Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They are problem solvers. They are need-fillers. They are idea-hatchers. They also experience a larger share of road blocks, obstacles, pit falls, and unforeseen circumstances. But the nimble-footed and growth-minded will see their way through.
Mel Wright is part of this entrepreneurial tradition. As a US veteran with a history of small businesses behind her that include retail and tax services, she learns by doing and she leads by example.
When she first mapped out the plan for The Wright Village, Wright wanted to solve issues she herself experienced: a lack of resources, no advisors, and frankly being overlooked as a competitive business owner way too often.
“I’m a small business liaison,” Wright said. “My target is black entrepreneurs and underserved communities. We're building a community of like-minded individuals that want to work together.”
Like most coworking spaces, prospective members who tour The Wright Village want to know what the space offers in terms of access and amenities. But at the same time, Wright wants to know the prospective members will provide value of their own to the collective whole. Members commit to being part of a network that grows through collaboration and knowledge sharing, and the web site contains a celebration of those that have become part of it.
The roadmap for The Wright Village includes membership levels that unlock additional opportunities for coaching with Wright herself as well as access to her “Advisory Board” of professionals that can offer a la carte services and advice. These include lawyers, financial professionals, marketing experts, and others.
We wanted to hear from Wright herself and capture her guidance for other entrepreneurs out there who were facing those same obstacles and jumping the same hurdles she knows all too well.
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find a great support group that you can learn from or bounce ideas off of. Build a team that values your vision and mission and be able to accept constructive criticism.
2) Be cautious of how you spend your money in the beginning. Market on a small budget. Leverage social media to market your business, join Facebook groups to help with promoting your business. Also, bartering with other businesses in your support group can help with partnerships, networking, and marketing your business.
3) Never stop learning. There are a ton of resources out there that will be beneficial for the success of your business. Joining a coworking/ incubator space gives you access to resources, information, and a network of businesses you may have not known existed. Being able to learn and gain knowledge from other members in the space is of great value to growing your business.