National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Taking stock of your business incubator: Part one

by Kathy Cammarata

April 2001

NBIA can help you evaluate your program from top to bottom. Here's the first of a three-part series that walks you through the process.

As an incubation professional, you spend plenty of time making sure your clients' businesses are running smoothly – helping them set goals, manage finances, build effective staffs and much more. But are you also taking steps to ensure that your business – the incubator program – stays on course? Taking time out to confirm that your incubator is not only functioning well, but effectively adapting to changing conditions, is crucial to running a successful, enduring program.

To stay on top of your incubator's operations, we recommend performing a comprehensive self-evaluation once a year. More than simply surveying clients about incubator services or tallying up your number of graduates, this involves a careful assessment of everything from the mission statement to the marketing plan. Systematic self-reflection will prevent any important issues from slipping through the cracks, help you set priorities for improving your program and move the incubator toward achieving its mission.

Performing such an evaluation may sound time-consuming, but it won't be if you stick with us in the next few issues of the Review. We're running a three-article series designed to help established incubators (those past the feasibility and development stages) in a quick but thorough assessment of their programs.

NBIA members: Click here to read the entire article. Not an NBIA member? Click here to join today!

Keywords: incubator performance, financial management -- incubator, mission statement, staffing -- incubator, strategic planning

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