We are back from the NBIA conference on business incubation. A great set of presentations and panels - and a nice way to meet with other incubator managers from all over the US and world.
- "All progress starts with telling the truth" - I heard this aphorism during one of the sessions. As someone trying to assist startups, it does no good to avoid telling the truth about the situation with a client business. In trying to soften the blow perhaps I am weakening the chance of improvement. Likewise, if our client companies don't tell us what is really going on, how are we to help them?
- "Are our services good enough that someone would pay for them, even if we did not have space?" or another way "is my presentation/class good enough that someone would pay for it?" I'd like to think so - we have six associate or virtual tenants who take services but no space. Every product or service has a price (it might be $0!) - I often caution new businesses to not underprice themselves. But you can overprice yourself as well. I have been trying to find the right time and pricing to run another Kauffman FastTrac program. It has been difficult, since the value is really found in taking the class - and if you are on the outside considering, it is hard to realize that.
- Consulting assistance for existing business. Even if you are a well established small business, your local incubator can be a great place to look for some consulting assistance. For example, we at the CBD have expertise in Marketing and International, areas that you can contract for.
Of course, I did get to Arthur Bryants, which made it all worthwhile!
There are very dedicated incubator managers all over and I encourage you to take advantage of their programs, or at the very least, evaluate their programs to see if they can help you!