West Points

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The easy way up?

By Heather Gurewitz
Mendocino Women's Business Center Director

Once upon a time I was a trail guide in Juneau, Alaska, surrounded by mountains that started at sea level and rose to as low as 3,000 feet in a matter of 1- 2 miles. I remember my first summer there was more than one instance of someone needing to be rescued by helicopters or rescue teams due to unsuspecting tourists climbing up the "hills" with no maps, instructions, or guides. There were a few who made it up, but usually with lots of cuts and bruises from the climb. Most would get stuck on the cliffs and ledges. On the other hand, tourists that had guides or maps and appropriate supplies would safely make it up and down these same mountains. The routes may have been longer, seemingly more difficult, and not as immediately apparent, but people who planned a safe route made it up without broken limbs or hypothermia.

I see people making similar choices in business. There are some that look for the easiest way, but without calculating risk and examining the venture, and there are those that find a path and work hard at building something secure and long lasting. Today's economy is about as treacherous as the mountains in Juneau, but that doesn't mean that there aren't possible ways of creating successful businesses. It does mean, that it requires a more efficient model with a well thought out plan.

Much like scaling a mountain, starting a business is a trek and everyone has their own challenges. Depending on their personal and financial goals, and the type of business, the level of difficulty varies. What West Company does (metaphorically speaking) is help people develop a map of their mountain. We help identify the hazards, the safe routes, and the resources needed for a successful and safe journey. Now, of course, no one knows the future, so we can't predict the unpredictable, but we do help people develop their plans to minimize potential risk.

If you are starting or buying a business in Mendocino or Glenn Counties, you should contact us today to find out about classes and trainings starting this fall. You can also apply online by clicking here!

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