When entrepreneurs are starting in business, it’s a really vulnerable time. You know you have an idea and you have a desire to start a business with it, but you don’t know what you don’t know, and people can easily take advantage of that.
There’s businesses that act as predators; trying to find your insecurities, and promising their offers will help you overcome them, and often times, these promises are in vain. Programs like what’s offered at LaunchSA are a low financial risk (many are free), entrepreneurs from various growth stages gather, and experienced entrepreneurs come and teach on topics they’re good at.
Local accountants teach on business finance, local marketing firms teach on leading marketing techniques, and so on…
- 1 What is LaunchSA?
- 2 1. You Can Minimize Instant Expert Syndrome
- 3 2. You can Pay Prices that are Reasonable in Your Local Market
- 4 3. You can be taught by People who understand your local market
- 5 4. You can network across industries
- 6 5. You learn relevant Skills
- 7 6. You can cross-pollinate your social circle
- 8 7. You can establish yourself in your local market
- 9 Final Words on LaunchSA and Why Every Entrepreneur Should Have Something Like it
- 10 Now, it’s Your Turn…
LaunchSA is known as a “fueling station” for idea creators and entrepreneurs. They offer advice, expert-run workshops, and funding opportunities. Some of their past workshops included:
- A Sales Roundtable
- Budgeting 101
- Intellectual Property Roundtable
- and others…
LaunchSA was built thru a partnership of the Liftfund (a business funding organization) and San Antonio Economic Development Department. The classes are usually offered for free, but sometimes they’ve gone up to $30, so entrepreneurs from all economic backgrounds can join and get the information they need to grow their businesses.
Other organizations share the space inside LaunchSA including:
- The Liftfund Women’s Business Center
- San Antonio Coding Academy
- City of San Antonio Department of Economic Development Small Business Liason
LaunchSA is located inside the San Antonio Central Library, so in addition to having a great suite of business advisory services, there’s also loads of information that can be found on the bookshelves including a full floor of business trends and market research! The 4th floor of the San Antonio Central Library has market research information on various businesses to help entrepreneurs forecast based on local trends, have more insight when making their business plans, and base their decisions on facts rather than optimism.
It’s important for every entrepreneur to have a resource center like LaunchSA because…
1. You Can Minimize Instant Expert Syndrome
There are many great things about the internet, but the rise of instant experts isn’t one of them. Many people are fraudulently claiming expertise on topics their too new to give wholesome advice on. Since their offering the advice online, it can be harder to do the necessary investigations to see if they’re offering the help and support they claim. With local service providers, it’s easier to investigate whether the person has the expertise they claim.
Added onto the internet “instant expert syndrome”, people are buying reviews and testimonials to make themselves appear credible online. There’s so many people without integrity online, it makes it difficult to do business online.
In contrast, when you have a place like LaunchSA, you can take classes, get to know people, and get a feel for who has knowledge you may need thru live networking.
2. You can Pay Prices that are Reasonable in Your Local Market
Many consulting companies are charging tens of thousands of dollars for information. Sometimes, it’s necessary to sift out people who aren’t in their target audience. For example, if your target audience is people who are making more than $10 million annually, you may have to charge more as a way to create a gate that others can’t enter.
Alternatively, LaunchSA is not targeting entrepreneurs based on economic background. They are funded by the local government and by partners, so many of their services are free or affordable regardless of economic background.
3. You can be taught by People who understand your local market
Sometimes, sales processes may work better in one area than another. When you get advice from companies who aren’t local, it may not work as well for your local market. LaunchSA gives you the opportunity to be taught by local entrepreneurs who understand your local market and their needs.
4. You can network across industries
When I’ve attended LaunchSA, there’s been Marketing Agencies (with various specialties), Architects, Real Estate Brokers, Restaurant owners, Boutique owners, General Contractors, Marriage Counselors, and so many other business industries. When you attend LaunchSA or a business organization like it, you can network across industry verticals, leverage strengths, cross polinate, and even do complimentary joint ventures!
5. You learn relevant Skills
There are many skills required in entrepreneurship, and many of the skills need continual refreshing. Things like budgeting, sales, marketing, getting ranked in the search engines, and leadership are requisites for business success that need to be taught and improved with time. LaunchSA provides training and resources to help sharpen the necessary entrepreneurial skills.
Entrepreneurs can often be surrounded by people who don’t understand them, or they can be around people in their industries. It can be helpful to network with people who are also entrepreneurs, learn from other industries, and expand their social circles.
7. You can establish yourself in your local market
Networking can help to get you familiar with others in your local area and it helps to get more people talking about the products and services you offer. Once you begin serving people in your local market well, it begins the power of word of mouth marketing and creates advocacy for you and your brand.
Final Words on LaunchSA and Why Every Entrepreneur Should Have Something Like it
The goal of this article was to show you the power of having a local business resource center like LaunchSA and why every entrepreneur should have one. Depending on where you’re located, you may be able to find a similar organization thru meetup.com, the Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, or thru your local Economic Development Department. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to help you out!
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Do you have an organization that provides business resources like LaunchSA in your area? Where did you find it? What do they offer?