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Sparrow's Nest

Even the Best Laid Plans.....

The Nest - Michigan’s First Cannabis Business Incubator

Sparrow Consulting is proud to have created Michigan’s first Cannabis Business Incubator, The Nest.

This is exciting news to current cannabis business owners, those who operate ancillary businesses and those who are thinking of building a cannabis business.

Before hearing this, I had a vague understanding of what a business incubator was, but that knowledge was limited to understanding that they existed to help a business get off the ground and begin operating.  I think the uncertainty of what an incubator does stems from the fact that different incubators offer different services to their clients.

The first incubator is believed to have begun in 1959, but they increased in numbers in the 1980s.  In the U.S., in 1980 there were 12 incubators, but by 2003 there were 1100.  Typically seen in the technology field, an incubator is an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections.

While different incubators offer different services, the most common service offered is education and knowledge.  While it is true that you can find almost any information you need by searching Google, these searches will often lead you down a black hole of research that will often leave you with conflicting answers.  A business mentor, or in this case the knowledge from the incubator, will guide you through the process so that you do not spend your valuable time researching something only to find that is not going to work for you or that the information you have been relying on was inaccurate.  They have been there and seen what does and does not work, allowing you to start your business quickly and on the right foot.

Another common feature of an incubator is the sharing of office space and resources such as phones and the internet.  These are essential components of any business but can be a big financial drain on a newly forming company. There are ways around this such as working from home or a coffee shop to save money, but that does not leave you many options for meeting spaces or working on your hours and terms.  An incubator will allow you to present a professional appearance, with office and meeting space and will not become frustrated with you when you are using coffee shop internet all day and have only purchased one cup of coffee.

Creative is another part of the business that many business owners do not understand.  You want to ensure that your brand truly speaks for what you want your company to represent.  This is done not only through your logo but also through the colors you choose, the words you use, choosing where and how to advertise and market your business and how to best utilize your marketing budget.  Some incubators do offer these services.

Something that people do not typically talk about is that the entrepreneurial road can be lonely.  Your friends and family do not understand why you are trying to create a business, putting all of your heart and time into it when you could instead be working at a job and earning a steady paycheck.   When you become part of an incubator, you are exposed to like-minded people who understand the challenges you face. It also allows for having interactions with another person and maybe finding answers to your questions just by voicing them to someone else.

The cannabis business, in particular, is hard to navigate.  Without help from someone who has experience navigating through paperwork, regulations, and laws that are not yet fully formed, a startup may flounder and fail even before it begins.  The cannabis industry is already big in Michigan and will continue to get bigger. The promise of a strong cannabis industry is beginning to lure some larger already established companies into the area.  It may be hard to compete with these larger, well-funded businesses. Do not let that stand in the way of building your dream of a thriving cannabis business. The Nest is available to help you #hatchaplan.

The Nest will be growing in phases, with phase I already full.  Phase II is underway with a second suite planned and waiting for new businesses to help along their journey.  

Businesses looking to join The Nest can anticipate a number of business supports. The Nest provides flexible office space, conference rooms, technology amenities like high-speed internet, video conferencing, and voice over IP phone systems. The Nest also provides administrative staff support, providing growing businesses with an administrative staff similar to what a temporary staffing agency would provide a small business in blitz growth stages.  Scaling a company is very complex, The Nest provides it’s small business tenants with shared business solutions that allow budding entrepreneurs the ability to focus on growing their business rather than just keep it going. Starting a business is not easy, the biggest benefit of joining The Nest, finding like-minded people walking the same journey that you are. We’ve been there, done that. Let Sparrow Consulting and it’s small business development staff help you bring your business to the next level.

If you would like to learn more, get in touch with Sparrow Consulting  or 231-670-5863.

Connie Maxim-Sparrow