5 Ways Business Incubator Programs Can Help Your Startup Grow
As you develop your new company, there is no doubt that some business resources may be hard to come by. Managing your financial projections and everyday accounting (especially in the pre-revenue stage), creating a business and marketing plan, and hiring your first employees will likely take up the majority of your time as a startup founder. Tasks like booking and setting up a meeting space, finding an office or laboratory space, and planning your business growth can all be either maintained or assisted by a business incubator. Consider these five other ways business incubators can help your startup grow:
1. Business Coaching Services
Business coaching sessions are often included in business incubator memberships to help entrepreneurs and business owners identify their company’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Having a clear picture of what your business is doing well, as well as what you work on, can also give you a good idea of how competitive your business is in its market, and how it stands apart from its competitors.
At Union River Center for Innovation, we offer monthly business coaching sessions that are customized to your business’s unique and individual needs, so you can create goals and track and build on your progress. Not only do our business coaching sessions focus on your business progress as a whole, but they are tailored to individual fields of business that you may not have experience in, like human resources, marketing, accounting, and financial analysis. While you are the expert in your field, let our business experts coach you on how you can succeed in all of the facets of business that you may be less familiar with, giving you the opportunity to grow a strong and prepared company.
2. A Supportive Community of Entrepreneurs
While the old saying, “you are the company you keep,” may not always be true, it reminds us to surround ourselves with the positive influences we need to keep our businesses running. Often, in business incubator programs you can find just that — positive and experienced entrepreneurial connections that can help you grow and maintain your company!
Business incubator programs help your business thrive in a supportive, community atmosphere, where you are surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs in similar growth stages. This gives you and your associates the opportunity to brainstorm and converse with other business owners from a variety of fields, backgrounds, and industries. You never know what great ideas they’ll come up with, and you can even do the same for them! The surrounding community of professionals may even have networking connections or business affiliations that they could connect you with. Working in close proximity to a community of businesses helping one another succeed is what makes business incubators stand out among other resources or programs!
3. Administrative Resources
Incubator programs often offer additional amenities and administrative resources to let entrepreneurs focus on their business growth goals. These could include reception services, printing and mailing, or others.
This includes the Union River Center for Innovation! Leave the printing, mailing, and reception duties to us, and spend your valuable time focusing on growing your business. URCI’s business incubator program includes complementary printing, mailing, and reception services, in addition to high-speed internet access and free coffee and tea for all incubator tenants. The ability to focus on tasks like hiring team members, pursuing investors and funding, and researching and developing new products will help your business grow, especially with a small (or one-person) team!
4. Access to Entrepreneurial Networks & Funding Connections
Especially while your business is seeking funding or investors, you’ll want to spend time networking and building relationships both locally and regionally to expand your business’s awareness, funding, and connections. Many incubator programs are government funded or owned by private sector business developers or development companies that have access to a multitude of business and funding connections. Some incubators may even have agreements, affiliations, or programs in partnership with funding or business development organizations that can connect your company with grant applications, funding opportunities, or potential investors. Access to the entrepreneurial connections available through the vast networks of incubators and their affiliated organizations could even help you procure business partners or clients! The opportunities for positive business connections are endless.
5. Facility Amenities & Office Space
Business incubators are often equipped with everything you need to run your business comfortably from that facility. This includes the vital office and meeting space needed to secure investors, conduct your product development and research, meet with potential clients, and grow your team. In addition to the traditional office spaces available in most incubators, Union River Center for Innovation also offers a coworking space and an outdoor working space on the scenic Union River waterfront. URCI’s community lab space even allows entrepreneurs to continue their research and development in the same facility that they work in, meaning less travel time and less time spent managing locations.
With so many resources, amenities, and growth programs available to emerging startups and entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to decide which are the best options for your company. If you have a collaborative spirit and a drive to grow your business, an incubator may make sense for your business!
If your company is interested in joining a business incubator, reach out to Union River Center for Innovation today to learn more about our programs and amenities, like printing/mailing/reception services, office space, coworking space, conference room rentals, business coaching, free seminars, and more.