Network members sat down for lunch and conversation with the local entrepreneurs behind CellARide, Physique Fitness, and Spark Events at 425 Downtown this week to learn more about their goals, hurdles, and what keeps them up at night. Check out the highlights below to see what they had to say!
- Downtown Springfield is the home of entrepreneurship
With lots of talk about resources and support for entrepreneurship in Springfield it became clear that downtown is widely considered the home of entrepreneurship in our community. With spaces like The eFactory, programs like 1 Million Cups, and the recent launch of Springfield's first accelerator program, there's more than ever happening in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Josh Holstein with CellARide touted the services offered at The eFactory as critical to his continued success and all panelists spoke of the sense of community that's shared amongst downtown business owners. Proving our point even further: All three of our panelists are based downtown (and we didn't even plan that!).
- Finding the right talent to join your team requires an intentional approach - and attitude can outweigh aptitude
Your business is your baby, and finding people you feel comfortable helping take care of your baby is a big deal. All of our panelists agreed that building a dedicated and talented team is at the top of the list of things a business owner needs to do, but it's easier said than done. Darby Brownfield with Physique Fitness shared that attitude often trumps aptitude in her hiring process. You can teach your teammates how to perform most functions, but you can't fundamentally alter a personality or adjust attitudes. Choose wisely!
- Know what you're good at (and what you kind of suck at)
Brice Clark with Spark Events shared that he's naturally drawn to the marketing and sales side of the entertainment business, and tends to focus a lot of his energy in those areas. To make sure the ducks stay in a row, he's got teammates who excel in Excel. Having those who like to get down in the details and focus on accounting, processes, and other administrative duties allows everyone to focus on their strengths, and makes the team stronger as a whole.
- There's room for more entrepreneurs and ideas in SGF!
All of our panelists agreed that part of what makes Springfield special is the people here. They'll tell you what they like, what they need, and how they want it without much prompting. One of the benefits of a community the size of Springfield is that there's room to explore ideas here. Have something you want to see done? There's probably a way for you to do it, especially if you're willing to ask around and leverage your connections (everyone knows everyone, right?!). With access to resources, a great talent pipeline, and an affordable cost of living it's no wonder Springfield is considered one of the best places to start a business!
PS - A big thanks to Rachel Anderson, Entrepreneurial Specialist at The eFactory for moderating our discussion.