Starting a small business is a risky proposition. Thirty percent of all new operations go out of business within two years and that number increases to just about 50% in five years. How can a would-be entrepreneur come out on the winning end of those odds?
The answer is solid preparation and a realistic assessment of the market before the ‘open for business’ sign is hung. That’s why UCEDC, a statewide nonprofit economic development corporation, is offering an intensive six-week workshop for start-up businesses (those in the idea/planning phase or in operation less than a year). The next session of Entrepreneurship 101: are you really ready to start your business? is scheduled for Thursday evenings (6:00 – 9:00 pm), April 12 – May 17, 2012 at UCEDC’s headquarters in Union.
A Reality Check for a Business Dream
Participants will be guided through a real-world assessment of their business idea and market feasibility as well as their own ability to handle the demands of business ownership. The steps to opening a business in New Jersey, choosing a legal structure, developing a business plan and establishing cost, revenue and cash flow projections will be addressed in a variety of interactive exercises.
“Being a business owner is hard work and this workshop is equally demanding,” says Erich Peter, UCEDC’s Director of Training. “But we’re going to work with you both in and outside of the classroom to make sure that the class material is relevant to your specific needs. And, we stick with our graduates for 12 months, providing free mentoring and counseling services.”
Lasting Insights Gained in Six Weeks
Recent graduate of the entrepreneurial program, Donna Schmidt, RN, owner of Cleansing Waters, a colon hydrotherapy practice in Westfield, credits the workshop with showing her how to carefully scrutinize the value and effectiveness of marketing and advertising options. “When you start your own business, everyone’s hand is in your pocket,” she says. “Had I not gone to the workshop, I would probably still be all over the map, thinking every offer that came to me was the next big thing to get my business out there.”
Olive Lynch enrolled in the workshop to take advantage of the individualized mentorship. Her Plainfield-based company, Green Waste Technologies, utilizes a unique approach to creating biofuel from food waste. “I knew this idea was big and I wanted to get as many good ideas and as much help as I could, ” Lynch recalls. "Erich (UCEDC director of training, Erich Peter) really helped me understand how to assess the value of my company and my efforts and that's kept me from entering into some unwise business relationships."
Entrepreneurship 101 is a component of UCEDC’s Entrepreneurial Training Initiative, an ongoing small business training effort, offered in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Sessions for start-ups and established businesses are held throughout the state.
Registration is now open for Entrepreneurship 101. Complete information can be found on the UCEDC website at www.ucedc.com/events or by calling 908-527-1166.