A business consultant’s best accomplishment is when its clients find success. Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) at McNeese State University (MSU) Senior Business Consultant Susan Thibodeaux has seen a lot of that.
Her clients’ successes have once again positioned her to be named LSBDC State Star, an award recognized by America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) that highlights a person who is an exemplary performer, makes a significant contribution to his or her state and shows a strong commitment to small business. Thibodeaux was recognized during America’s SBDC national conference in Long Beach, Calif., on September 3.
In FY 18, Thibodeaux exceeded her capital infusion goal with an achievement of 463 percent of her goal; she achieved 130 percent of her business start goal, 141 percent of her number of clients counseled goal, and 204 percent of her jobs created goal.
LSBDC Associate State Director Bryan Greenwood said it’s a great honor to be named the State Star for Louisiana and represent the Louisiana SBDC Network at the National Conference.
“Susan Thibodeaux is a highly dedicated professional and puts her clients first,” Greenwood said. “She is a fantastic problem solver who helps her clients get through many challenges they face in their business.”
Thibodeaux, who started with the LSBDC in 2014, said it’s a great honor to receive this award for the second time.
“To have been selected once is awesome, but twice is amazing,” Thibodeaux said, who earned the award in 2017. “When you love what you do, it makes your job easy, it’s the icing on the cake.”
She explained seeing her clients’ dreams of entrepreneurship
come to reality is the best part of what she does. As a former business owner
herself, Thibodeaux said she knows first-hand the struggles of starting
and running a business.
“When I can help reduce their anxiety, and guide them through the process by sharing my experience and knowledge, it’s an amazing feeling,” Thibodeaux said.
LSBDC at MSU Director Donna Little said she is very proud that Thibodeaux’s hard work and devotion to small businesses in Southwest Louisiana is being recognized again, and added that it’s easy to see why her clients “consistently give her excellent ratings on customer satisfaction surveys.”
“[Thibodeaux] brings years of business experience and a background in finance to her work with entrepreneurs,” Little said. “She digs for ways to improve success for clients, finding online and local resources to enhance her own knowledge. Susan is focused on achieving our Center goals but it is more important to her to help her clients be successful.
During the last fiscal year, Thibodeaux recalls a client she assisted with packaging a loan for a lender. She said they were approved and have successfully been in business for over a year. But that wasn’t the end of their story.
“Recently they came back to me to assist in a second business idea,” Thibodeaux said. “It truly is rewarding when clients have faith in your abilities, and they send other clients to you. But what is really awesome is when they come back to you for another business venture.”
Thibodeaux added, “My full-time job is to assist entrepreneurs with their small businesses, and the best part is that it is at no cost to them!”
Little added: “Susan is smart, kind and energetic. As a former business owner, she understands what it really takes to start and operate a business. She is devoted to her clients and is always available to help them. I am proud to have her as part of our McNeese team.”