LC Bulletin: Starting a business in 2010

January 8, 2010. Retrieved online: January 11, 2010 from Gabriel Vasquez, Las Cruces Bulletin

Entrepreneurs can thrive during tough economic times

For many, the fear of losing their job often results in apprehension, anxiety, leading to panic and sleepless nights. But for others, downsizing, layoffs and furloughs in the workplace can breed a much different sensation – the entrepreneurial spirit.

For those who want to go it alone, there is a wealth of resources available in Las Cruces to help them get their business off the ground.

At the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a team of business advisors offers hopeful entrepreneurs assistance in business planning, marketing, financial statement analysis and cash flow projecting.

SBDC business advisor Mike Levine said starting a business during a recession has its advantages.

“People that were just dabbling in the business, or considering starting a business may no longer be interested,” he said. “So that eliminates some of the competition. Also, with the economy getting better, some people are looking up and looking to buy things again.”

According to the Kauffman Foundation, one of the world’s largest foundations devoted to entrepreneurship, more than half the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or a bear market.

According to one of Kauffman’s latest studies, “The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom,” the United States might be on the brink of an entrepreneurship spurt. Some of the conditions fueling the Kauffman projections are shifting age distribution, decline in lifetime employment, the experience of a growing workforce and the effects of the 2008-09 recession.

… Entrepreneurship specialist Matt Elgersma of New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center said then umber of projects and commission forms his organization has received for startups and expansions for the upcoming semester is “quite impressive.”

“We have a large, large number of projects,” he said.

Elgersma said he often advises clients to live by the “Three Ms.”

“Market, management and money,” he said. “That’s what I like to stick with. You need the right cash flow, management experience and making sure that there is a market for your product.”

The Arrowhead Entrepreneurship Center offers services such as marketing and feasibility studies, financial and industry analyses with the help of Student Innovation Teams, which are comprised of graduate students from various educational backgrounds. Each team works closely with their client to conduct research specific to their needs.

Additionally, Elgersma said NMSU has started a new service called the E-Alliance, http://nme-alliance.com, a website where New Mexico entrepreneurs can network and discuss business strategies.

“The experts can blog about their practices and the rookies come and learn,” Elgersma said. “They correspond in a mixed medium to share very useful information.”

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