Starting a business? Expo to offer help

William Tiefenback
William Tiefenback

Aspiring entrepreneurs might have the good ideas and work ethic it takes to succeed, but don’t know quite how to get started. Bill Tiefenback wants to help.

“If they don’t know how to do it, we can help them do it,” said Tiefenback, a serial entrepreneur who’s operated six businesses over the course of a 45-year career.

Tiefenback is organizing an expo with vendor booths and educational presentations offering information about the various forms of assistance and services available to small businesses.

The expo is planned for 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 25 at the West Gate Inn,  2210 U.S. Highway 6 & 50 in Grand Junction. The event is free to attendees. Registration remains open for vendors, who pay $75 for a booth. For more information, call Tiefenback at 778-9742 or log on to

Tiefenback said the expo will focus on opportunities for people who want to work for themselves, start a home-based business or purchase a franchise.

There’s increased interest in entrepreneurism not only from people who’re unemployed and considering ways to create a job for themselves, but also those who have jobs or are retired, but want to earn additional income, he said. “There’s a real need out there and there are plenty of opportunities.”

The expo will include a presentation by P.J. Howe from the Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development. Howe will discuss how the federal agency stimulates rural business development through educational materials, grants, loans, research and technical assistance.

Stacy Swift of Fran Net in Denver will cover the basics of franchising, including the steps people should take in finding a franchise suited to their needs and the factors they should consider in evaluating franchise opportunities.

Tiefenback will discuss the available resources from and Prepaid Legal Services. The two businesses offer a range of services to help entrepreneurs start, grow and protect their operations, he said.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs want to start their own businesses, but are afraid to take action or don’t know what to do. Tiefenback said the expo will them overcome their fears as well as realize there’s help available.

The startup phase of a business is essential, he said. “That’s when the mistakes are made.”