Business Advisor

Highline College
Job Description
General Summary

Highline College is situated in a diverse community just 20 minutes south of Seattle where we serve a student population of over 70% students of color, representing over 35 nations and more than 100 languages. The college embraces equity, inclusion, and social justice, with core goals of Student Attainment, Diversity, Community Engagement, and Sustainability. Highline received a distinguished Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges in 2014, as well as the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award in 2013 and 2014.  The college was also named one of the Chronicle of Higher Education's Best Colleges to Work For in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

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. The assistance offered by The SBDC focuses on financial analysis, financing, business plans, marketing, personnel issues, general management and other business issues. The primary emphasis will be one-to-one, intensive and continuous services to existing, operating businesses to help them act upon a current opportunity, achieve greater profitability, or improve their capacity to achieve a higher level of operations. The CBA will not compete with private sector professionals; for example the CBA will not prepare tax documents or write business plans for clients.
This is a position for the Southwest King County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Highline College that reports to the Lead CBA. 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.
As directed by the Lead, the CBA collaborates with other business assistance programs such as the StartZone Microenterprise Development Program, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the Business Attraction Program, Community Education, and academic programs 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.

This is a full-time, exempt position.

Essential Tasks

Reporting directly to the Lead Certified Business Advisor this position will:

  • 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 analysis;
  • 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;
  • Develop and implement strategies to connect the SBDC with potential clients;
  • Deliver 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 referral sources from other businesses, agencies and organizations;
  • Compile reports for stakeholders and grantors;
  • Ensure activities operate within the SBDC and other funding agency guidelines;
  • Participate on the CE team to provide inputs on marketing and other issues in the department's pursuit of high quality programming and customer service;
  • Supervise daily operations of SBDC activities in the absence of the Lead CBA;
  • Provide expertise and guest lecturer services to Highline College departments related to business and entrepreneurship;
  • Provide small business and entrepreneurship expertise within the context of international partnerships as appropriate;
  • Participate in continuing education opportunities to enhance knowledge of business development and related fields;
  • Participate in conferences and continuing education opportunities to enhance leadership, management and organizational knowledge and skill.
Ability to:
  • Ability to obtain (or possession of) Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) Business Advisor certification*
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule with hours to meet department and client needs
  • Communicate clearly (verbal and written).
  • Use Microsoft Office Suite proficiently;
  • Work in a multicultural environment
Knowledge of:
  • Financial Statements for small business




  • Bachelor's degree
Preferred Qualifications
  • MBA or related Masters Degree;
  • Business ownership, small business leadership, banking, economic development; or relevant consulting experience;
  • Project management experience;
  • A professional-level understanding of financial statements for small businesses;
  • Strong financial analysis skills;
  • Experience with private-sector marketing programs.


Supplemental Information

Your online application must include the following attachments in order to be considered complete:

  • Current Resume;
  • Letter of Interest (Cover Letter) describing how your skills and abilities relate to this position;
  • A one page Diversity Response (found in the Supplemental Questions).
  • Must pass a National Criminal Background Check;
Application materials will be accepted until the position is filled.  



Contact Information