Business Start-Up 101

Americans are starting their own businesses in record numbers. Whether it is for greater income, professional freedom or personal fulfillment, there are some important details for you to consider.

If you build it, will people…?

Several years ago, a friend returned home to Jackson after three years in California.  He started a new company modeled after a very successful west coast business.  His team of 12 employees delivered meals from local restaurants to customers in affluent communities.  After spending thousands of dollars to set-up and run his new business, it failed in just 18 months.  I asked why and this is what he told me.   Affluent people living in large west coast cities are willing to pay for delivery services.  They don’t have the time or patience to deal with traffic and restaurant crowds during the week.  Therefore, the meal delivery business is very lucrative.  However, here in Jackson, people look forward to dining out.  This savvy business man was doomed to failure because there was no market for his services.  How would you like having successful business people give you unbiased feedback on your products, services and markets? That’s what a business incubator does.


Running a business vs. owning your job

In the book, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, he tells the story of a hard working, conscientious employee who decides he can run his own business better than the guy he is working for.  He starts his own business, in the same field. He is motivated, trained and talented.  However, within a short time, he realizes there is a big difference between running a business and owning your job.  Do you know the difference between being an entrepreneur, a manager and a technician? Being good at a job isn’t necessarily enough to have a successful business.  Who do you have to help mentor you to greater success? That’s what a good business incubator provides.

Relationships, selling and better mouse traps

It wasn’t until after Ralph Waldo Emerson died in 1889 that he was misquoted as saying, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”.  Today’s market is different.  If people think you have a better product, they might be willing to listen to you as long as you were referred by someone they know.  Providing excellent value is extremely important.  However, it takes more than a good idea to build a profitable business. If you believe relationships generate revenues, then building relationships and selling your ideas is much better than waiting for someone to knock on your door! Where can you get business development coaching and training?  Venture Incubator helps small businesses succeed.

What is a business incubator?

A business incubator is an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections

There are more than 1200 business incubators in the US and 20 in Mississippi.

87% of companies who graduate from a business incubator succeed

The Venture Incubator is the only multi-use business incubator in the Metro Jackson area.  There is space available for new incubator clients.

More information can be found at

Wes Holsapple is the Executive Director of the Venture Incubator as well as President of the BDS Institute.  He is a contributing author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Masters of Networking.

Wes can be reached at

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