Start:ME Spotlight:

Douglas Wood

Baker_BlackandBillingual_1

Organization

Market Access International, Inc

Community

East Lake

Bio

Doug enjoys developing methodologies for projects and uncovering global trends for new opportunities through analytical research. He has identified and developed cluster strategies for the consumer product, agro-processing and service sectors at both regional and national levels.

Your one of Start:ME's biggest ambassadors. What impact do you see Start:ME having in the community?

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"Businesses in the program are now "go to business" in the community."

Over the last 5 years Start:ME has strengthened the fabric of the community. Businesses in the program are now "go to business" in the community for your electrical needs, cleaning services, IT services, remodeling/construction and many more. Neighbors hiring and employing neighbors. These entrepreneurs have improved their own lives through creating sustainable business that provides a steady income for themselves and their families to live in Kirkwood. That is truly special.

You love talking about market research. What's the one thing entrepreneurs should know about market research?

" Your defined client is never stagnant and constantly needs to be refined from new insights and knowledge"

It is always important to know your client and how to attract new business. Your defined client is never stagnant and constantly needs to be refined from new insights and knowledge. How that happens is speaking with your current customers, attempting new strategies to attract clients and realize their will be successes and failures and learning from those actions. In addition, monitoring what your competitor or other business in a similar area are doing to attract clients and positioning themselves in the market. It is not they you need emulate them but understand how your business is competing against them for sales.

What's your favorite moment from the last few years of Start:ME?

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"Just past the midway point, there is an explosive growth during financial portion of the program where the ideas become reality in a financially stable business."

Each year it is a joy watching entrepreneurs grow in confidence and understanding of how to operate a business. During the interview stages entrepreneurs demonstrate the desire and level of business acumen in running a business. Over the first few weeks of the program they begin to more deeply understand the operations of their business through the weekly X sessions and the synergies of the cohort. Just past the midway point, there is an explosive growth during financial portion of the program where the ideas become reality in a financially stable business. Then over the last couple weeks the entrepreneur embraces the actions they have been working on over the course of the program and see their results.

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