If you are looking to a start a business or have been in business and are looking to expand there are all types of funding options available. To name a few methods of funding there is bootstrapping, friends, family, Angel Investors, Venture Capitals, IPO’s, bank loans, SBA grants and Business Incubators. Many entrepreneurs face this important task and challenge of trying to find what works best for them and the business. Out of all the financial funding sources listed above, the main focus of this article will be on Business Incubators.
Business incubators are organizations geared to helping start-up and existing business. A business incubator can offer capital, offers advice, provides services, and space for clients looking to start a small business or needs help to expand an existing business. Usually, a business incubator is used to accelerate business growth and strengthen locally owned businesses. Essential features may include assistance with rental space, computer labs, capital, advice, and support services.
Sectors that can benefit from an Incubator are construction, manufacturing, information technology, professional, scientific, technical, management of companies and enterprises, arts, entertainment, recreation, biotechnology and other services. There is a network of entrepreneurs and linkages to economic development resources. Having a network of entrepreneurs, community planning and development teams, Chamber of Commerce, local universities and community colleges, and other local sources like SBTDC and SBA’s housed at one central location can be beneficial to entrepreneurs.
Being able to go to a physical location that is a business incubator offers entrepreneurial needs and benefits, plus it can have additional resources such as a desk, computer lab, meeting spaces, a break room with coffee and snack machines. The business incubator offers entrepreneurs with a rental office space without having to invest rent or leasing space. They can provide a desk, conference room, classroom, a private desk or office for a monthly or weekly fee. Having these options available plus having the tools near them start their business up can help save on overhead cost.
Although business incubators usually have standard monthly rates and additional charges to have a working space private or social meeting areas. These costs are minimal compared to having to purchase all the office equipment and rental space to start a business that may not need a storefront right away. Other necessities incubators assist with are making business decisions that can help an entrepreneur when they are making life considerations to what type of industry they are thinking about starting and if they are ready to take the leap. They can also help in financial projections, help develop a marketing plan, offer printer, copier and fax resources, help promote your business with networking and social media tools, provide training to help get your business website up and running, also help you find legal business attorneys, business insurance, business and commercial lending services, and certified accounting professionals (CPA’s).