Kevin Jones is a small business advisor for Central ISBDC. An advocate for entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic development, Kevin’s background as a marketing instructor and SBDC Director in Wisconsin has made him a valuable resource for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. Find out more about Kevin in this edition of our Advisor Spotlight.
Q: How did you get started in this business?
A: Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire School of Business, teaching marketing courses. The SBDC Director’s position opened up there and I applied and got the job. I held that position for nearly fourteen years, until I relocated to Indianapolis in 2006. After working for the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership for two years, I connected with the Central Indiana SBDC and accepted the Business Advisor position in 2008.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Seeing people accomplish their goals, whatever they may be (starting/expanding their business, securing financing, successfully introducing new products to the market, etc.), and knowing that I assisted in small way.
Q: What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to someone looking to start a business?
A: Do your research first! Define your market and verify that a market exists before investing too much time and capital.
Q: How have your past work experiences helped prepare you for this job?
A: I’ve spent most of my career working in the field of economic development in one form or another. In the late 1980’s, I become interested in entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic development. I focused my skills in market research, feasibility analysis and planning on working with entrepreneurs looking to start or expand all types of businesses.
Past work experiences have included:
- Economic Development Planner/Director of a regional planning organization
- Business Consultant for an Engineering Services firm
- Marketing Instructor
- Planning Consultant / Market Researcher (self-employed)
- Special Projects Manager for a Furniture Manufacturer
Q: What have you found to be the most common issue small business owners turn to the ISBDC for?
A: More than half of our clients come to the ISBDC for help in securing financing to start or grow a business. A lot are looking for help with their business plan, especially doing market research and/or developing good financial projections.