STARTUPS 101

Entrepreneur Roxie Hentz’s primer on starting a business
 By Emma Whitford

Roxie Hentz, founder of CEOs of Tomorrow, which helps young people learn how to get a business off the ground, has two startups under her belt and she says her second stab at entrepreneurship was easier than the first.

That’s because she was more experienced, better educated and more prepared for the types of challenges that owning a business creates.

Since a free trial run isn’t included with entrepreneurship, BRAVA asked Hentz for some tips on how to avoid rookie mistakes when launching an enterprise. Here are a few of Hentz’s recommendations.

She sings the praises of UpStart, the program that allowed her to get her business up and running. UpStart is supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and offers business coaching for minorities and women. It’s free upon acceptance and will connect you with business leaders in the area, as well as help you create a plan and develop goals for yourself and your business. (See BRAVA’s story about UpStart in the August edition, p. 76.)

To continue and track your success, Hentz recommends LivePlan. The app allows you to input your business plan, budget and forecast. Use the Benchmarker feature to measure up to the competition and track your progress with the LivePlan Score Board. The program will ensure that you’re not straying too far away from your original goals and ideas—unless, of course, you’re improving on them!

For a bit of reading, Hentz recommends “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. The book discusses why some companies succeed and others fail, and why the DNA of the enterprise matters in the very beginning.

Beyond Hentz’s recommendations, Madison has a number of organizations dedicated to helping budding entrepreneurs, including the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, which offers a number of free business classes including “The Power of Quickbooks” and “Start Smart—The Essential Business Plan.” The Corporation also gives loans to businesswomen who need an extra boost. SCORE Madison is the local chapter of the national nonprofit that’s dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. They provide business counseling, mentorship and online tools, templates and online seminars to help structure and guide your business plan.

Check out BRAVA’s stories on Hentz and other accomplished female entrepreneurs in our August edition and online. 

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