Business incubation has been in existence in the U.S since 1959 and has been growing ever since. In Anita Campbell’s article, Business Incubators: The Next Innovation Engine?, legislators are looking into business incubation as a way to boost job growth.
Since small businesses are the major contributors in job creation, it just makes sense that the small business sector be given as much support as the government can. More help = more small businesses= more jobs.
Business incubation has a wide range of services. It goes above and beyond just leasing a space and giving sound business advice. Some services include help with regulatory compliance, access to angel investors or venture capitalists, and other administrative services which are essential to any type of business. The main difference between business incubators and the U.S. Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is that the former targets startups while the latter helps businesses across all phases.
If you are one of those entrepreneurs who buy this innovation, the first step you need to do is to find a quality incubation program to work with. You can explore the NBIA tips to guide you on which incubation program to choose. You can look incubators up on local business directories, business schools and the National Business Incubation Association for lists.
Now, once you have chosen an incubation program, the next step is to apply for it. To get considered, the start-up company needs to have a feasible business plan. This means that aside from having a great idea, the business plan you have created should also be practical and workable.
The incubator syndrome kicks in when the entrepreneur makes the mistake of being highly dependent on incubators for all their business decisions. Incubators are there to give advice and help, the operation of the company is in your hands as the owner. There would be a lot of help, tips, advice and so on about how your business should be run but ultimately, it would fall on your shoulders on which one best fits your line of business.
The incubation program is a long-term approach so close monitoring and performance evaluation is needed so that you would know what developments were reached in a certain time frame since you started with the program.
Think of business incubators as consultants. The combination of business incubator services and your passion and dedication would ensure the success of your enterprise.