Last week, Williams Advertising attended the Hopkinsville area Regional Entrepreneur Conference, hosted at the Hopkinsville Community College. The conference was a one-day look into the hot topics facing new and small businesses.
To kick things off, local business owners Peg Hays of Herb Hays Furniture, Mallory Lawrence of Hancock’s Neighborhood Market, and Michael Lindsey of iRepair all shared their wisdom and experience. From companies starting from family roots to a hobby that turned into a full-time business, each speaker’s perspective was valuable for audience members – about a 50/50 split between those running a business currently or those exploring the idea.
Keynote speaker Mark Kohler also led a breakout session on saving taxes and protecting your assets, a very informative (and entertaining…I know, about taxes!) session about common deductions, ownership structure and advice on mistakes small business owners often make. During his keynote address, Mark gave the following advice about your marketing strategy:
- You should be dialed in to your marketing plan on a weekly and monthly basis. Carry it with you.
- Your business does not happen if the phones are not ringing – what are you doing to make sure those phones keep ringing?
- Write down all ideas. Maybe they can’t all be done, but at least record and prioritize them.
The Kentucky Innovation Network also led a two-part series on business models and elevator pitches, while the MSU Small Business Development Center led two sessions on social media. Finally, a panel of speakers from the area explained what is available to small businesses in Kentucky. Find more information listed below on each resource.
- Hopkinsville Community College Workforce Solutions
- MSU Small Business Development Center
- Kentucky Innovation Network
- Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library
- Pennyrile Area Development District
- Minority Economic Development Initiative
- Downtown Renaissance
- Christian County Chamber of Commerce
If you’re a Western Kentucky resident interested in entrepreneurship, make plans to attend next year.