There is an increasing number of people opting to launch their own businesses these days. There are various speculations that can aim to explain this phenomenon. One principal speculation, is that more and more people appreciate the satisfaction of working for themselves. Another is that people are increasingly connected and exposed to more and more innovative concepts. Perhaps people believe that being employed and working for someone else’s enterprise puts a ceiling on the figure one earns every month, whereas in running one’s own business, that figure has a direct correlation with how hard you are working. The mathematics here appears to be quite simple. But is it really?
In running one’s own enterprise, it is crucial to ensure that we are giving ourselves and the best tools and opportunities to succeed. In reality, it is very difficult to ascertain a startup’s chances of success. Running a startup is like juggling at least 6 balls during most of your waking hours and on one leg. For this reason, many startups decide to opt for an Incubation Program.
Benefits and possibilities offered to Start Ups by an incubator
Well who said you could not run your business from your own garage or from a friendly neighbor’s garage? This have worked very well for Larry Page and Sergey Brin since they now own the lion’s share of Google. Yet, let’s be realistic – the focus is to make enough day by day and to survive. One instrument that might come in handy remains the business incubator. An Incubation Program is one that is designed to help startups develop in its early stages. It does for a startup what an actual incubator does for eggs: Prepares them for hatching successfully and healthily. But metaphors aside, Incubation Programs offer coaching, workshops and networking for early stage enterprises. They provide a curriculum with set objectives specific to the startup and outcomes that it needs to identify and deliver. So, a business incubator, in turn, is an organization that provides these services.
To survive and thrive, what does a start -up need? What are startup’s basic necessities?
1. Affordable Workspace for Start-Ups
Business incubators firstly offer a co-working space for new entrepreuneur. These are cost effective workspaces with a varied pool of professionals renting seats to work. The benefit here is two-fold: a free workspace means exemption from having to allocate a significant sum from one’s budget. And secondly, it provides automatic access to a wide network of professionals that entrepreneurs can tap into for advice and better yet, collaborations. Since coworking spaces are known for their eccentric layouts and decors, it does not hurt to have the opportunity to impress potential partners and clients by welcoming them into a hip and trendy environment.
2. Access to a vast network of mentors, experts and industry partners
A crucial component of any business incubator corresponds to the large network of business advisors and partners that can help advance the business. From Entrepreneurs-in-Residence which provide high-level strategic guidance to specialized mentors for niche industries, the difference between success and failure can truly come down to who you know.
3. Funding opportunities for new entrepreneurs
Everybody knows entrepreneurs need money to expand and grow their businesses, and although many early-stage startup companies raise their initial funds through the 3 F’s (friends, family, founders), there will come a time when a more substantial round of investment is necessary. Membership in a business incubator not only can connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalist and/or angel investment groups, but it can make the business a more attractive investment opportunity to such groups.
4. Support system during the “treacherous” early stage waters
Whether it is a product flaw or an incompetent management team that leads to its demise, incubation programs strive to mitigate that early-stage risk of starting a business through programmatic and developmental resources. It also helps being able to talk entrepreneurs off the ledge when they have a rough day.
In a nutshell, Business incubators’ main aim is to educate new entrepreneurs in best business practices while providing mentorship and guidance.