UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Business Tips for 2016 from Entrepreneurs and Resource Partners

In-the-Trenches Tips for Your 2016 Business Goals

Tis the season for the Unbreakable Vows: it’s time to make those business resolutions.

And here’s what we’re thinking: this is your year (yes, this anomaly of a year) where promises made in the luminous hours of beginnings will finally go unbroken. This is the year where you will definitely, absolutely and unequivocally stick to your word.

But which words are worth sticking to? Which resolutions are the ones that really deserve your determination? We turned to a few entrepreneurial-minded folks we know and asked them to lend their insight into the sentiments that make for worthy (and sticky) resolutions.

Here’s their advice on how to shape your business goals for 2016:

Take a beat.
“Take a second to step back and reflect on what's their next right move.”
– Ashley Alee'ce, Pout Magazine

And then, to thine own niche be true.
“Niche thyself down to an extremely small vertical, making it possible to win that market within the first year, or even months. After accomplishing that, start adding features, broadening the niche and attacking larger-and-larger markets. Taking one small bite of the sandwich and eventually finishing it is a lot better than trying to swallow it all at once and choking.”
– Wes Bergmann, Betablox

Focus on what you do well.
“Focus on what you do well—maybe that’s really honing in on your top three referral sources—and knock  it out of the park in 2016 to meet and/or exceed your sales goals.  Keep it simple."
– Stephanie Sage, Sage Restoration

And focus on selling it.
“Build it and they will come as a business philosophy is bonkers. How about fashioning a resolution around actually selling something? Dedicate a set number of hours per week that you’ll focus on using story to prospect and then sell your product or service.”
– Rebecca Gubbels, UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center

Avoid the need to rationalize. 
“If your customers aren't enthusiastically buying your product or service, ask them why—or better yet, ask them about the problem you’re trying to solve. If what your customers are saying doesn't mesh with what you're building, avoid the need to rationalize their criticism away. It can be a hard realization to accept, but if your customer doesn't want to buy what you're selling, you have an idea, not a business.” 
– Melissa Roberts, Enterprise Center in Johnson County

But don’t shy from trying something new.
“This year I am going to really focus on video as that is the way to really step up your efforts in social media and SEO.”
– Stephanie Sage, Sage Restoration

Or meeting someone new.
As an aspiring business owner, it’s always a great idea to network.  Networking can bring new business ideas and leads. Plus, it’s a method to build relationships and promote your business while gaining a referral network. Face-to-face communication is key when it comes to growing your business successfully. So, pull out your calendars, visit the KCSourceLink calendar to get the latest information for community events, attend the event and get connected to the business world.”
– Audra McLeod, Family United Transportation

However, make sure you talk less and take more action.
“Order your coffee to go. Take it with you and get out and build something. Less talk and more action.”
– Richard Shipley, Local Start

And be sure to tell people about it.
“Marketing is a major key to success, find new ways to connect with your audience and set yourself apart from others.”
– Ashley Alee'ce, Pout Magazine

Think outside of the borders.
“U.S. businesses are quickly learning that the domestic market, while growing stronger, represents only a small fraction of the world's consumers—they need to sell to the rest of the world!”
– John Addessi, Small Business Development Center at JCCC [FYI: JCCC KSBDC will be offering "The Riddle of the Exporter" on January 29].

Need help making those goals happen?

Make KCSourceLink and our 240+ Resource Partners part of your resolution team. Reach out to us and let us know what you want to make happen in 2016. Odds are good we know an expert, a program or an event that can help you get there. Call us at 816.235.6500, email us at or visit our tips, events and resources specific to your entrepreneurial type, whether you're innovation-led, second stage, microenterprise, Main Street or a startup

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

Connect with us!

Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate KC businesses.