TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – It is a concept which is getting off the ground in northwest Alabama. First-time business owners are joining forces to set-up shop and learn together.
Patti Chrisman describes her last 8-years as being a gypsy boutique owner. A real estate agent by profession, she needed a back-up plan when things went south a few years ago. She started selling hand-made jewelry and children’s clothing on the festival circuit under the name Honey Child Clothing.
“It’s kind of embarrassing when you have people wanting your products and how can we reach you,” Chrisman stated. “Well, I can meet you in the Walmart parking lot. It got to where I was doing that a lot.”
Which is where The Shoppe’s at Coldwater comes in. Using a modified business incubator model, Click Synergy is helping five small businesses get off the ground.
“Where most incubators help with your bigger plans, we are sort of digging down and saying what can we address right now today that can help that post be better, that can help you buy a little smarter, shop a little better,” explained Click Synergy Managing Partner Ashley Morrow.
The use of technology in marketing plays a big part in the mentoring process. Morrow says the entrepreneurs will also learn everything from filing tax returns, to how much inventory to keep on hand.
“I feel like there is nothing holding me back from expanding and making it as big as I want it to be and as hard as I want to work on it,” said Chrisman.
This shop on East Sixth Street in Tuscumbia has a lot of eyes watching it across the country. It could be the latest trend for helping the next great idea lay a firm foundation.
Did you know one in four people who live in Alabama work for a small business? That is part of the driving force behind Click Synergy, and why they want to mentor other small business owners.