BCE "think tanks" provide business owners feedback in confidential setting

BCE "think tanks" provide business owners feedback in confidential setting

How many business owners – large or small, established or start-up – might like to discuss ideas for growth in a confidential setting with their peers?

The “think tank” idea, a project of Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs, offers that option to businesses in Bluffton and surrounding communities. Earlier this week, BCE held its fifth think tank.

Todd Larson of Larson Barbecue, one of the 2014 BCE Business Plan Competition winners, took advantage of the option. The think tank, customized to each business requesting the session, provides experts from several business backgrounds to provide feedback.

BCE’s think tank sessions work this way: A business owner presents a series of questions or problems to solve concerning his or her business. BCE gathers a group of volunteers with expertise to address the issues presented.

Then, for two hours, discussion takes place. Discussions are confidential, which enable business participants to get to the nuts-and-bolts of questions and potential problem solving.

Brendon Matthews, president of the BCE board, said, “The think tank service of BCE is a great way for business owners to test ideas and ask for feedback from their business peers in a open and confidential setting.”

“We offer our clients opportunities to talk with local experts from several disciplines,” he said. “Depending upon the think tank request, we can invite persons with backgrounds specific to the needs of our client.”

Matthews continued: “Our sessions have included persons in marketing, law, accounting, banking, university business students and the service industry. We’ve also invited Bluffton business owners, who have often faced the same questions and issues, to offer input.” 

Think tank sessions are one of the services BCE provides area businesses.

Another service is its annual Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition. Sign-up for the 2015 competition, held from January to March, is now underway. Business competition cash prizes total $6,000.

Persons wanting more information about BCE’s services may contact blufftonce@gmail.com, or Fred Steiner, BCE director, at 419-369-2985.

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