No Place Like Here, No Time Like Now

Are you ready?  You have been dreaming of it for years.  Can you actually make it happen, though?  If contemplation about starting your own business is enough to thrill your heart and chill your blood, you are in good company.

You may also be in a time and place where the stars are aligned.  The internet and e-commerce are democratizing the marketplace, throwing curveballs at brick and mortar “big box” stores and dominant corporations while enabling small players to compete.  The physical space, equipment,  and personnel required to get started in many areas of business have been reduced, thereby diminishing what was potentially a mountainous hurdle- the required capital.  As its streamlined efficiency continously evolves, an off-shoot of the global economy is the increasing premium placed on locally sourced, locally produced, handmade goods and customized, quality service experiences.  Even as on-demand conveniences emerge across economic sectors (pay by phone, deliver by drone?!) consumers savor the opportunity to slow down,  even if only vicariously, in their selection of goods and services.  Such trends show promise for small business.  As for place, West Virginia is a natural habitat for self-starters and standouts of various stripes, be they survivalists or sound barrier breakers.  Encouraging small business development is one implementation of that defining spirit.   And the eastern panhandle offers proximity and infrastructure connecting us to major markets.  Location and current cultural and technological circumstances converge to prime prospects for an exciting variety of commerce.

So you have the set of skills,  and the passion.   The time is right.   Where do you start?  How about the Small Business Development Center?   Locally situated at 13650 Apple Harvest Drive in Martinsburg,  the West Virginia SBDC is a statewide network established as a division of the West Virginia Development Office, and an accredited member of a nationwide corps.  On the premise that 96% of business in West Virginia is identified as small business,  the SBDC exists to support entrepreneurs as they start, grow, and succeed.  What is good for the small business is good for West Virginia, and solid programs are in place for each stage of development.  One-to-one coaching is available at no cost.  Questions can be authoritatively answered via the WV SBDC website ( regarding business plans, financing, legal formation, licensure and taxation, technological support, and more.  Business Fundamentals is a  course which will be offerred on July 22, 2015 at the center.  The course is from 9:00 AM- 12:00 noon and provides navigation for those who are starting a business or who have a fairly new business.  The fee is $35 and registration is available online.  For more information visit the website or contact Mary Hott at 304-380-3279.

  With the explosion  of technological capabilities  and the way those new tools have changed the way we ply our trades- not to mention peddle our wares,  it is possible to conduct a lot of business without dedicated physical space.  Offices and stores are not obsolete,  but they need not be obstructions to getting started.  For the local entrepreneur who, because they have a fledgling operation or because the nature of their work does not necessitate the maintenance of professional space, a new option is available to furnish whatever they do need, as much or as little as they need it.  The HUB, located at 126 E. Burke Street in downtown Martinsburg, is a forward thinking co-op office complex which provides flexible ammenities including office spaces, conference rooms and a lounge area.  The interiors of the complex are beautiful and designed for professional function in a relaxed atmosphere.  Spaces are available for daily, weekly, monthly, and long term use, with a few offices actually available at hourly rates.  Use of a complex like the HUB enables the small business to streamline overhead and focus resources without compromising image or productivity.

Local resources like the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and the HUB combine with available technology and market trends to make now and here rich with exciting potential.  If you have the dream and the drive,  get that business out of your head and into the real world.

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Posted by on Jul 7 2015. Filed under Local News, Slider YourBG. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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