So you think you want to start a business?

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We at Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. and the Franklin Business Incubator are in the business of helping businesses in our area and to that point we are always looking for helpful workshops to offer aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.

We are happy to announce that we are bringing a very exciting event for folks in this area. Jim Flowers, Executive Director with VT Knowledge Works — the business acceleration program affiliated with Virginia Tech, is coming to our area on Thursday, Sept. 18. He will be helping aspiring entrepreneurs by trying to provide answers to the common issues all prospective business owners must address.

Author of the book, “MOXIE and Other Fundamental Entrepreneurial Concepts,” which is widely used by entrepreneurs all over, Jim is a proud veteran with more than 40 years of service to start-up and early-stage companies as an executive and consultant. Recently, he even invented and launched his own business venture as producer of a new and exciting outdoor game appropriate for folks of all ages to use in all outdoor spaces, Throquet. He had gleaned a wealth of knowledge and information before this adventure, which proved to be very helpful to him; but, now he can say that he has learned even more at the college of hard knocks. And, he is ready, willing and able to come and share that knowledge with you, the aspiring business owner.

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to meet with folks all the time who want — or, think they want — to start a business. That is exciting… in fact, it is energizing! But, one of the worst parts of my job is having to explain to folks that starting a business takes a lot more than being passionate about whatever their business idea might be. It takes a lot of dedication, persistence and determination. As added bonuses, talent, genius and education also help. And, while a business plan must start in one’s own mind, eventually pencil must be put to paper to look at all of the logistics of starting a business. After all, failing to plan is indeed planning to fail.

If you are thinking about starting a business — or, if you have recently started a business and are looking for some sound help — NOW is the time to test the strategic essence of your business concept, to tighten up your managerial focus, and to review the overall basic business start-up process. If you fit one of the descriptions just mentioned, you will not find a better way to spend four hours of your time and $20 of your money. This workshop will take place from 8 a.m. until noon at the Franklin Business Incubator, located at 601 N. Mechanic Street, in historic downtown Franklin. Registration is necessary… and, it is easy. You can register online at; you can register by phone at 540-443-9100, ext. 3; or, you can register by email at And, as if this is not a bargain in and of itself, we’ll even throw in a continental breakfast to sweeten the deal for you!

In this very informative, highly energetic presentation, one will learn the four fundamental factors that govern the startup process, the strategic essence of every successful business, the five powerful habits used by good managers, the power of a full commitment, how the money really moves around, and the closely-held MOXIE secrets (what it is, why you need it, and where it comes from). Even if you already own your own business, this workshop is sure to offer some valuable information for you to take back to your office to use as you continue to build your business.

I hope that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be something that you will seize if you currently own a business… or, if you plan to start one in the near future. Not only will you glean golden nuggets of information to help you with your business, but you will also have just a little bit of “Hokie blood” in your veins as a student in one of their well-acclaimed workshops! At $5 per hour as the cost of your tuition — with a free breakfast, to boot — how can you possibly go wrong? I look forward to seeing you on the Sept. 18. But please… don’t forget to register. Classroom space is limited, so why don’t you take care of that today? You’ll be glad you did… and so will we!

Nancy K. Parrish is the small business development manager of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. and the director of the Franklin Business Incubator. She can be reached at 562-1958.