It’s important to just start; with some learning (local!)

A series of 3 local entrepreneur workshops are happening on the Sunshine Coast over the next 3 months.  Jan 23/24, March 6/7, April 17/18.   Registration and details here.

The format is an early evening session followed with a full day session the next day.

A local opportunity for early stage and growth oriented entrepreneurs to connect with other local like-minded folks, learn from some of the best thinkers in this space, and connect into provincial and federal programs.  Designed to support local entrepreneur success.

Curious if these workshops are right for you?   Here are some Q&A’s to help get you a sense of what to expect.

Q: I’m a small going-concern business that uses “tech” but doesn’t build it, how can these workshops help me.

A: While there are some fascinating businesses and developers who are building core technology in our region most entrepreneurs are using “tech” simply in more creative or unexpected ways.  The biggest challenge, regardless of technology, is coming up with an innovative and sustainable business model.  The biggest challenge most entrepreneurs face with their business model is executing on it and/or almost constantly adjusting it.  Jeff Bezos considers Amazon to be a “Startup at day 1” — forever!

Q: I’m a small going-concern business in a very non-tech industry, how can these workshops help me.

A: Technology has changed (or will change) virtually every business on the planet.  The founders of Airbnb did not come from the Bed & Breakfast or Hotel industry, nor did the founders of Uber come from the Taxi industry.  Some of the biggest opportunities still yet to be had are “adding” technology to non-tech business and industry.  In most cases this starts with understanding core tech-based business development methodologies.

Q: I’m a LEAP Graduate and have had decent success (or challenges) with my business and I think I know this stuff so why should I RETHINK what I’ve already learned?

A: If we take a page from Jeff Bezos [reference above] and consider that our business is in a constant state of learning and progressing, then re-thinking the how and why of what we do will become a core habit that can help us to achieve our goals.  Read books, attend workshops, experiment, fit it in, make it happen, repeat.

Q: I’m nearing positive cash-flow with my business and I’m unsure if I should push harder with investment or other growth strategies, how will these workshops help my situation?

A: Most businesses, and certainly most founders and CEO’s are in a never-ending cycle of decision making.  However, some decisions are more important than others and knowing how to properly consider the variables and possible outcomes is both an art (that comes from experience) and science (that comes from data).  There are best practices, and there are tools to help!

Q: I’ve been kicking around several business ideas but I have yet to start anything, how can I decide what is best?

A: SWOT it!  An old but powerful Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat assessment can help more than you may realize.  Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t do this type of work and just go with their gut feel or with what “they” want rather than what “customers” or markets want.  It’s important not to do too much too soon, or too little too late, but more than that it’s important to just start; after doing some homework!

Q: Who is leading the workshops? 

A: Innovation Island is our regional partner for accessing BC Innovation Council support and Federal IRAP/NRC programming.  Graham Truax, resident EiR, comes over to the Coast to lead the sessions.  Interactive.  Fast moving.  Come away with a stack of resources that will help you get started / scale/ pivot in a smart way.

Q: Wait.  I have more questions.  Who can I speak with? 

A: Feel free to call or drop by the Community Futures office in Sechelt.  Or connect with the @SCtechhub who have members who have attended and are part of the ongoing BC Venture Acceleration Program.

Q: Who is supporting and organizing the events?

A:  Super pleased to have SCREDO, our regional economic development organization backing the workshops.  The workshops are being held with support from the Dean and staff at kálax-ay the Sunshine Coast Campus of Capilano UniversityCommunity Futures are championing the organization with support from @SCtechhub.