Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Moran Institute to Train Entrepreneurs; FSU College of Business Program Targets Established Small Companies

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Moran Institute to Train Entrepreneurs; FSU College of Business Program Targets Established Small Companies

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

Established small businesses in the Jacksonville area are eligible for a new program designed to help those companies expand and grow.

Startup businesses have gained a lot of traction through burgeoning efforts to help them get off the ground in recent years in Jacksonville. But the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at the Florida State University College of Business is about to launch operations targeting established small businesses that want to extend their reach.

"Jacksonville was on our radar," said Mike Campbell, director of the North Florida Operations for the Moran Institute. "It's in close proximity to Tallahassee, and the business community was a nice fit for us."

Campbell said the institute has not settled on a physical location where classes and training seminars will be conducted. The program will seek businesses that are already established, with anywhere from three to 100 employees, and have been in operation for at least three years. They are specifically looking for executives or owners of companies. In early 2017, the program will be expanded to include executives of nonprofit organizations.

"We don't help startups," Campbell said. "The difference is we work with seasoned business owners. Existing businesses already have workforces. They're already dealing with different rules on employment. They're already dealing with scenarios with distribution. ...

"We bring in experts in different areas," he said. "We help them refine their value proposition, really target their customer segments. Are there any [approaches] they're not doing? Are there some that they need to do better at? ... Enhancement is probably the key word."

The initial phase of the free program will accept 25 small business representatives. Those interested can apply at www.jmi.fsu.edu and click on the "programs" link. The four-month program will hold monthly four-hour sessions and will run from Nov. 8 through Feb. 7.

Teresa Myers owns Myers Pump Distributors Inc. on Jacksonville's West Side. She said with only 15 employees, she wanted to have a broader reach for her subsidiary Myers-Seth Pumps, which provides pumping machines for complex engineering projects.

Two years ago, Myers made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Tallahassee to take part in the Florida State program. She said it was a needed experience.

"If you don't think you are big, then you'll never perform and act or organize your company to prepare for growth," Myers said.

"It defined four different sectors of business: financial, strategy, organizational HR [human resources] and employees," she said.

Myers said she was aware of some of the elements covered in the program, but many she was unfamiliar with. And even in the areas she was knowledgeable about, she was able to perfect her approach. …

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