Welcome to Aztec Consulting
Aztec Consulting Program offers management consulting services to businesses in the city of San Diego for free, based on an annual grant from the City of San Diego.
We are focused on building value for our community of clients and student consultants.
- To our clients, we strive to provide innovative, yet tangible solutions, which lead to optimized decision-making and increased effectiveness.
- To our students, we emphasize professional and personal growth by developing top undergraduate students into strategic thinkers and leaders capable of approaching complex, real-world business issues.
This is an on-going technical assistance program designed to assist small businesses especially women owned, minority owned, and veteran owned as these are the key target populations for our grant from the San Diego Economic Development Center.
SDSU’s Aztec Consulting Program, a highly successful, award winning program, started as the Small Business Institute (under an SBA grant). It has served nearly one thousand small and medium sized businesses in the San Diego region since its inception in the early 1970s. Our student consultants, working as a three to five person team, work with each business client for an entire academic semester, with each team guided by an MBA student.
- Business Expansion and Revenue Growth
- Improving Human Resource Processes
- Conducting Feasibility Studies
- Developing Advertising and Promotions
- Search Optimization and Social Media
- Cost Analysis and Control
- Developing Foreign Market Entry Strategy
- Conducting Benchmark and Competitor Analysis
- Improving Operations and Project Management Efficiencies
The Washboard Laundry
“I didn’t even think about the branding before they pointed out some inconsistencies, but now I have a cohesive message across all media.”
— TYLER BLAIR, THE WASHBOARD LAUNDRY
Tyler Blair, owner of The Washboard laundry service near SDSU’s campus, also engaged the Aztec Consulting Program's students shortly after purchasing his business. While the report from the Aztec Consulting Program confirmed Blair’s assertion that no other local laundry service offered free wi-fi, televisions, customer service and high tech washing machines, the report also came back with a marketing and financial suggestions that helped Blair to strengthen his unique business.
At Your Side Planning
“My resulting revenue has increased significantly, and I have a higher quality of clientele now.”
— DIANA ROMERO, AT YOUR SIDE PLANNING
One member of the business community is Diana Romero who offers wedding planning services through her company, At Your Side Planning. She enlisted the help of the SBCC students in the fall of 2011 when she decided she wanted to increase her revenues.
The students suggested techniques to improve her marketing plan and determined that she was charging too little for her services. Upon implementing their suggestions, she noticed positive improvements right away.
“The results were incredible,” said Romero. “I implemented the students’ suggestions to revamp my pricing when their analysis determined my price point was too low. I also used their input to re-name and re-brand my company name, website and marketing materials to create a cohesive and higher quality look and feel. My resulting revenue has increased significantly and I have a higher quality of clientele now.”
Part of the reason for Romero’s results is the fact that she was not only willing to implement the suggestions made by the students, but also that the students are among the best in the College of Business Administration. “In order to be involved in the Aztec Consulting Program, students must go through an applications process,” said Dr. Don Sciglimpaglia, outgoing director for the Aztec Consulting Program. “Only seniors and M.B.A. students that have shown excellence in the classroom and that have a track record of community service are accepted into the program.”
Become a Mentor
A student team with one or two professional mentors is matched with a local business to help assess its business development needs. These mentors work with student consulting teams to guide the teams’ research and recommendations to meet the needs of the small business owners. The industry-specific and project management knowledge of professional advisors enhances the student learning experience and helps students work with small business owners to increase their success.
Interested in becoming a mentor?
BA 404, or Strategic Business Consulting, is one of the available Business capstone courses that gives students the opportunity to implement all of their previous studies. The class meets on Friday from 10:00am-12:40pm. There is a LARGE element of this class in which student groups meet OUTSIDE the classroom. Students act as “business consultants” to selected businesses, working in three to five member teams. BA 404 can be taken as a business elective in lieu of the required BA 405. Always be sure to check with your academic advisor. The class will be small [30 students maximum]. Students must apply to take the course, which fills quickly, so plan to register as early as possible.
The Small Business Consulting class pairs astute students with businesses in the San Diego area. After meeting with their client, business students design their project plans and deliverables to meet the scope of the project. This experience gives the students the opportunity to answer those tough critical thinking questions in an interview situation, and gives them real-life experience to put on their resume. Not to mention the lasting impact made in the community.
- BA 350, BA 370, ACCTG 202 completed
- GPA 2.75 or above
- Instructor approval (See Application Below)
- Problem Identification
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- Project Management
- Strategies for Team Effectiveness
- Analyze the Business Problem
- Develop Recommendations
- Creating a Clear Action Plan to be Followed by the Client
Meet the Team
Caitlin Nguyen is a senior at SDSU studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and a minor in Marketing. She has held various internships and is currently working as a business management intern at Northrop Grumman. On her free time Caitlin likes going to the beach and spending time with her friends, she has loved her years here at SDSU and wants to soak up as much as she can before graduating this spring.
Emma Francullo is from Verona, New Jersey, and will be graduating with a degree in management with a specialization in entrepreneurship from San Diego State University this fall. Emma believes management is the key to productivity and values efficient leadership and innovative culture as the framework for success in any business. Through her numerous business courses, internship experiences, and study abroad in Paris, France; Emma believes SDSU had helped her find her passion and prepared her for a career in business.
Brett is a fourth-year undergraduate student at SDSU, pursuing a degree in Business Administration emphasizing in Management. He transferred to SDSU in 2018, after receiving his Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego Miramar College. This will be Brett’s last semester at SDSU.
In his time at SDSU, Brett has been heavily involved with the School of Music and Dance, performing with the SDSU Symphonic Band and Concert Band. He also participated in Aztec Consulting as a member in the spring semester of 2020, working together with his team to assist CourseKey Education in their mission.
In his free time, Brett enjoys playing video games with friends, learning guitar, and cooking. He also currently works as a coach in the Poway Unified School District.
San Diego Small Business Enhancement Program
This grant program's particular focus is to expand economic opportunities for small businesses by supporting nonprofit organizations that provide specialized services to small businesses citywide. The intent is that recipients leverage Small Business Enhancement Program funds to enhance small businesses services and create, grow and retain small businesses in San Diego. Examples of the services and training include business development, contracting and procurement, disability accommodations and technical assistance training. Visit Economic Development Funding Programs to learn about other opportunities.
Lavin Entrepreneurship Center
Having the right blend of university curriculum and industry involvement, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center within San Diego State University's (SDSU) College of Business Administration has emerged as an entrepreneurial leader. SDSU and the Lavin Center has been recognized for having one of the best entrepreneurial programs in the United States by both Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Additionally, SDSU was named to the Kiplinger's Personal Finance list of 100 best values in public colleges for 2015-2016.