Steps to moving forward with your business

By Joni Foster

The first step to starting a business

One of the first questions I ask a new client is, “When do you want to open your business? Tell me a date.”

I often get a blank look from my client. “I don’t know” is not acceptable. We sit together and come up with a date because setting the date makes things fall into place.

Once my client has said the date out loud, she often gets a look on her face of excitement and terror at the same time.  Excitement because it now sounds real. Terror because she doesn’t know how to make it happen. 

Once we make the goal, though, we can start making a plan. We quickly start making a list of what must be done before that date arrives. The list starts telling us other things like what she or he needs to buy and how much money she needs to get started. If we need to adjust the date, that’s okay. We just need to make a goal to get the process started.

Goals

Goals are aspirational destinations. Goals are not what you have to do. Goals are how you know when you have arrived. Goals tell you WHY you are doing what you are doing.

Plans are your best guess today on HOW you will get to your goal. There are many “almost right” ways to get there and almost never “the perfect way” to do it. There are a few “horribly wrong” ways to get there. Horribly wrong ways are often great stories at a party five years from now.

Goals tells you the destination for your journey, but the journey will only be fun if you stay flexible along the way. If this is your first time on this journey, there is so much to see and do along the way. Set up your journey so that you don’t have to be in a rush to get to your goal.

Fail fast, fail often, fail forward.  You can’t start something new knowing how to do it.

Your best advisor is someone who has done it before. They can tell you all their mistakes so you don’t have to make them, too.

It has to be okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn and grow.

Research, plan and go!

My husband and I moved out to the country a few years back. It was a very strange environment for us having lived in the city most of our lives. But together we had dreamed of having our little plot of land and now here we were.  Pretty quickly, we realized we didn’t know how to do all the things that this new environment required. How do we build a chicken coop? How do we fix a leaky roof? How do we keep critters out of the house?

Ten years later, here’s my recommendation for tackling new things:

  • Research: Find local folk who know more than you do; and use the internet to ask questions
  • Plan: Lay out your plan including how much it’s going to cost.
  • Action: Just do it.

The last one has been the hardest for me, being a perfectionist. I don’t want to start something new until I know exactly how to do it. Thankfully, early on, my husband and I made a pact: we weren’t going to let “not knowing” stop us from “doing”. We gave ourselves permission to fail.

I have learned to just start with what I know, make a bunch of mistakes, and do it again. We look around our property today and feel very proud at all the improvements we have made. I can also tell you stories about what didn’t work, but we had to do it wrong many times before we got it right.

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.

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.

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.

Mexican food truck with plenty of Amor to give

By Hye June Park

Austin’s own Alicia’s Tacoriendo adds something extra to their food; amor! 

Max Varela, owner of Alicia’s Tacoriendo, cooks all of the meals with passion and love for great tasting food. Alicia who is famous in Mustang Ridge for tamales is his mother, so he used her recipes. His local, family-owned business specializes in authentic Mexican food from Monterrey, Mexico at an affordable price. He offers catering for any type of occasion or venue, along with, readily available tamales made to your delight.

“I have worked alongside my mother at many food vending festivals and events. My mother has over 30 years in the food serving industry and owned her own food truck. I want to provide opportunities for my family as we continue to grow,” he said. The community that visits his food truck receives the love he puts in every dish.

Although he had experience before, it was not easy to establish and promote his business. To solve the problem, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), helped him refine his business plan and provided him ideas on marketing. More importantly, they continue to offer him business advice and counseling. By completing the EGBI small business workshop series, he was eligible for a free year’s membership to the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce(GAHCC). Being part of the GAHCC will give his business more exposure to potential customers.   You can visit his food truck which is located in 8503 Hillmoore Drive, Austin, Texas 78719.  For more information about Alica’s Tacoriendo visit www.facebook.com/aliciastacoriendo.

Mexicna food