Meet Monica Peña, EGBI’s New Marketing and Development Coordinator

Monica Peña will be assisting with the expansion of Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) outreach by promoting programs and services through traditional marketing, social media, media outlets, and partnership development. She has an entrepreneur background including helping locally owned businesses as a strategist on marketing time management, promotion follow through, and maximization of their social media efforts. She has a strong passion for helping small businesses succeed and has been a supporter of EGBI prior to joining the team.

 

Meet Joni Foster, EGBI’s New Program Director

Joni Foster is Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) new program director.  She has worked in the community economic development industry for over 25 years.  She is an experienced consultant, a skilled trainer, a former manager of a local loan fund for revitalization of inner city communities, and a serial entrepreneur, having launched her own businesses and numerous nonprofit organizations. For the past 5 years, Foster has worked as staff and consultant to the west coast-based Rural Community Assistance Corporation, developing new opportunities for rural economic development and entrepreneurship.  In addition, Foster has worked with the national financial intermediary, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, in various positions for over 17 years including the founder and executive director of the Jacksonville, FL LISC office for 11 years.  Foster has worked in urban and rural areas of the US, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone, and West Africa. Se habla espanol.

Barbra Boeta Accepts New Role as Executive Director at EGBI

With over 13 years experience working to grow small businesses within the Central Texas area, Barbra Boeta will transition from Program Director to Executive Director at the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI).  For the past 6 years,she has spear-headed the organizations training programs and volunteer recruitment, she is looking forward to building and securing relationships in order to grow EGBI and local small businesses within the Austin area.

El recomendado de EGBI: Wester, dando soporte administrativo a pequeños negocios

¿Abrumado por el trabajo administratico de su pequeño negocio?, ¿Necesita ingresar y organizar la información de los clientes, archivar  gastos/recibos y subirlos a la nube y que no se pierdan?, ¿Requiere ayuda para enviar facturas a tiempo? ¿Ha decidido que es tiempo de diseñar una página web que se destaque más allá de la competencia? ¿Le gustaría  que lo acompañaran en una presentación o reunión de negocios en inglés? Wester proporciona apoyo administrativo a las empresas que necesitan estos servicios. La conveniencia de tener este tipo de colaboración con paquetes asequibles para elegir, es una valiosa fuente que permite a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas la posibilidad de concentrarse en el crecimiento de su negocio.

Verónica Trevisan, dueña de Wester  cree que ser empresario es tener la visión de ver una oportunidad de negocio detrás de una buena idea. Ejercitando su perspicacia empresarial, fundó Wester para dar apoyo administrativo a otras pequeñas empresas.

Como cliente graduado de EGBI, Verónica ayuda a la organización cuando se necesita personal adicional en eventos y exposiciones y ha trabajado en proyectos para traducir la currícula  y comunicaciones en español. También ha trabajado en otras tareas administrativas de la organización. Verónica ha sido reconocida por esta incubadora de negocios como voluntaria del año en el 2015. Ella también fue una de las 3 finalistas del Premio Capital de Texas bajo la categoría  Rising Star de Facebook en 2016; entregado por la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Austin.

Para mas información, contacta a Veronica en info@westerbiz.com o llámala al 512.576.6637

Client Highlight: Wester, Providing Administrative Support to Businesses

Overwhelmed managing your home office like data entries, organizing information or receipts on cloud data sources, or filing paper work? Can’t seem to get your invoices out on time? Are you needing a web site that will stand out beyond the competition? On a deadline and need to create a PowerPoint in a hurry? Wester provides administrative support to businesses needing these services. The convenience of having extra assistance with affordable service packages to choose from is a valuable to source that enables small business owners the ability to focus on the growth of their business.

Verónica Trevisan believes that being an entrepreneur is to have the vision to see a business opportunity behind a good idea.  Exercising her business acumen she founded Wester to give administrative support to other small businesses.

As an Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) graduate client, Verónica assists the organization when additional staffing is needed at events and expos and has worked on projects to translate curriculum and communications into Spanish. She has also worked on other administrative duties for the organization.  Verónica has been recognized by the EGBI as 2015 Volunteer of the Year. She was one of the finalists of 2016 Capital of Texas Award under the Facebook Rising Star category; recognition granted by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

3 tips para convertir tu pequeño negocio en una máquina de vender

Por Al Lopez, Director Ejecutivo de EGBI
Traduccion: Veronica Trevisan, Wester

Convertir el negocio en una máquina de vender es un problema muy común para los emprendedores. Ellos tienen una gran visión de su compañía, un excelente producto y tal vez inclusive una gran estrategia de mercadeo, pero no pueden hacer crecer sus ventas tan aceleradamente como quisieran. La solución es simple: un compromiso más efectivo con el cliente.

El problema para los que recién empiezan, es que todavía no se sienten cómodos con el proceso de venta. Ellos creen que su producto es tan bueno que se va a vender solo o están enfocados en presionar la venta de manera fuerte y rápida y nunca se comprometen con el cliente.

Si esto te suena conocido por experiencia propia, entonces aquí tienes algunos tips para convertir tu pequeño negocio en una máquina de vender.

Tip #1: Enfócate en una relación a largo plazo

Es fácil enfocarse en una venta a corto plazo. Después de todo, son las ventas rápidas las que van a poner dinero en el banco y ayudar a que el negocio crezca. No obstante, también debes tener una mirada de largo alcance en la relación con los clientes. Y esto es especialmente cierto si estas vendiendo productos relativamente caros o de alta gama. Necesitas desarrollar primero la relación y luego, construir tu credibilidad a través del tiempo.

Por ejemplo, digamos que acabas de lanzar al mercado un pequeño negocio de joyas. La primera vez que el cliente llega a tu tienda, puede que no hagas una gran venta. Pero si puedes educarlo acerca de los tipos de materiales que usas con tus joyas, o de los artesanos que trabajan esas piezas, así, estarás preparando al cliente para que efectué una compra más grande en un futuro.

Tip #2: Escucha al cliente

La mayoría de la gente cuando piensa en ventas, lo hace en términos de “repetición” de un guión o mensaje. Ellos piensan que existen frases perfectas que cerraran la venta. Ese no es el caso. Tú también necesitas escuchar al cliente. ¿Qué problemas trata de resolver? ¿Qué es lo que realmente está buscando?

Y este proceso de escuchar, incluye algo más que prestar atención a las palabras usadas por el cliente. Presta atención a su lenguaje corporal y a todo lo que ellos están diciendo con esa postura. Y si no estás seguro lo que ellos quieren, haz preguntas para entender. A menudo, la gente te dice que quiere una cosa, pero en realidad desean algo totalmente diferente.

Tip #3: Recuerda que el precio es solo un factor en la decisión de la compra.

Todo buen vendedor sabe que no se puede hablar del precio demasiado pronto (¡inclusive si el cliente pregunta!). Primero debes lograr que el cliente visualice el concepto de poseer tu producto o servicio y disfrutarlo. En ese momento, ellos podrían estar preparados a pagar cualquier precio que les digas.

Aquí un pequeño ejemplo: ¿Has ido a algún restaurante y visto “el especial del día”? Luego, el camarero/a llega a la mesa y describe ese especial de una manera tan deliciosa en detalles que simplemente no puedes evitar ordenar ese plato aún si es uno de los productos más caros de todo el menú.

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Y si finalmente no haces la venta, todavía puedes tener el compromiso de este cliente para cómpralo en otro momento. O puedes tomarlo como un proceso de aprendizaje para hacer que tu producto o servicio sea ofrecido de una manera aún más atractiva.

Una vez que tengas la respuesta a esa pregunta, tu puedes realmente volver tu emprendimiento en una máquina de vender. Puede que descubras que necesitas ampliar el rango de tus ofertas. O, que ciertos aspectos de tu producto o servicio simplemente no son lo suficiente atractivos para tus clientes. Al saber exactamente lo que tus clientes están comprando, te sentirás aún más cómodo con el proceso de vender, y eso es lo que realmente te permitirá ejecutar una estrategia de venta.

3 Tips For Turning Your Startup Into a Sales Machine

By Al Lopez, EGBI Executive Director

It’s a common problem faced by many first-time entrepreneurs in Austin. They have a great vision for their company, a great product and perhaps even a great marketing strategy, but they just can’t seem to grow their sales as quickly as they would like. The solution is simple: more effective customer engagement.

The problem is that many first-time entrepreneurs are still not comfortable with the sales process. Either they believe that the product is so good that it will literally sell itself, or they are concerned about pushing too hard and too fast so they never really engage with the customer.

If that sounds like your entrepreneurial experience, then here are some tips for turning your startup into a sales machine.

Tip #1: Focus on the long-term relationship

It’s easy to focus on the short-term sale. After all, it’s those short-term sales that are going to put money in the bank and help your business grow. However, you also have to take a long-term view of customer relationships. And that’s especially true if you are selling relatively expensive or high-end products. You need to develop the relationship first, steadily building credibility with the client over time.

For example, say that you have just launched a small jewelry business. The first time a customer comes into the store, you may not make a big sale. But if you can educate the customer about the types of materials you use in your jewelry, or the types of artisans who are working on these pieces of jewelry, you will be preparing the customer for a much larger purchase later.

Tip #2: Listen to the customer

Most people, when they think about sales, think in terms of a rehearsesd “script” or “messages.” They think that there is some perfect sales script that will convert every time. That’s just not the case. You also need to listen to the customer. What problem are they trying to solve? What are they really looking for?

And this listening process includes more than just the words that customers use. Pay attention to their body language and all the things they are saying with their posture. And if you’re not sure what they really want, ask questions to get clarification. Often, people may tell you they want one thing, but really have something entirely different in mind.

Tip #3: Remember that price is just one factor in the sales decision

ATX Co-op Taxi In the News

ATX Co-op Taxi splits the difference between traditional taxis and ridesharing. ATX Co-op Taxi ride-hail app is up on the iTunes store: “ATX Taxi”. The app is modeled much like your standard TNC template. Should it ever fail, as happened with Fasten and RideAus­tin during SXSW, the co-op can fall back on its full-time dispatch system – staffed with call-takers at an office just like any taxi franchise.

We are proud of our clients, ATX Co-op Taxi. Read more in the Austin Chronicle here.

The Importance of Managing Your Expenses Carefully for Small Business Owners

By Al Lopez, EGBI Executive Director

Start-ups and small growing businesses face a common problem: how to manage cash flow so that all the expenses get paid on time. By managing your expenses carefully, you can improve your opportunity to grow slowly and surely. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Tip #1: Create a realistic budget

It’s not just enough to come up with a budget – you also have to come up with a realistic budget. And in order to do that, you need to have a good understanding of all aspects of your business. Take sales, for example. If you know when you are booking key sales, and when these customers are going to pay, you are going to have much more visibility into the overall profitability and the when that profitability will come. If you know that you can expect an amount in revenue a month, then you can start thinking in terms of affordable dollars in expenses.

At a minimum, you should have visibility into the sales for your upcoming three months. Preferably, you should be able to project out 12 months in advance. This is particularly important because every business naturally has ups and downs in sales over the year – such as during the holiday selling season – and those ups and downs need to be planned for.

Tip #2: Develop a solid business plan

Once you have a budget in place, you need to make sure you have a business that supports it or change the one you have to match your new budget expectations. Start to think about what percentage of your profits you will need to invest back into the business. Maybe you have to buy new inventory or maybe you need a new piece of equipment. Or maybe you are planning a new marketing approach to promote your product or service.

A business plan helps you to understand how these costs fit into the bigger picture and keep you from spending on things that aren’t part of your plan. Too many businesses live week to week, month-to-month, or quarter-to-quarter, and are never able to put together a solid business plan for moving forward. Expenses tend to grow with nothing to show for it. A business plan helps to keep you focused, and helps you manage your expenses more wisely.

Tip #3: Plan for unexpected expenses

The business world is full of uncertainty, and that’s why most small business consultants advise companies to have enough cash on hand to handle any unexpected emergencies. In the same way as you might create a “rainy day fund” for your family budget, you’d also want to make sure that you have enough cash to cover adverse market changes or unexpected events for your business.

There are various ways to protect against risk, of course, without simply having to save a bunch of cash. You don’t want to tie up too much cash, because you’ll need that for working capital. But you should have business insurance to protect your inventory. Or, if you operate a food truck business, you might think about ways to limit your downside if anything happens to these valuable assets.

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At some point, all of the cost savings, bootstrapping and careful financial management will really pay off. You’ll have extra funds to handle unexpected emergencies, and you’ll also have plenty of funds to re-invest in the success of your growing small business.