• 50°

Entrepreneurs gather for Small Business Success Forum

KANNAPOLIS — For Barbara Hall, director of the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Small Business Week is about recognizing the time, effort, energy and passion of small business owners.

But her work goes far beyond this recognition. On Tuesday, she coordinated a day of relaxation, networking and education for business owners in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. It was the center’s first Small Business Success Forum, held at Kannapolis City Hall.

About 90 small business professionals attended the forum, hosted by the Small Business Center’s Network and Small Business and Technology Development Center. Nearly half of them, said Hall, were individuals already familiar with and using the Rowan-Cabarrus center.

“Some of those 90 may be here with staff, but we’re talking one or two employees,” Hall said. “When it comes to small businesses, these aren’t the people that have the number of staff needed to keep the business running and be here, and they can’t shut down.”

Accordingly, she said, Tuesday’s participants represented the counties’ true entrepreneurs, with many of them having just four or fewer employees.

The Rowan-Cabarrus center works with small business owners to help start and grow small business by providing what Hall called “readily accessible assistance” such as education, resources and referrals, she said. It is one of 58 similar centers across North Carolina, a unique facet of the state’s community college system.

Tuesday’s forum brought education, resources and the chance to network to a central location, featuring nine different workshops on how to start, run and grow business from the ground up.

Michah Vanderburg and Meghann Hasty, with MicahVan Signature Homed, said they have been working with Hall since they launched their kitchen and bathroom retail business two and a half years ago.

The Small Business Center helped with all facets of business startup, said Vanderburg: setting up a limited liability corporation, picking a location, purchasing products — the list goes on.

For both Vanderburg and Hasty, the best part of Tuesday’s forum was the opportunity to network.

“I think we can get into the daily grind of our customers and our employees and forget that there are others like us out there,” said Hasty. “It’s really nice to be able to just get together in seminars like this and get to know other people.”

Other forums covered topics such as financing, management and marketing.

Michael Moore, a business adviser with the Small Business and Technology Development Center and one of the workshop presenters, helped attendees “shift from being a business owner to  having a business model.”

He said many failed businesses are the result of owner burnout as they try to manage all aspects of their business alone.

And many sessions helped participants learn how to rise above in an ever-growing entrepreneurial boom. The key, according to many speakers, is finding and highlighting what makes each endeavor unique.

“Doing what we do, we’re a dime a dozen,” said Vanderburg. “If you’re strictly looking at commodity, there’s a lot of people that do what we do. We have to find that one ‘it’ factor that brings customers to us.”

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday