“First-Step” Workshop Hopes to Attract Those Planning to Open a Business in Lakeland


“First-Step” Workshop – Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. at Lakeland City Hall in the Building Department conference room.

Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA), City of Lakeland Building Department and Central Florida SCORE are teaming up to advise potential new business owners and small developers on the first steps of starting a business and opening a location in Lakeland though the “First-Step” Workshop. This free workshop will be held Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. at Lakeland City Hall in the Building Department conference room.

The workshop is designed to provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. Local SCORE mentors will discuss how they can help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started. “Any successful venture begins with and is based on a plan. An economic business case must be made for a market for a product or service, a business location, a business style, cash investment, cash flow projection, planned growth and all other aspects of business. SCORE counseling and continued mentoring seeks to improve chances of success,” said Pat Dooley, mentor with Central Florida SCORE.

Dan Gargas, Chief Building Official with the City of Lakeland plans to discuss the permitting process and pitfalls to avoid when planning and completing a construction project.

“Starting a new business takes diligence. We want entrepreneurs to be familiar with City Hall and the Building Department so that they can better understand what types of building renovations and improvements need or do not need building permits,” said Jason Willey, Economic Development Coordinator for City of Lakeland.

The LDDA is sponsoring this workshop in hopes of connecting new businesses with vacant space Downtown. “We want all businesses in Lakeland to be successful and feel that this workshop can provide resources and contacts to make that possible,” said Julie Townsend, Executive Director of the LDDA. “We also want to promote Downtown and all that it has to offer a new business.”
“This is just a first step for us as well. If the workshop goes well, we’ll add more dates and expand on the topics,” adds Townsend.
If you’d like to participate in the workshop, please contact SCORE mentor Becky Bywater.
Becky Bywater
863 838-1079