I had heard service organizations were looking for someone to speak at their meetings, so I started asking everyone I knew who was a member of a Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions, or any of the women’s groups.

My first topic was “Incubators are not for Chickens.” I talked about the cluster environments that are dedicated to start-up businesses in a specific industry. In a business cluster, several businesses share office equipment and a receptionist. Consulting services and venture capital resources are made available to ensure their success.

It was a perfect topic for service groups because they are always looking for new methods that will get them more involved in the community. Cluster environments need support from the kind of people who belong to these service groups. When I began talking about Clusters, most of the organizations had never heard of the concept. They were amazed at the level of support that is provided and the national rate of success attributed to companies starting in such an environment. The level of response to my talks instigated a great number of these organizations to offer their professional expertise to Cluster clients.

Then somewhere along the tenth or twelfth time I delivered my twenty-minute “Incubator” presentation, I provoked thoughts of creating new businesses, who by themselves might struggle to get by financially for years. Yet in the Cluster, they achieved a 90% success ratio within the first 2 years. This success equated to their generating $2 million in sales and/or grew to the point of having ten employees.