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Celebrating 15 years of success: Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling

Recycling with a smile!

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of EGBI supporting local businesses so they may become profitability, sustainability and an asset the community through our training, coaching, and support services. Ahead of our big anniversary, we are having weekly interviews with 15 of our clients to share their success stories. If you missed last week’s story, you can read about Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain HERE.

Spencer Costley is owner of Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling, a company that hauls off most junk, trash or unwanted items. His services are both residential and business locations.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Spencer.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: Ever since starting Smiley’s, it feels like I’m living my purpose and making a difference in the world. I’m able to help others and the community by recycling and donating what we can to minimize the impact on local landfills.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since 2011. EGBI has helped me in numerous ways, from taking care of my bookkeeping, being a mentor, and having access to information to help my business succeed. The staff are always just a phone call away.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I am proud of the fact that I do have a successful business and grateful for it. I do feel I am making a difference. What I do at Smiley’s helps residents and businesses with their junk or trash problem. I try to donate or recycle as much as we can before items ever go to the landfill.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself

A:  I’m a workaholic and stay busy, but I’m creative and I like to smile a lot.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my down time I like reading comic books and creating art.

Spencer Costley is the fourth of the 15 clients, we have shared stories about leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we assist.  If you would like to further support these businesses, think about using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: mcclain metalworks

The Metal Wizard turns talent into a growing business.

Celebrating Success is our annual event, we applaud our clients’ achievements and their impact to the local economy. This year will be extra special as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary as we continue in our vision that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community. Leading to our big commemoration we will be interviewing a client each week to share their success story, with a total of 15 clients. Previously we featured Christina Paz and Raymond Walker.

Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain are owners of McClain Metal Works, a Sheet Metal Fabrication Shop that makes all types of metal objects from architectural products for interior designers and home builders to art objects for collectors.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Silvia and Jason.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: Silvia studied Hotel and Tourism Management in the Food Industry, as well as in the Hostelry Business. Companies work hard to maximize space. We provide these companies functionality, durability, and beauty with the products we fabricate for them.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: We have worked with EGBI since 2012. EGBI provided me the information I needed to start our business. We thank EGBI for the coaching and help to connect us with professional experts specialized in helping small business.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: Our business is a husband and wife team. I (Silvia) became a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and an entrepreneur all at the same time.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: When I am not at the shop, I devote my self to my family. When I am not with my family and friends, I try to go hiking and at night I like to see the sky through my telescope.

Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain are the third of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further help these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Original Walkers Barbershop

Grooming the old way with a modern twist.

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of EGBI helping area businesses become profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community through our training, coaching, and support services. Leading up to our big anniversary celebration, we will interview clients every week to feature a total of 15 success stories. If you missed last week, you can read about Christina Paz HERE.

Raymond Walker is owner of Original Walkers Barbershop, offering great haircuts and customer service to their clients. Visitors to the shop come in and relax from the hassle of life and get well groomed by a professional barber.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Raymond.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I can spend more time and work for my family. I provide a place to be comfortable at the barbershop with good service for our community.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since last October. I went to business school and had overall knowledge about starting a business, but I didn’t know how to open my own business. I wanted to reinforce my knowledge with EGBI. I took a class at EGBI to learn how to run my barbershop. I have worked with Anwuli, EGBI’s Accounting Specialist, on setting up QuickBooks for my business.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I have had my own business since 2016. I invite not only men, but also women and children to my barbershop and provide good/friendly service. The place is created to be a pleasure for everyone.

Q: What is your greatest wish?

A: I want to continue to grow my business. I have another goal to open a barber school to educate other barbers to provide quality, friendly service.

Raymond Walker is the second of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we assist.  If you would like to further encourage these businesses, contemplate using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Siller preferred services

Creating opportunity through jobs.

Every year, we honor the achievements of our clients and their contributions to the local economy at our annual Celebrating Success event. This year we will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary from when we were initially created to improve the technology digital divide in our community to now evolved to help business owners better understand how to run a successful business. Leading to our big commemoration we will be interviewing a client to highlight their success story each week, 15 in total .

Christina Paz is owner of Siller Preferred Services, an employment agency that specializes in the hospitality and warehouse industry.  Her company works closely with their clients to help them secure and maintain jobs that will allow their workers to grow their financial freedom.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Christina.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I have more freedom, independence, and can support my family. Also, I take pride knowing my business helps workers support their family.

Q: What are struggles you have overcome?

A: Originally I had a partner.  Now I have my business alone without my old business partner. It was hard to start, but now running my business is better.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI for 5 years. I took a class in which Barbra Boeta was an instructor, as a Program Coordinator (now Executive Director).  EGBI helped me successfully establish my business. They gave me a huge help and much support as far as business coaching and we office out of their incubation space. EGBI is always available when I need them. I highly recommend EGBI to others.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I approach every client with customized advice to fit their situation and I pride myself on treating each client individually. Additionally, I greatly value my employees and create a family environment for the business.

Christina Paz is the first of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further support these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

3 Ways to Keep Track of your Expenses & Income

By Anwuli Chukwurah

The Traditional Way – Pen & Paper

This is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your books. Pen and Paper are materials you could find anywhere. I have clients who are not comfortable with technology so showing them an easy system with paper allows them to see their business transactions. Although I do try to push our clients to become more comfortable with technology, I realize people are starting at different stages. I tell all our clients, regardless of whether they’re using technology, to have 12 manila folders to keep their physical receipts, invoices, and other documents by month. Then, I ask clients to have a dedicated notebook to track their expenses and income. Clients need to track the date the transaction was made, where it’s from, the amount, and their income. The client will need to manually calculate their monthly net profit as compared to using a computer that does the calculations for you.

  • The Spreadsheet Way – Excel or Google Sheets

Using spreadsheets will allow our clients to electronically enter your transactions and share it with someone online. Spreadsheets, graphs, and reports can easily be created from their entered transactions. This allows our clients to make business decisions based on their actual numbers. If you are not familiar with spreadsheets, you can search for local resources in your area that can teach you how to use it for your business purposes. A local nonprofit focused on helping business owners or the small business program of your city can be a great resource for finding help and support. For our clients at EGBI who are past the pen and paper stage but are not quite ready for an online accounting system, I show them how to use a simple spreadsheet tracker that tracks the date, amount, vendor/supplier, and income. This is an easy way for them to see how their business is doing on a monthly basis.

  • The Online Accounting System Way – QuickBooks Online

For clients that find using a spreadsheet to be cumbersome, an online accounting system like QuickBooks Online makes their lives easier and it can also be shared with someone else. It’s easier because they won’t have to manually document each transaction because QuickBooks Online automatically connects to their bank feed. But it’s harder because the client will need to learn how to correctly use the system so that their financial reports aren’t riddled with errors. Errors can be fixed if you know what you’re doing, but I ask our clients to come in and have a chat with me so I can show them the correct way to set up their QuickBooks. If your QuickBooks is set up incorrectly, it will cost the client more to retroactively fix their books. So, it’s always better for clients to search for local resources that can teach them how to correctly use QuickBooks if watching YouTube videos and reading QuickBooks tutorials wouldn’t work for them.

Bookkeeping

Never too late to learn to swim

By Hye June Park

As summer approaches, water activities in Austin are very popular. Before enjoying in on the summer fun, you should learn to swim and take into consideration if the places you are visiting have a lifeguard for extra safety.

Seeing the need in these areas, Miranda Melendez, the owner of I AM Ready Swim, offers pool monitors, lifeguards, and teaches swim lessons. Her ideal customers are people or organizations in need of these aquatic services.

She has tips to handle clients who are afraid of water. “We try and get on our client’s level such as holding their hands and going underwater together, or doing minimal things that they are comfortable with until we can achieve the next level,” she continued. Her favorite moment was when she had taught a 68-year-old woman how to swim after being so scared of the water after a traumatic experience. It was on her bucket list before she died to learn how to swim. “Now when I go to the pool I see her swimming laps with her grandson and it brings me so much joy. I love that there is no age limit on a person learning how to swim.”

Although she knew about the aquatic business, she was limited on how to get started. Her lawyer referred her to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) and everyone there pitched in to help her. “I learned how to build a new business module, budgeting skills and how to run my books. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without these guys.”

One day she would like to open her own indoor pool facility. Her goals for this business is to reach as many lives as possible by teaching water safety, and prevent as many drownings as she can. As long as she can change clients’ perspective of the water and make them less afraid of it, her job is done.  For more information about I Am Ready Swim, visit www.iamreadyswim.com.

I am ready swim

Nunca es Tarde para Aprender a Nadar

Por: Hye June Park

Conforme el verano se acerca, las actividades acuáticas en Austin se vuelven muy populares. Antes de disfrutar lo divertido del verano debes aprender a nadar y para mayor seguridad tener en cuenta que los lugares que visitarás tienen un salvavidas.

Al ver la necesidad en estas áreas, Miranda Melendez, dueña de I Am Ready Swim, ofrece monitores para piscinas, salvavidas y da lecciones de natación. Sus clientes ideales son personas u organizaciones que necesitan de estos servicios acuáticos.

Ella tiene consejos de cómo manejar a clientes que le tienen miedo al agua. Nosotros tratamos de estar al nivel del cliente así como: sostenerlos de la mano y sumergirse en el agua con ellos o hacer lo más mínimo con lo cual ellos se sientan cómodos hasta que logremos alcanzar el siguiente nivel”. Ella continuó.

Su momento favorito fue cuando ella le enseñó a nadar a una mujer de 68 años de edad a quien debido a una experiencia traumática le tenía mucho miedo al agua . Aprender a nadar era algo que estaba en su lista de deseos antes de morir. “Ahora que voy a la piscina y la veo nadando con su nieto me da mucha alegría. Me encanta que no hay una edad límite para que una persona aprenda a nadar”.

Pero a pesar de que ella sabía sobre el negocio acuatico ella estaba limitaba de cómo empezar. Su abogado la recomendó a EGBI (Economic Growth Business Incubator)  y ahí todos le ayudaron. “Aprendí cómo construir un nuevo módulo de negocios, aprendí habilidades de presupuesto y cómo administrar mis libros de contabilidad. Definitivamente no estaría donde estoy ahora sin estos chicos”

Algun dia le gustaría abrir sus propias instalaciones con piscina. Su objetivo de negocios es poder llegar a la mayor cantidad de vidas posibles enseñando sobre la seguridad del agua y prevenir tantos ahogamientos como sea posible. Mientras ella pueda cambiar la perspectiva de los clientes sobre el agua y hacerlos menos temerosos de esta, su trabajo está hecho. para mas informacion sobre I Am Ready Swim, Visita www.iamreadyswim.com

3 formas de Mantener un Registro de Tus Gastos e Ingresos

Por: Anwuli Chukwurah

  1. Forma Tradicional – Pluma y Papel

Esta es una de las formas más fáciles de mantener un registro de tus libros. Pluma y Papel son materiales que puedes encontrar en cualquier lugar. Tengo clientes que no se sienten cómodos con la tecnología así que mostrándoles un sistema fácil con papel les permite ver sus transacciones comerciales. Aunque trato de presionar a nuestros clientes para que se sientan más cómodos con la tecnología, y me doy cuenta de que las personas comienzan en diferentes etapas. Les digo que sin importar que utilicen la tecnología, deben de tener 12 carpetas manila para guardar en físico sus recibos, facturas y otros documentos por mes. después les pido que dediquen un cuaderno para registrar sus gastos y sus ingresos. los clientes necesitan registrar la fecha de cuándo fue la transacción, de donde fue, de cuánto fue y el Ingreso. El cliente deberá calcular manualmente su ganancia neta mensual, que en comparación con una computadora lo calcula por ti.

2. Forma con la Hoja de Cálculo – Excel o Google Sheets

Utilizar hojas de cálculo les permitirá a nuestros clientes ingresar sus transacciones y compartirlo en línea con alguien más.  Se pueden crear fácilmente hojas de cálculo, gráficos y reportes con sus transacciones registradas. Esto les permite a nuestros clientes tomar decisiones de negocios basadas en sus números actuales. Si no está familiarizado con hojas de cálculo, se pueden buscar varios recursos locales en tu área donde te pueden enseñar cómo utilizarlas con fin comercial. Alguna asociación local sin fines lucro enfocada en ayudar a dueños de negocios o el programa de pequeñas empresas de tu ciudad puede ser un gran recurso para encontrar ayuda y apoyo. Para nuestros clientes de EGBI que ya pasaron la etapa de la pluma y el papel, pero aún no están listos para un sistema de contabilidad en línea, les muestro como usar una hoja de cálculo para registrar la fecha, la cantidad, el vendedor/proveedor e Ingresos. Esta es una forma fácil de ver la actividad mensual de su negocio.

3. Forma con un Sistema de Contabilidad en Línea – QuickBooks Online

Para clientes que se les hace incómodo utilizar hojas de cálculo un sistema de contabilidad en línea como QuickBooks Online les hará la vida más fácil y también puede ser compartido con alguien más. Es más fácil porque no tienen que documentar cada transacción manualmente ya que está conectado a su fuente bancaria. Pero es más difícil porque el cliente tendrá que aprender cómo usar el sistema correctamente para que sus reportes no estén llenos de errores. Los errores pueden ser corregidos si sabes lo que estás haciendo, pero les pido a nuestros clientes que vengan y conversen conmigo y así les muestro como programar Quickbooks correctamente. Si Quickbooks está configurado incorrectamente podría costar más arreglar los libros de forma retroactiva. Por eso, siempre es mejor buscar recursos locales que les puedan enseñar cómo usar Quickbooks correctamente, si el ver videos en Youtube o leer tutoriales de Quickbooks no les funciona.

¡Encuentra la alegría con dulces artesanales que nunca has probado!

Por Hye June Park

Dulces tradicionales mexicanos son un gran deleite que toda la familia y amigos pueden comer juntos. Los dulces artesanales hechos localmente por Sweet Tsopelik tienen una variedad de ingredientes desde frutas, nueces, miel, jarabe, harina, y maíz los cuales los hacen perfectos para cualquiera que tiene gusto por lo dulce.

Daniela Ariza, la dueña de Sweet Tsopelik se especializa en crear sus propios dulces artesanales los cuales las personas tal vez no han visto en Estados Unidos. Tsopelik quiere decir “dulce” en Náhuatl un lenguaje ancestral de México. Ella utiliza ingredientes orgánicos y menos azúcar que los dulces originales de México. También tiene opciones para veganos. “No quería utilizar ingredientes que necesitaran refrigeración como leche o huevo. Así ahora cualquiera desde un niño pequeño a un adulto mayor puede probar mis dulces”

Ella comenzó su negocio después de tomar la serie de talleres de Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) “Tome las clases para ayudarme a encontrar mi idea de negocio”

“Hice Garapiñados de mi ciudad que son Cacahuates cubiertos con azúcar. A pesar de que fue la primera vez que hacía dulces, leí libros, investigué y me enseñé a mí misma. Tuve muchos fracasos para obtener el producto perfecto pero lo que me hacía falta era más paciencia. Finalmente, compartí los buenos con mis cuñadas y a ellas les encantaron las golosinas. Así fue como decidí que mi negocio sería de dulces”, explicó.

Comenzar un negocio no siempre fue fácil y Daniela tuvo algunos obstáculos. Debido a su falta de transporte, los lugares donde podía vender sus productos fueron limitados. EGBI la conectó con varias organizaciones como The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas y Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Daniela ha recibido ayuda y apoyo de estos recursos y de la comunidad, para llegar a más clientes. Su próximo objetivo es expandirse a una audiencia más amplia mundialmente que le compre sus productos.

Estos dulces especiales artesanales se pueden encontrar todos los domingos de 11 de la mañana a 3 de la tarde en el mercado HOPE ubicado en 412 Comal St. Austin. Para más información visita sweetsopelik.com.

Find joy with artisan candies you’ve never tasted!

By Hye June Park

Traditional Mexican candy is a great treat that all families and friends can eat together. Local made artisan candies by Sweet Tsopelik have a variety of ingredients from fruits, nuts, honey, syrup, flour, and corn which makes it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Daniela Ariza, the owner of Sweet Tsopelik, specializes in creating her own artisan candies that people may have not seen in the United States before.  Tsopelik means sweet or candy in Nahuatl, an ancestral language from Mexico.  She uses organic ingredients and less sugar than the original candies from Mexico. She also gives the option for vegans as well. “I didn’t want to use ingredients that need refrigeration like milk or eggs. So now, anyone from a toddler to a senior can try my candies.”

She started her business after taking one of Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) workshop series, “I took the class which helped me find business ideas.”

“I created “Garapiñados” which are peanuts covered with sugar from my town. Even though it is my first time to make candies, I read books, did research, and taught myself. I had many failures to make perfect ones, but what I needed was more patience. Finally, I shared good ones with my sisters in law and they loved the sweet treats. That is how I decided to make my business about candies,” she explained.

Starting a business was not always easy and Daniela had some obstacles. Due to her lack of transportation, the venues she could sell her products to were limited. EGBI connected her to organizations such as The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas, and Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Daniela has received help and support from those resources and the community to reach more customers. Her next goal is to reach a broader, worldwide audience that will buy her products.

These special artisan candies can be found when shopping at HOPE Farmer’s Market located in 412 Comal St, Austin every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.  For more information about Sweet Tsopelik, visit sweetsopelik.com.