HANCOCK COUNTY — In hopes of connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed in their business ventures, the Hancock County Economic Development Council is offering a seminar next week.
The council has partnered with the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center to conduct the two-hour workshop, scheduled for Aug. 20, which will outline the process of writing and implementing a viable business plan.
Establishing an effective plan is one of the most important elements of launching a sustainable business, said Skip Kuker, executive director of the Hancock County Economic Development Council.
“It’s very difficult to start a business without one,” he said. “It walks you through if your idea is actually a good idea. It may show you things you don’t want to see, but it’s best to make those changes up front rather than setting out and losing time and money.”
Still, he said, it’s a step too many business fail to implement effectively.
“Many don’t spend the time they need to really get a vision of what benchmarks they need to set,” Kuker said. “And it’s difficult to do on your own as a single person, but that’s why we’ve organized this program.”
Organizers say the workshop will appeal to current business owners as well as those who haven’t yet launched a business but are interested in doing so.
Kevin Jones, business adviser at the small business development center, has delivered the same seminar to several neighboring communities. He said it leads participants through the basics, like hours of operation and what services their business offers, to specific strategies and marketing plans.
“There are hundreds of decisions that a business has to make, including how they plan to differentiate themselves from other business and the reasons you’re giving customers to come,” Jones said.
The seminar will also appeal to those who have an existing business plan but may need to make some tweaks to it, Jones said.
“Many plans need to be updated every one to three years,” he explained. “Things in business change so fast that a plan can get out of date pretty quickly.”
Kuker said participants will receive a 97-page workbook to take with them that will serve as a comprehensive guide for writing and updating a plan.
The seminar costs $20, but the economic development council is offering a rebate to the first five county residents who register and complete the seminar.
The workshop will run from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Hancock County Public Library, 600 W. McKenzie Road.
For information, or to sign up for the workshop, visit isbdc.org.