Monday, April 27, 2009

NBIA wrapup


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.

Some reflections:

  1. "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?
  2. "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.
  3. 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!

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