Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is Entrepreneurship For You?

Is Entrepreneurship For You?

In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business - but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions:

Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organize your time, and follow through on details.

How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants, or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it?

How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly - often quickly, independently, and under pressure.

Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it's also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-­hour workdays every week?How well do you plan and organize? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organization ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, and production ­can help you avoid many pitfalls.

Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.

How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. It's important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.

Why Small Businesses Fail

Success in business is never automatic. It isn't strictly based on luck - although a little never hurts. It depends primarily on the owner's foresight and organization. Even then, of course, there are no guarantees.Starting a small business is always risky, and the chance of success is slim. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.In his book Small Business Management, Michael Ames gives the following reasons for small business failure:

Lack of experience

Insufficient capital (money)

Poor location

Poor inventory management

Over-investment in fixed assets

Poor credit arrangements

Personal use of business funds

Unexpected growth

Gustav Berle adds two more reasons in The Do It Yourself Business Book:


Low sales

More Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail

These figures aren't meant to scare you, but to prepare you for the rocky path ahead. Underestimating the difficulty of starting a business is one of the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs face. However, success can be yours if you are patient, willing to work hard, and take all the necessary steps.

Excerpt from the site

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Washtenaw County Receives $250,000 State Grant for Spark East, As Reported by © MMIX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved.

Washtenaw County, in partnership with Eastern Michigan University and Ann Arbor Spark, has been selected by the Michigan Strategic Fund to receive an award of $250,000 in grant funding through MEDC and the state of Michigan. The grant will support Spark East, the third business incubator in Spark's Regional Incubator Network; located at 215 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, Spark East offers affordable office space and critical start-up services to new businesses.

In addition to the state grant, Spark East received support from many local partners, including Eastern Michigan University, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers, the Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce, Washtenaw County, City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Superior Township, The B-Side, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and the Eastern Leaders Group.

All of these organizations are providing financial and other support for initial and ongoing operations. The grant funding will be used toward operational expenses for the incubator.
"Our intention is for Spark East to be a catalyst for business and community growth in eastern Washtenaw County," said Rolland Sizemore Jr., chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. "We've supported the establishment of the incubator as a very direct way to assist innovative companies at their earliest stage of formation and development."

Two conference rooms and utilities are included in an entrepreneur's SPARK East lease, ranging from one-month to one-year commitments. Additional resources are VoIP telephone system, T-1 Internet connections as well as use of copiers, fax machines, and cleaning services.

"The Eastern Leaders Group, a group of elected officials, business and academic leaders have been instrumental in developing a vision for the acceleration of economic development on the east side of the county," said Ronnie Peterson, Washtenaw County Commissioner. "The Spark East incubator is a first and important step in laying the groundwork for strategic local development."

Currently, LaVision, Sensei Change Associates, Brainstorm Creative and Smart Dining occupy Spark East. Lease applications for Spark East are available at For a tour of Spark East, contact Shamar Herron at or (734) 372-4070.

The Ann Arbor Spark Regional Incubator Network is comprised of two business and one wet lab incubator. The incubators provide physical space, essential business services and business development guidance -- at lease rates that are affordable for start-up companies. The Ann Arbor Spark Regional Incubator Network includes Spark Central Incubator located in Ann Arbor, Spark East Incubator located in Ypsilanti, and The Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth.

As Reported by © MMIX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DATE CHANGE for Business Plans Workshop

Entrepreneurial Series: Writing a Business Plan has been changed from April 30th to April 23rd due to a scheduling conflict. The time will remain the same, 3:00pm through 6:00pm at our MI-SBTDC office, 301 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti. If you have preregistered and cannot make the new date or need further information please call the office, 734.547.9170.

This workshop will help you understand the necessary content and best format for your business plan and show you the resources to create it. For further information or to check out the other workshops available please visit our Calendar of Events on our website,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

SPARK East Community Open House

SAVE THE DATE: Join Us for a Celebration of Business Growth in YpsilantiOn May 8, Ann Arbor SPARK, in collaboration with the Eastern Leaders Group and all Eastern Innovation Campus partners, will kick off a community-wide business open house with the debut of SPARK East, the third business incubator in SPARK’s Regional Incubator Network. SPARK East offers affordable office space, and critical start-up services, to new businesses.

Join us for a tour of the incubator, learn more about how Ann Arbor SPARK grows businesses in our region, and meet entrepreneurs starting up and aiming for success. Following the SPARK East Open House, visitors are encouraged to participate in the spring kick-off of downtown Ypsilanti's Second Fridays where they can visit local shops and support local businesses. Let’s celebrate business growth and opportunity in Ypsilanti!

WHERE: SPARK East, 215 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti

DATE: May 8, 2009

TIME: Open house tours will run 1:30-5p, followed by the community-wide open house in downtown Ypsilanti from 5-8p. A press conference and ribbon cutting will begin at 2:30p

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alternatives to Unemployment, a SCORE Workshop

Ann Arbor SCORE is conducting a workshop/seminar, “Alternatives to Unemployment,” at Ikea in Canton, MI on April 21st, 2009 from 6-8 p.m.

Have you been contemplation starting your own business have you always wanted to have your own business but didn’t know how to get it started? Then this in one event you don’t want to miss.

Where there is a will there is a way… “Where there is a vision and a dream there is a means to make it happen. Let’s help Michigan’s economy together as a team, brush, off the dirt, let’s get back in the saddle again! Employ, Empower, and make it happen!”-Michelle Webster

Presentation topics include: how to start yourself, circle of influence, options and opportunities your SWOT analysis, and much more. Presenters from legal, accounting, banking, and SBA backgrounds will be on hand to help answer questions as well.,en_US;eventview,10485854

Friday, April 3, 2009

Celebrate Small Business

Small business is the lifeblood of Michigan's economy. Not since the early years of the era of mass production has that statement been more true. Five of the organizations that support and celebrate entrepreneurism in Michigan have banded together to create Michigan Celebrates Small Business, the state's premier awards ceremony for entrepreneurs and small business leaders.

These organizations include:

*The U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan
*The Small Business Association of Michigan
*The Michigan Economic Development Corporation
*Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center
*Edward Lowe Foundation

Last year, over 600 leaders in both business and government gathered to honor more than 60 of Michigan's small business leaders. This year's event promises to be even more exciting and the award winners even more successful and deserving.

If you are an entrepreneur, you'll want to be sure to check out the nomination procedures and find out how your firm or perhaps the firm of a colleague might win one of these prestigious awards. Entrepreneur or not, you can still attend the event, support the cause of small business and rub elbows with some of the state's most promising business people, politicians and deal makers.

For more information please visit

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Starting a Kitchen Incubator: One Community's Story

Ron Steiner of the Starting Block kitchen incubator in Hart, MI will share the story of how a small rural community in northern west Michigan starting a viable kitchen incubator.

All who are interested in learning more are invited to attend. There will be plenty of time for question and answer. This is also a time to connect with the steering committee and communicate your opinions about the project.

This event is sponsored by the Chelsea Community Kitchen Steering Committee and in place of our regular meeting

Time:April 7, 2009 from 8:30am to 12:30pm
Location: Chelsea District Library
Street: 221 S. Main Street
City/Town: Chelsea, MI 48118
Website or Map:
Contact Info: 734) 475-8732

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bootstrapping a business TODAY.

ENTREPRENEURS - NOW Is the time! Bootstrapping a business TODAY.

On April 2nd, prepare to have all your business questions answered. If you feel knowledge is holding you back in your business, keeping you from driving more sales, lowering your costs, creating new products, or marketing your current ones, this is the premier event for you. We've brought together 5 experts in 5 industries: marketing, accounting, law, management, and entrepreneurship, for a no-holds barred, gloves off, let's get right to the bottom of the barrel, Q and A session. Parking will be extremely limited, so please park across the street at the WCC main campus. All are welcome!

Cost: Free Food: Provided Host: Student Entrepreneurs Zone Club When: Thursday April 2nd, 4 - 6 PM (6 - 8 open networking) Where: WCC Health & Fitness Center: Both Conference Rooms

Panel of Professionals:
Entrepreneurship/Management: Diane Durance
Entrepreneurship/Technology: Carrie Hensel
Business Marketing: Gerald Schorin
Business Accounting: Jeff Doloway
Business Law: Paul Callam

Please RSVP by sending an email to:, subject: "April 2nd Event," and don't forget to include your first and last name in the email. Thank you!

Hiring, Firing, Discipline & Interviewing Do's and Don'ts Event


Hiring, Firing, Discipline & Interviewing Do's and Don'ts is the topic of this week's First Friday Forum.

This is an opportnity to get the answers to your HR questions from a Labor and Employment Law specialist. C. Philip Baither, III is a partner of the law firm of Robison Curphey & O'Connell. His office is in the firm's Adrian office on East Maumee Street. The program is set for this Friday, April 3 at Noon and will be held at the Blue Flame Room at 117 North Winter Street, Adrain, MI. (Please park in the City Lot across the street.)

Cost is $7.50 and includes a boxed lunch. Make your reservations now. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from an expert! To make your reservation, reply to this e-mail or call 265-2320. See you there!