Most entrepreneurs needed some form of financial help to reach their goal of following their passion and opening a small business.

Financial officers from Wil­son and Muir Bank, West Point Bank, Wes­Banco, Fort Knox Fed­eral Credit Union and Citizens Union Bank were on hand at Tues­day’s Radcliff Small Business Alliance lunch­eon to offer some financial advice.

James Watson of Wes­Banco said small business owners obviously have passion, but all too often, they have passion and no money.

“That in itself is the problem,” he said, adding some planning has to take place beforehand.

“You’ve got to have a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” said Grant Simpson of Citizens Union Bank.

Watson said there are two things that he has seen a lot of in the past couple years in the community. One is a person has not financially prepared and, secondly, they are so passionate about what they want to do that they somehow mistake that passion for marketability.

As far as planning, Wat­son said the very first thing a small business owner should get is a quality certified public accountant, along with a good banker and attorney.

Simpson also encouraged small business owners to be informed on cyber security.

“Small businesses are getting hit left and right,” he said, advising business owners to look into cyber security insurance.

Watson touted the importance of relationships and partnerships within a community.

Eric Whelan of West Point Bank and Ray Spring­s­teen of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union agreed. Springsteen called the Hardin County area one of the best communities he has lived in for small businesses. He referred to the “power of the network” as the reason behind this.

“You all actually care about each other,” he said, listing a variety of programs and organizations, such as Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, who assist entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Darin Logsdon of Wilson and Muir Bank also reminded people of the support provided by the Small Business Development Center.

“They do provide help for entrepreneurs to make informed business decisions,” he said, noting they offer a wide variety of training workshops. To learn more about the Small Business Development Center, go to ksbdc.org or call 270-765-6737.

“If you have a business and you want to take it to the next level, it (the Small Business Development Center) is a great resource,” Simpson said.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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