How tough is it to start your own business in WV?

Sep 20, 2013

Credit West Virginia Small Business Development Center

  The West Virginia Small Business Development Center showed a crowd of entrepreneurs and business owners how technology can help tackle small business needs.

In the third of five planned workshops throughout the state, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center walked entrepreneurs through the process of beginning their own business. This workshop focused on the necessity of technology to make it in today’s market. Justin Gaull is the Technology Commercialization manager for the Center.

“An SBDC business coach works to serve as a connector so we help the entrepreneurs in West Virginia find resources that they can use to move the businesses or their ideas forward. We also serve as a coach and help them through the leadership and strategy issues of their business and also on a personal level is business right for me,” Gaull said.

Gaull said begin the tackling the tasks of starting a business. Last week’s session focused on everything from the early stages of development justification for innovation, how to analyze the market for the product and how to get to the level they want to attain. Gaull said the process can look like a mountain to climb at the beginning.

"It sometimes appears daunting to try to get in and try to commercialize some new product or technology and what we try to do is walk them through that visionary process that is sometimes negated in the very beginning," Gaull said.

“It sometimes appears daunting to try to get in and try to commercialize some new product or technology and what we try to do is walk them through that visionary process that is sometimes negated in the very beginning. Someone has a great idea and they bring that prototype into the office and they’re ready to move forward from that point and sometimes that’s not the best thing and sometimes that’s not the best move, sometimes they need to back up and ask those key questions,” Gaull said.

Pryce Haynes of Huntington attended the conference with the idea of using college logos on different kinds of merchandise. He said it definitely seems like a larger undertaking.

“I think right now we’re opening a can of worms if you will, you look at the business model and maybe there are five steps or however many steps there are to it, well each step contains 30 more steps, so on and so forth. So there are a lot of angles and things to consider along each step of the way,” Haynes said.

Tom Minnich is the Director of Special Projects and Business Development with the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington. RCBI is a non-profit training service that provides small businesses access to what they need to continue developing their business. The institute serves as co-sponsor of the workshops. He says the workshops are essential because many people that come to them with ideas aren’t prepared.

“There is people out there that did not do their homework and did not do their searches, they have an idea, but the sister product is already out there on the street and then some people come in with a real realistic idea, but they don’t know how to get to the next level with it, it’s still in their head and not reality,” Minnich said.

Previous workshops were held in Bridgeport and Charleston and the next two will be held in the eastern panhandle and once again in Bridgeport.