Business Advisor

  • WWU Small Business Development Center
  • Poulsbo, WA, USA
  • Apr 29, 2022
Full time Business Development General Business Management

Job Description

Certified Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center 

Salary: $68,404 - $87,405/year depending on experience and qualification, plus great benefits

This is a full-time position based out of the Kitsap SBDC in Poulsbo, WA. The position offers a hybrid work schedule, but is not available as a fully remote opportunity.

Job no. 499712

About the University

Western Washington University (WWU), with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings. WWU offers programs in several locations outside of Bellingham, which include Everett, Burien, Bremerton, Poulsbo and Port Angeles currently.

About the Department

Western’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) brings a consortium of business development resources to the community. These assets are delivered through one-on-one counseling with our certified business advisors, our popular and proven training events and our best-in-class small business market and strategy research. In Kitsap County, the SBDC is hosted by WWU, in conjunction with its headquarters SBDC in Bellingham. The Kitsap SBDC works collaboratively as part of the Washington SBDC network. Learn more on our website.

The Small Business Development Center and the University Relations and Marketing Division support Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

The Small Business Development Center Certified Business Advisor provides one-on-one counseling / technical assistance to business owners on financial analysis, financing, business plans, marketing, personnel issues, management and other business issues at Western Washington University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This position provides technical assistance to specialized markets, including rural entrepreneurs, startup businesses and second-stage businesses. The CBA is expected to implement a business outreach program independently and autonomously; make decisions as to client mix, marketing outreach efforts, client counseling, schedule and direction of specialty area; assess client needs and determine best options or resources to help client achieve solutions.

This position supports the SBDC Director in coordinating the resources of the federal, state, and local governments with the resources of the University and the non-profit and private sectors to promote growth, expansions, innovation, increased productivity, and management improvement in small businesses and prospective small businesses in the region.


Position Duties and Responsibilities

Business Advising (60%)

  • Provide technical assistance to clients in areas of business that include but are not limited to the development of business plans, management issues, marketing, organizational structure, and financial analyses.
  • Manage and submit client activity reports in specified formats and timelines.
  • Monitor and measure key performance indicators and meet deliverables.
  • Attend weekly one-on-one meetings with director, as well as participate in monthly WSBDC network regional and state conference calls and meetings.
  • Maintain CBA certification, or equivalent, as specified by the SBDC Director
  • Gather statistical and programmatic report information and develop reports for stakeholders and funders on regular basis.
  • Identify research or educational opportunities based on client.
  • Conduct, review and disseminate research.
  • Produce thorough and accurate work in a timely manner.
  • Represent the SBDC at events, meetings and functions on a local, state and national level.
  • Support the development and implementation of annual strategic plan for the SBDC.
  • Engage in problem-solving, teaching, managing, and working with clients and staff with motivation and enthusiasm.
  • Communicate professionally and effectively 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.
  • May supervise lower-level staff

Develop, implement and maintain referral capability and working relationships with representatives from other businesses, agencies and organizations (10%)

  • Serve as an advocate for businesses to community organizations and local government officials.
  • Represent the SBDC and act as its spokesperson with WWU, business organizations, civic groups and governmental agencies and at regional and national meetings.
  • Light travel required for clients at satellite offices or on-site visits.
  • Develop, implement and maintain referral capability with local representatives from Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, Chambers of Commerce, and other local, state, and federal agencies in providing assistance to businesses. Provide referrals to and maintain working relationships with local professionals, such as bankers, attorneys, accountants, and consultants.

Develop, coordinate and conduct seminars and training programs to support specialized program needs (Rural or startup businesses) (10%)

  • May be responsible for developing project budgets for specialized programs.
  • Work independently in designated program areas (rural outreach) and make independent decisions regarding client services in assigned territories and to rural clients.
  • Develop and deliver entrepreneurial training and workshop presentations for the diverse population of Kitsap County on an as-needed basis.

Client Research and Educational Opportunities (20%)

  • Conduct, review and disseminate research.
  • Identify and stay updated on business research resources including websites, library resources, databases and other relevant business resources.
  • Conduct research as needed for clients using advanced Internet searches, library resources, databases and the SBDCnet research center tools.
  • Review research and analyses for clients and present the information in client-friendly formats.
  • Independently review and analyze client financial statements and identify problems and opportunities.
  • Provide direction and coordination for WWU faculty applied learning projects.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in business or in a related or technical field
  • Minimum of three years of experience related to business development or management
  • Small business ownership and/or small business management
  • Demonstrated proficiency in financial analysis – especially as related to small businesses
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including multicultural experience and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, Word, Outlook
  • Communication skills that demonstrate the ability to correctly diagnose and effectively transform an often ill-defined problem and apply information, resources and processes to create a workable and usable solution
  • Ability to obtain or possession of Washington State Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) Business Advisor certification. (Certification must be obtained within 6 months of start date and maintained thereafter.)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business or in a related or technical field
  • Washington Small Business Development Center Certified Business Advisor designation
  • Experience establishing relationships in a local economic development, community, or business context
  • Experience advising small businesses
  • Self-starter with experience working in unique team environments with multiple funding partners or stakeholders
  • Fluency in a second language
  • Experience with exporting

Application Instructions

  • A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.
  • Also required is a separate statement (max. length one page) addressing your demonstrated commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion (ADEI). In the statement, please include examples of how you have incorporated ADEI into your previous work in addition to how you will contribute to further implement these values at Western Washington University through the Certified Business Advisor position responsibilities outlined above.
  • Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.


Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay)

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3303 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires which includes a sexual misconduct background check.