Benefits of Using an Incubator

Benefits of Using an Incubator

Small Business Support

An entrepreneur with a business already under way, even in the earliest stages, can access individual business coaching, technical assistance, community mentorship, shared marketing, office space, and equipment to help grow a successful business.

Feasibility Planning

This program is designed to help potential entrepreneurs select a business concept, develop a preliminary business plan, complete a pilot contract, and evaluate the results.  The goal is to realistically match the skills, interests, and circumstances of the individual with the demands of the market.

Community-based Assessments

This program is designed to help individuals who want to work but are unsure about what type of traditional or self-employment they will be able to pursue most successfully. Participants engage in trial work with an opportunity to evaluate their experience and the quality of their work with a coach and often a mentor who has experience in their field of interest. The goal is to determine which path to employment is likely to be the most successful.

Working Order's contacts with local businesses and training resources provide a variety of assessment opportunities. Our community-based assessments program features collaboration among the participant, counselor, and coach to select a work experience that matches the participant's interests and abilities. This approach allows for the development of specific questions to be answered through the assessment process.  Referring agencies help choose a practical time frame and the amount of time to be invested.

Working Order assessments provide opportunities to:

Assess candidates for positions that are well beyond entry level.
Receive feedback from supervisors, co-workers, and others working in the participant's field of interest.
Obtain clear, concise, user-friendly reports.
Obtain practical recommendations that include useful strategies, accommodations, and the characteristics of a "best fit" work setting.

Business and Technology Skills

Members have opportunities to participate in training seminars, self-directed study, networking groups, and internships to improve their marketable skills. Working Order Incubator staff, community partners, and volunteers offer one-on-one assistance. Working Order Incubator also sponsors Edit-U, an on-line course catalog that includes hundreds of courses on computer and business topics.

Web Conferencing

For the convenience of members who require access from a distance or are unable to travel, Working Order Incubator's Web-based business coaching enables them to work with a coach and receive the full array of services by telephone and internet without leaving their home. Distance coaching is available to current and potential entrepreneurs needing on-line delivery of business planning, research, and marketing support.

Business Promotion

Working Order Incubator helps create demand for its members’ services and products by marketing the individual businesses via business and community group presentations, trade shows, media coverage, direct mail, members’ and Working Order Incubator brochures, lobby displays, and our annual report.

Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania includes Working Order Incubator as one of its service programs and highlights our members and events in the state newsletter.

Business Plans

Our participants schedule time to meet with a business coach or to work independently at our business site. Coaches help them to define their business concept, develop a preliminary business plan, complete trial work contracts, and evaluate their results. Through this experience participants determine if entrepreneurship is the right way to go and whether a selected business concept is a good match for their capabilities and the needs of the marketplace.

The cost of business coaching can be covered by the individual, which is on a sliding scale based on income, or through other sources such as the Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Mental Health, or Mental Retardation.

As an entrepreneur, each participant is paid directly by customers. To help offset the cost of shared resources, entrepreneurs are asked to donate 10 percent of their revenue earned through contracts developed by Working Order back to the agency.

Working Order Incubator employees and volunteers are instructed to maintain strict adherence to our privacy policy.

For Participants Only

In cooperation with the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Working Order Incubator is able to provide member entrepreneurs with an on-line tool for developing a business plan. This comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial includes a quick-start feasibility plan, templates for professional-looking documents, and spreadsheets for calculating financials and analyzing the competition. Throughout the development of the business plan, Working Order Incubator mentors and counselors are available to assist and evaluate.