chino Valley was named the first-ever winner of the Makeover of a Lifetime as part of the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) new Small Business Makeover program, according to a news release.


On Friday, March 12, members of the Yavapai College SBDC Team, Yavapai College Film and Cinematography crew, and Chino Valley Economic Development Project Manager Maggie Tidaback surprised Laura and Rob Valenzuela at their Chino Valley brewery. They announced to the couple that the Yavapai County chamber executives and economic development officers had selected Insurgent Brewing Co. as the first Yavapai College SBDC Makeover of a Lifetime winner in the Small Business Makeover program.


With many small businesses severely burdened or even shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center, which operates as part of the Regional Economic Development Center, launched the Small Business Makeover program in January to address this ongoing need.


“Thanks to new funding we received from the CARES Act, we were able to bring additional resources to help us plan and launch this as a pilot program for new clients,” SBDC Director Jeri Denniston said in the news release. “Our goal is to expand this program to all SBDC clients next year as another set of tools and resources to help small businesses thrive.”


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