Monday, March 01, 2010


I like thinking about new and emerging enterprises as practices.

Think of orthopedic practices, or law practices, or tax, accounting, or consulting practices, among many other professional examples.

As a startup or emerging business you will benefit in this new economy by holding yourself to this level of professionalism no matter the kind of enterprise you're involved in.

These people (practitioners) practice their craft long and hard but they DO continually practice. They get better. They innovate. They continue to grow. They continue to find new ways to add value to their customers. Or they fail.

Embedded in that growth is permission to start. If you have identified your enterprise as a 'practice' you've implicitly given yourself permission to start and (importantly!) to practice.

What's also implied is that you must plan strategies and business processes that make you increasingly proficient in the professional practice you are creating. It is vital that you learn, capture and improve with every transaction.

Building a successful practice in any field means establishing a professional business model as well as a subject expertise.

I'm going to stress this approach to new and emerging food entrepreneurs coming into the world of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Truly professional local foods practices can emerge if they plan and practice. New systems will create new opportunities and new jobs.

What cool work to develop in to a professional practice. Why not think about creating a local foods practice in your life? There are a lot of opportunities. Not only in growing, but in retailing and processing and distribution and many other points along of the food chain.

There are opportunities for creating new small-scale but highly-professional practices not just in foods, but in manufacturing and services and health care and on and on.

Whatever your field, no matter how small you think your enterprise is, treat it as your professional practice. Grow your practice and it will grow you.

My core foundations for small business job creation: permission, planning and practice.

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