All it took for one young man was a few conversations and one three-hour class to help turn a dream of business ownership into reality.
In early 2018, Austin Crose was part of the crew that remodeled the Moberly Area Economic Development (MAEDC) office. During that time, Austin mentioned to Corey Mehaffy, MAEDC President, that he was interested in starting his own business. Corey and Ryan Eidson, MAEDC Entrepreneurship Specialist, informed Austin of the business classes and coaching offered through the GrowMidMo and Missouri Small Business & Technology Development (SBTDC) programs. Ryan encouraged Austin to register for an upcoming First Steps to Starting Your Business class.
“I enrolled in the First Steps class because I wanted more information and insight on how to start and successfully run a business,” said Austin.
Ryan taught the First Steps to Starting Your Business class on June 8, 2018. Five students, including Austin and other entrepreneurs from Moberly, Columbia, and southern Iowa, participated in the three-hour session. All five received a 53-page reference guide to take home and use after the class. Ryan introduced tax and legal considerations, shared options for how to secure funding, and talked about the differences between a business model and business plan, among other topics.
Austin said, “The class actually helped me start my business because I was able to apply all the advice that Ryan gave to me with everyday situations. I was able to utilize the reference guide and Business Model Canvas daily.”
Ryan Eidson (far left) taught the First Steps to Starting Your Business in June 2018 with Austin Crose (far right) as one of the participants.
A few months later, Austin took an opportunity to purchase ten rental houses. He continues to work for L&J Development and keep the rentals as a side gig.
“Before attending the First Steps to Starting Your Business class, I only had the intention to start my own business. Attending this class helped me gain the confidence to jump start my new career,” said Austin. “I am extremely pleased with where I am with my business now. Thanks to Corey and Ryan at the MAEDC, I know I can only become more successful from here.”
“As a result of participating in this course, I can say that my life has changed in the best way,” he added.
Austin's residential rental business name is A1 Rental Properties LLC. Austin is not done, however. He is actively working on another business opportunity for next year. At age 25, he will become a serial entrepreneur.
The next First Steps to Starting Your Business class is Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 9 a.m.-noon at 115 N Williams in Moberly. Registration is $17 per person and $15 for each additional person from the same business, and is due by January 10. For more information and to register, go to https://www.growmidmo.com/calendar or call 660-263-8811.
GrowMidMo helps people achieve their business dreams. GrowMidMo provides a supportive culture, access to capital, networking opportunities, and business & technical assistance to people in the greater Moberly area. The program includes the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) services in partnership with the University of Missouri Extension and Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDC) to work with entrepreneurs and small businesses from startup to succession. For more information, call 660-263-8811 or visit www.growmidmo.com.