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Liz Anderson started her Coffee Shoppe at the Hawkins Business Incubator. Courtesy Photo

By Danielle M. Delint

Hawkins has a coffee shop.  How awesome is that?  It is a sign that we are growing and willing to try new things, experience new job opportunities, and most of all take a chance on something new and exciting.

Bizzie Lizzie’s Coffee Shoppe made it happen.  Now you can, too. All it takes is a little imagination, a desire to own your own business, a place to start out to get your feet off the ground, a business plan, marketing, and viola, you have your own business.  What types of businesses are you talking about? How much will it cost to rent out the office space? What is included in the office space? Will there be someone to help me, coach me, and provide assistance when I need it? Yes, to all. Let me begin to tell you how.

What types of businesses would be a good fit for a small business incubator? Well, there are many types that can use this type of setup. First you need to look at the community and go about 30-40 miles out and see what is needed. What would be a good fit? Remember, many people drive 30+ miles to get things from outside of Hawkins, so think about that. Here are some ideas:

  • Tax Preparer
  • Cyber Security
  • Software Developer
  • Data Analyst
  • Marketing
  • Insurance Agent
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Food Truck
  • Bakery
  • Seamstress
  • Caregiver
  • Handyman
  • Sitting Service (Pet, House, Kids, Seniors)
  • Tutor
  • Counselor
  • Fitness Trainer
  • Gardener
  • Hand Crafted Gifts
  • Handmade Ice Cream
  • Tutor (Music, academics, language)
  • Janitorial Services
  • Event Planning
  • Answering Service
  • Attorney
  • Consultant
  • Grant writer
  • And more….

How much will it cost to rent office space?  The cost is minimal. It is less than $200 a month for the first year, and then it has minor increases for the next two years. By the third year, the expectation is that you have done well enough to open your own business and move out of the incubator which will allow someone new to come in and try their hand at it.  The cost of rental includes costs such as electricity, internet, copy/fax machine and small closet to go with your office space. The office spaces do not have furniture, so that is a cost that will be incurred by the renter.

As you begin this new experience of opening and running your own job, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed.  And then you ask “Who is there to help me”? Well, have we got a deal for you. The Tyler Junior College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is there to help walk you through the process of owning your own business and how to develop it into a successful adventure.

The SBDC offers free advising for start-up and existing businesses. They can help you:

  • Prepare financial projections for loan package
  • Conduct financial analysis and improve profitability
  • Develop competitive strategies
  • Cope with government regulation and taxes
  • Design a marketing plan
  • Understand and secure loans and other sources of capital
  • Keep abreast of current technology
  • Brainstorming and research
  • Restructure debt analysis
  • Prepackage Interview Process for SBA Loans
  • Turnaround Advising

So, now that you have been informed on what the Hawkins Small Business Incubator can do for you, what are you waiting on? Life is too short to let dreams slide by without giving them an opportunity or chance to develop into something wonderful. All business have to start somewhere. Why not here? Why not now?