Last week, I attended Destination: Bold Opportunity, an all-day workshop put on by the Space Foundation here in Orlando to teach small businesses how to work in the space business. I’ll be sharing some of my insights over the next few posts. If anyone has questions about the event or what I learned, I’ll be happy to provide additional information. It was a useful education in small business development.
As a one-man show, I definitely qualify as a small business. And while I’ve managed to obtain work in the space industry as a freelancer, most of that work has been the result of referrals from former colleagues, not my own marketing efforts. Since referrals are not always timely, it seemed worthwhile to learn how to seek out work rather than depend on work coming to me.
The attendees were primarily a mix of small manufacturing companies and service shops (e.g. welding). The lead facilitator told me that I was the first technical writer she could recall participating “after 600 attendees.” Leave it to me to be a trail blazer.
Over the course of the day, the workshop featured a variety of speakers, from the Space Foundation, NASA, and other organizations, each covering a different aspect of working in the space business. Topics included:
- Positioning Your Company or Product
- Customer Discovery
- Creating Your Value Proposition
- Space Commerce Opportunities in Florida
- Scaling and Strategy
- Partnering for Investment
- Technology Transfer Opportunities
Because I’m a one-person show and content to remain that way, some of the information didn’t apply to me; still, there were things to learn. Expect to see additional posts about this workshop over the next week or two.
Again, I realize that not all of my readers are “space people.” Still, if you’re interested in freelancing or starting your own multi-person business, it can be worthwhile to attend these types of workshops for your own professional development and potential customer networking. Your local chamber of commerce or economic development agency likely puts on similar seminars. In the U.S., this is because small businesses create the majority of jobs. Governments want more businesses because they want more people employed and more tax revenues, so they have a vested interest in supporting small business. Bottom line: there are lots of resources out there to help support your entrepreneurial impulses.