Monday, August 30, 2010

Lunchtime Tech Talk series

Our Business and Industry Computer training services group is offering a series of lunch programs for small business on computer issues. As we leave summer behind and start into the fall - why not take the time to upgrade your computer skills?

Lunchtime Tech Talk: The Good, the Bad, and the “Oh My” Web Sites

Bring an appetite for learning technology tips that will make today’s computer technology work for you!

The Lunchtime Tech Talk series will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Center for Business Development building room 104N on the Meridian Technology Center’s campus the first Friday each month:
Sept. 03 - The Good, the Bad and the “Oh My” Web Sites
Oct. 01 - Excel 2007 Tips & Techniques
Nov. 05 - Media Integration in PowerPoint 2007
Dec. 03 - Be on the Edge of 2010

You pick and choose the luncheons you want to attend. The price for each luncheon is only $10 and includes a box lunch.

Our first presentation in this lunch hour series will highlight the common mistakes made in Web site design as well as recommended planning guidelines.
Computer Training Services is providing this lunch hour training series.

The deadline to register is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31.

For more information call Kim Strom at (405) 377-3333 X265; or to enroll, visit or call (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509.

Location: Meridian Technology Center, Center for Business Development room 104N.

Oftentimes it is easy to forget your local technology center offers a wide variety of computer and training courses. The class instructors are always well trained and the courses are usually very inexpensive. Rather than the training class booklet that came in your mail unbidden, remember your Technology Center!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 Customers

I have been seeking a simple question I can ask prospective business owners to judge how far along they are in their business - and whether they understand where they need to be to come into the incubator or get a bank loan.

Jason Cohen on his "A Smart Bear" blog states what he looks for: 10 customers. 10 people willing to give you money for your product/service (even if it is not ready).

It is a useful question. If the prospective business owner can't show anyone is interested in paying for his product - then why go forward?

Since I am not dealing only with software startups, I might be able to weaken the requirement a bit, but the principle ("Who is buying your product?") is so critical to success that it could function as a single question to get started.

So - who is buying your product?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Judging Business Incubators

If you are considering using a business incubator for your startup - how do you know they are any good?

Are they benign, but unhelpful? Are they going to push your business in directions you don't want to go? What experience do they have to bring to the table?

There is a good posting on Finding A Quality Business Incubator which I would recommend to you. It covers a number of areas to review.

Also, is the incubator a member of NBIA (National Business Incubator Association)?

Just like when you are hiring a contractor for your house remodeling - the best way to know if they are any good is to ask previous clients. For incubators, the same holds. Get a list of clients. But since those lists tend to be cherry-picked for good referrals - be sure to do some searching on Google, or ask those clients what other businesses were in the incubator when they were resident - then go ask those.

Incubators can be a fantastic way to help your business get off the ground, but as always, a bit of considered evaluation can put you in the right incubator for your business.