Heidi Stanclift is the owner of 4Web, Inc., a web design and development company, that recently “graduated” from the Hannah Grimes Business Incubator Program. Heidi’s advice to other business owners is to consider the Hannah Grimes Business Incubator Program. She says, “While 4Web was part of the incubator, we went from one to two employees. We went through large changes to the business. The Incubator Program is perfect when you want your business to stop being an at-home hobby and start growing. You enter a professional environment, you make connections and you keep up on the latest ideas.”
For 4Web, the Hannah Grimes Center and its Business Incubator Program provided a professional venue, encouragement, insight and, as Executive Director Mary Ann Kristiansen puts it, “a soft landing place.” She adds, “We help businesses tap into the entrepreneurial energy in this region—the Monadnock energy.”
Heidi’s association with Hannah Grimes began with the Entrepreneur Project, a program that focuses entrepreneurs on the growth of their business with practical advice and mentoring. It was perfect for a professional like Heidi who at the time had had only one previous experience as an entrepreneur, working as a freelancer from home while her children were young.
When Heidi first joined 4Web, the company was operating out of her former business partner’s home. “The house was on the market and we kept getting interrupted by people who wanted to view it,” Heidi recalls. “We decided it was a good time to move to a more professional environment. The Hannah Grimes Incubator gave us an office and a conference room, but most of all it made us a serious company. You’re paying rent and you have to earn that rent.”
In addition to providing professional office space and equipment, Hannah Grimes also provided access to up-to-date information and expert advice through workshops, peer meetings and programs. Heidi, for example, turned to other incubator participants and to Hannah Grimes instructors and coaches when she needed a sounding board. She says, “It was great to be able to have unbiased people to discuss things with.”
The benefits of those connections have continued beyond her time in the Business Incubator Program, Heidi asserts. “We still get referrals and jobs from being associated with Hannah Grimes and being on their blog. It’s the testimonials, the human touch. People that I met in Hannah Grimes’ workshops are still my clients.”
Now that her business is firmly established and out on its own in Keene, Heidi foresees growth by 10 percent in the next year and 25 percent thereafter. “I have a full-time growth business. My biggest challenge is to create a balance between getting out to market the company and being here to run it. I have to get the right processes in place.”
To help with that, she intends to continue taking workshops at Hannah Grimes and looks forward to joining a Hannah Grimes alumni group for other businesses that have graduated from the Business Incubator Program. “The Hannah Grimes Incubator Program is a good idea.”
The Hannah Grimes Business Incubator Program, located at 25 Roxbury Street in Keene, New Hampshire, offers businesses and nonprofits a place to grow, including facilities, resource library, educational services, networking opportunities and peer-learning. When business owners lease a private or shared office space (90 to 186 square feet), they gain access to all facilities and programs. For more information, visit www.hannahgrimes.com or call 603-352-5063.