(West Plains) – “Helping Businesses Grow” is the mission of Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) and since opening its doors a year and half ago that is what OzSBI has been doing. By providing a broad range of incubation services including business coaching and milestone meetings, trainings and workshops, a microloan program and monthly Round Table meetings with business professionals, OzSBI has been able to help its young client companies expand and create new jobs. To date 36 new jobs have been created, 20 of those jobs have gone to low-to-moderate income people and 21 to individuals previously unemployed.
Currently, OzSBI a multi-office facility with shared meeting rooms and technology houses 4 tenant businesses. These firms include a Nelson Law Office, SMS Technology, Restoring Hope, Wade Insurance and Heart of the Ozarks Counseling. These “tenant clients” receive all OzSBI’s incubation services, while renting an office at the facility.
Chuck Swift of Restoring Hope was motivated to move his home office to OzSBI after his first tour. One day in late February, he and his partner Jeff Smith stopped by OzSBI to see what the Incubator had to offer and were blown away. His first impression was “this is the type of facility you see in St. Louis or Kansas City.” “As a home-based business, you can never get away from your work,” said Chuck. “Coming to OzSBI reduced our stress and helped us operate more efficiently and opened my mind to new ways to expand,” commented Chuck.” Since moving to the Ozarks Small Business Incubator, Restoring Hope, LLC has more than doubled in size.
OzSBI also offers an Affiliate Client program, which allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of all the incubation services while running their business off-site. Currently, OzSBI has 9 Affiliate Clients that include a variety of businesses including a photographer, restaurant, sign maker, mold inspector to a car collision repair center.
Wages Brewing Company became an Affiliate Client in March of this year. Phil and Amber Wages plan to open a full-scale microbrewery in 2014. To get ready for the challenge of opening their business, they decided to take some business courses at the OzSBI. The first business class Phil took was OzSBI’s entrepreneurial training program, Operation JumpStart (OJS). Phil enrolled in OJS in 2011 and learned about starting a business “including some basic concepts that seem obvious but, for whatever reason, weren’t.
Phil was skeptical about becoming a client of OzSBI. “I had my doubts that the Ozarks Small Business Incubator could help me. I didn’t become a client because I wasn’t sure the monthly fee would benefit my business. They suggested a free trial “milestone meeting” and after we met, I realized there is real value to what they do.”
“The first thing that caught my attention was that they were not just “business” in the suit and tie way of talking about projections. They had real questions and tons of ideas. The milestone meetings also serve as a source of motivation and accountability. They offer resources that are included in the monthly fee, such as roundtable meetings with business professionals and discounts on in-depth workshops. The value to me is that my business is so much further along than it was before I became an OzSBI Client. I know suggest to my friends to give the OzSBI a try. There really is a chance they can help you start your business.”
If you would like to learn more about becoming a client of OzSBI, please call 417-256-9724 or visit our website at www.ozsbi.com.