Take Your Business to the NxLevel

Written by: 

Arcelia Kent, former NxLevel student 

What sets an entrepreneur apart from a regular person? Why take a class?

I recently completed the NxLevel course offered by the Ellensburg Downtown Association. The cool thing about taking a class for entrepreneurs is that it doesn’t matter whether or not you are 100% experienced and ready to enter your field since they help you through the entire process of creating and running a successful business. Refine your skill set by learning how to research the marketplace, build your business plan, create a budget, and receive the appropriate knowledge to get the professional and legal help you need. Some of the most successful businesses have come from someone changing direction since the fresh perspective is often what is needed most for innovations in the industry!

It is a beautiful thing to be able to explore your ideas in a safe setting before committing to real-world profits and losses. Learning the basics of how to conduct feasibility studies, a SWOT analysis (if you don’t know what that is now, don’t worry, they will teach you!), and other simple tools are crucial to helping you become a successful business owner.

Logic dictates that it’s much better to spend a little bit of money now to learn how to properly build a business than to invest in your idea only to realize that you are sinking fast and don’t have enough capital left to recover. The amount of professional help you get throughout the course ends up making it so it actually pays for itself!

You will know the moment you step into the room that you have come to the right place because you can feel the energy emanating from the people occupying it. Each classroom session leaves you feeling enthusiastic and motivated to turn every problem into an opportunity. This space is what dreams are made of.

Taking the NxLevel course is a great way to network and be inspired. Business ideas range from book publishers, winemakers, graphic designers, cleaning services, house painters, restaurant owners, inventors, nonprofits, unique niche ideas, and more. You will find yourself amazed again and again at all the thoughtful plans your neighbors are working to execute. I own a small photography business but have wheels turning on ways to bring the community together for health and environmental issues using plant foods. Two of my classmates were vegetarian and I received such excellent support building my plan that now I have plenty of confidence while working on each incremental goal. (Anyone interested can check out what I’m up to here.)

Being flexible and committed to constant progress may not be something that can be taught, but it sure is something that will thrive in such a positive environment. Well, mostly positive. Sometimes your classmates will crush your dreams by telling you that they don’t think a dunk tank is a route they want to go for marketing their business, even though you know it’s a great idea.

The NxLevel book, workbook, and online resource guide make building a useful business plan incredibly simple. You might be thinking, “But I’m great at doing stuff! Why do I need a business plan?” Here are a few key reasons: You want a banker. You want a way to gauge when you are successful. You want to win $10,000. You don’t want to lose money based on making uneducated decisions. You want to know how and when to dismantle your business (Whaat? Retirement?). You want to be the best at whatever it is that you do, or at least you want to earn enough doing it that you can support your weirdo hobbies that nobody will actually pay you for.

Head over to register and get started on Ellensburg’s first Cat Cafe! Ok, I’m kind of kidding, but also kind of not because I would probably go there every day. Now that I think about it, that’s probably the only thing that could make downtown even better than it already is. I might utilize my “student for life” privileges (once to you pay for the course, you can take it again at any time for free) and show up at the next session to work on that business plan. See you there!