The end of the year brings the difficult task of rounding up the best in small business news. The snapshots below give a peek into the rich variety and creativity of the small business owners and entrepreneurs of Columbus. From legal advice, to funding advice, to first-of-their-kind businesses involving cats, to food, to apps, find out what made headlines on The Metropreneur in the first half of 2016.
2016 kicked off with a spin around PR agency Geben Communication’s new digs Downtown on Main Street. A solution arose for those terrified of the dentist as SmileMD created a service to close the medical-dental barrier when it comes to anesthesia. Revolution Experiment shook up the spirits industry with its flagship honey wasabi flavored, sake-whiskey mix Karate Cowboy. Speranza Coffee Co. checked off two trends popular in the small business scene: coffee and mobility, with the launch of their coffee cart.
Telhio Credit Union provided tips for business owners on keeping their personal and business credit separate. Brothers Phil and Andy George took to the mic on the Columbus Chamber cbuzz podcast to share the story of their software startup, MentorcliQ, that’s creating the “E-Harmony” of mentor-mentee matching. Glenn Avenue Soap Company made their popular foaming soaps more available with a brick-and-mortar in Fifth by Northwest. Family operation North Country Charcuterie introduced its artisanal cured meats to the market.
March brought a trio of first-of-their kind businesses to Columbus. Santo Brigaderio delighted tasted buds with a popular Brazilian confection – the brigadeiro. The city’s first indoor dog park, Tail Wags Playground opened for four-legged friends in Fifth By Northwest. And the Campfire Experience turned the feeling of relaxing around a campfire into a business with a decked out teardrop trailer and fully-furnished bell tents to rent for a weekend adventure. Champion of all things Central Ohio, Experience Columbus celebrated 75 years. The franchisee behind D.P. Dough, Matt Crumpton shared his two cents on how to know when a business is ready to franchise. Social enterprise She Has A Name shared more about its mission of cleaning for a cause. In the age of social media, Barnes & Thornburg provided insights on not letting a business’ employees get them in trouble on social media – even on their personal accounts.
To kick off festival season, local crafters shared the skinny on how to set up a craft booth, from displays to putting together the perfect festival survival kit. The Center for Social Enterprise Development shared how SCRAM!’s Wildlife Control’s services have helped to offset the Ohio Wildlife Center’s operating expenses. Merion Village’s Bake Me Happy brought a taste of nostalgia with treats like Oatmeal Creme Clouds and Spongies (akin to a Twinkie) – with none of the gluten. Startup of the Year Aunt Flow first shared its buy-one, give-one tampon subscription service and Kiva made huge strides in making its microlending platform available in Columbus. Grab-and-go whole meal salads made their debut in Clintonville at Pocket Produce.
The second annual Columbus Startup Week provided a bevy of insights from local small business experts. Panelists discussed four types of social business structures and what they mean, the difference between angel funding and venture capital and when a business should seek dollars, six things to know about content marketing and much, much more. The Columbus Chamber added to the funding discussion with a roundup of local resources and the 5 C’s of credit: character, capital, capacity, collateral, conditions. Often one of the most time-consuming and surprise-laden steps of opening a business, Building & Zoning Director Scott Messer shared tips for more efficiently navigating the system. Everybody became a brand photographer with new app BYLINED.
Barnes & Thornburg provided some advice on when you shouldn’t put it in writing. There was a huge response to the announcement of Columbus’ first cat cafe, Eat Purr Love in Clintonville. Yarnbyrds took the yarn shop wherever it fancied with a mobile retail truck. Danielle Evans of Marmalade Bleue made playing with your food into a business, forging the industry of food typography. An adornment that hangs in many a Columbus home, restaurant and business, Cut Maps shared more about its journey from product to thriving business.
CLICK HERE for a recap of headlines from July – December.
CLICK HERE for a look at some of the biggest trends in the small business community for 2016.