Getting Legal Right When Starting Up

Starting a business is hard. I am aware. Starting a business right is even harder. When money is tight, misspending money can literally kill your new business. As I have started a business, I have felt how important each penny is. Some pennies keep the lights on, and anything that does anything other than that can be hard to prioritize.

Getting legally established and protected is, of course, super important to your business, that is, if you plan on it succeeding and growing. Who knows where to even start and thinking about the whole process can be terrifying.

I recently learned about Preti Flaherty’s Launch Pad program, and I have grown to love it. We are so fortunate to live in this little city that has so many resources we can learn from.

One of my favorite SMBME regulars, Maddie Purcell of Fyood Kitchen, recently went through the program and I asked her if we could do coffee and she could tell me about her experience.

If you haven’t heard of Fyood, you are in for a treat. Operating in Fork Food Lab, Fyood is a cooking competition where cooks or teams of cooks create final dishes with four mystery ingredients. Dishes are presented to a set of judges and then everyone shares a full meal family style. The whole event takes about 3 hours and you end up eating a six-course meal. The event is even BYOB, how fun is that?!?

Fyood has standing weekly events but is really seeing growth with private parties, birthday parties and team building events with businesses.

Maddie said she first heard about Launch Pad from a flyer at Cloudport. At the time, she was in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign and knew she was going to need help separating her personal and business finances. She said after doing lots of “unproductive Google research” she was overwhelmed and knew she was going to need help but startup funds are tight.

She said going through the Launch Pad program was a relief because it took the responsibility off her to try to figure it out and put her and her growing business in the hands of professionals. It took one of the thousands of things a business owner needs to do off her plate. She loved the team, she got the assistance she needed, plus they thought of things she would not have thought of herself at this phase of building her business.

If Launch Pad sounds like something you want to check out, contact the folks at Preti or just apply. They do have limited spots, so you need to do the application.

Again, I know there are thousands of things we are working on in our businesses. This is a simple and complementary way to make sure one of the most important parts is handled… well. THAT is what could make the difference for you.

PubHub Cruise on Casco Bay

This question has come up a few times in the Social Media Breakfast Maine LinkedIn Group so I thought I could make a list here too. When people are looking to move to the area, move back to the area or to be more connected in our little city – they look for good networking opportunities with business people like themselves. Here in our lively city there are events and opportunities like that all year long.

Here are a list of great networking opportunities right here in Portland:

  • Maine Tweetup – Held about once a month the Maine Tweetups (#metweetup) are a great place to connect in person with people you can continue your conversation with after the night is over on Twitter. There is a Maine Tweetup Facebook Group that seems to be the best place to hear about the next gathering.
  • PechaKucha Portland – PechaKucha is for the creative types. It is a really neat event that meets every few months. Area designers and creatives present their work in a unique format. They have a Facebook page and website where you can hear about upcoming events and calls for speakers.
  • Portland Green Drinks – Greendrinks is held the second Tuesday of every month at various locations around the city. The goal is to connect people from Portland who are interested in environmental and sustainability issues. You are encouraged to ‘bring your own vessel’ (beer drinking vessel) and you can fill it up as long as the beverage supplies last. Really energetic room.
  • Propel – Propel is affiliated with the Portland Regional Chamber. Their mission is to cultivate and foster the interests and careers of young professionals in the area. They have regular events, mixers and the popular Entreverge Awards. You can find out about upcoming events they have on their website.
  • PubHub – If technology and entrepreneurship is your thing, you should attend a PubHub – the free beer doesn’t hurt either. This event, organized by the Casco Bay Tech Hub, gets together once a month. They feature at least one speaker a month to talk about challenges and opportunities right here in Maine. They have a website that lists their upcoming events and a newsletter you can sign up for to get an email when the next event is announced.
  • Social Media Breakfast Maine – Obviously! Once a month we learn about things happening in the social media space, connect with our peers and eat bacon. To hear about the next SMBME, you can sign up for our email list (right hand side of the page) and you will hear about the next event first!

There are of course many more events happening all the time. I know folks like the Maine PR Council, 2 Degrees Portland and LiveWork Portland have mixers and events but I am not sure how regularly.

If you know of a regular networking event for area professionals, feel free to tell us about it in the comments!

Happy Networking!

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