CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP AND March EVENTS

By: Monica Peña

We are consistently encouraging our alumni to increase their circle of influence by attending professional events in the area. We are proud of the community partnership that we have with the four chambers; including Austin Young ChamberGreater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC)Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), and Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). When our clients graduate from the Build Your Business PLAN workshop series, they qualify for one year membership to one of these chambers. Each chamber has unique opportunities for business owners.

Here are some of the opportunities the chambers have this month to learn something new or meet other business owners.

March 20th- Coffee Connection Presented by Rudy’s

March 22nd and 23rd- Asian Eats Night Market

March 28th- Small Biz U

The joy of trying out new recipes

By Hye June Park

The spring is a good time to learn how to cook. I recommend you visit Tye Cooks Austin website which has plenty of recipes.

Tye Lewis, an owner of Tye Cooks Austin loves teaching people to cook a healthy gourmet meal using staples found in most pantries. Her business combines her training as a teacher and her passion for food. She offers highly personalized one-on-one and small group cooking classes. Additionally, she offers on-site team building cooking lessons for organizations in the Austin area. She is happy when her clients realize that they can cook healthy flavorful entrees in their own kitchen.

However, it has not always been easy starting a business. She faced obstacles like developing a clear mission, finding her “client”, and startup funding. She got help from Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). EGBI helped her learn the basics of how to set up a business from scratch. “Also, the value of insurance, pricing, refining my elevator pitch, and seeing the full value of the service I provide to my clients.” Tye offered. “Now my goals are to expand into more markets here in the Austin metro area as well another Texas city. I am working on publishing a multi-cultural cuisine cookbook geared for those who have food allergies or intolerance.” You can find her own recipes on her website, which consist of ingredients found in most people’s pantries, but also one ingredient that can easily be found in a local grocery store but is versatile. Anyone can try one of the free recipes and building confidence in your own cooking skills.

For more information about the Tye Cooks Austin, visit www.tyecooksaustin.com.

Unity within the community leads to business growth

By Hye June Park

The number of black-owned businesses in Austin is growing. February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. To celebrate Black History Month, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) recognizes two clients that operate an African food mart and a nonprofit that highlights black history. One brings Ethiopian food to the Austin community, while the other helps youth shape their identity and learn from their past.

Sitotaw Degefaw, one of the owners of Selam International Mart & Café on North Lamar, sells imported Ethiopian and East African foods and spices in his grocery store. Visitors can explore East African culture while enjoying traditional Ethiopian food without the need to travel to Ethiopia. Selam International Mart & Café is a place where the East African community in Austin can come and enjoy their native Ethiopian culture, as well as a place for non-Africans to try something new in a very friendly environment. Degefaw’s favorite part of owning his business is meeting new people and having a place where his community can gather.

He started his business with just an idea. He came to EGBI to get the support he needed for his small business, with the idea of starting a slaughterhouse for a particular type of beef important to Ethiopian food. EGBI helped him to understand the governmental regulations around processing meat, and as his idea got better defined, he had the opportunity to purchase a grocery mart that had space to add a butcher shop for his specialty meat.

He worked with Joni Foster, EGBI’s Program Director, through one-on-one coaching sessions. “She connected me to the supplier that slaughters the specialty meat according to my country’s custom,” Degefaw offered. “She worked with me side by side to make my dream happen.” He continues to visit with Joni once a month to talk about this business. For more information about Selam International Mart & Café, visit selamcafe.com

The Living History Foundation was founded in February 2018 when the first group of people sat around the table and called the meeting to order. In the past year, the organization has received its 501(C)(3) status from the IRS and presented three living history programs in Central Texas. Edgar B. Garza, the Board President of Living History Foundation, said, “The mission of the Foundation is to inspire children and the young-at-heart to learn about the contributions people of color made in the building of this great nation from the time before the first Europeans to the present day.

“History is an important part of our personal lives,” Garza continued. “It is the key to understanding who we are as humans. The youth will ultimately develop their own perspective on human life and society. One that is based on stories about ordinary people just like the youth that are in the program. They will also learn from ordinary people lessons in courage, leadership, and constructive protest.

It is the first time for many of the board members to be a part of a non-profit organization, but EGBI meets with directors a couple of times per month to help them put everything together. The board gathered in December 2018 to make plans for 2019, and Joni Foster, Program Director at EGBI facilitated the conversation. Keep a lookout for one of the 12 living history programs the organization will offer in the months to come. For more information about the Living History Foundation, visit facebook.com/livinghistoryfoundation.

Board members of Living History Foundation
Black History
Salem Mart

Chamber Membership and February events

By: Monica Peña

We are proud of the community partnership that we have with the four chambers; including Austin Young Chamber, Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC), Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), and Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). When our clients graduate from the Build Your Business PLAN workshop series, they qualify for one year membership to one of these chambers. Each chamber has different membership benefits that assist their members increase online visibility and special rates to network/professional development events.

I always encourage our alumni to visit each chamber or visit with chamber staff to see which organization would best fit their business needs. Here are some of the opportunities the chambers have this month to learn something new or meet other business owners.

February 21st- Power Networking Breakfast with GAHCC

February 27th- Leadership Talk with Minoj Saxena who shares his entrepreneur journey with GAACC

February 28th- Meet, Greet, & Give Mixer with the Austin Young Chamber

Be sure to visit each of their web sites for more events and information about the chambers. Please let me know if you are an alumni and have any questions concerning the chambers as we are active with each of them.

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?

What is a Real Estate Attorney?

There are two types of real estate lawyers.

  • Residential real estate lawyers can help you buy a home, deal with foreclosures, and resolve landlord/tenant disputes.
  • Commercial real estate lawyers deal with construction and development projects, as well as zoning issues. If you don’t own a business, you probably won’t ever have to deal with a commercial real estate lawyer.

Real estate attorneys specialize in the particulars of real estate law. Their job is to preside over proceedings in any way a client requires. An attorney brings experience that takes a level of risk out of real estate transactions and can aid all parties in understanding the associated legalities.

You should consider hiring a real estate attorney if you need help with:

  • Creation of documents such as deeds, rental agreements or purchasing contracts
  • Proper filing of deeds with local government offices
  • Negotiating terms with banks and brokers
  • Establishing a business
  • Doing a title search to determine if there are any liens or encumbrances associated with a property
  • Reviewing a sale before it becomes final to check for potential legal problems
  • Mortgage and trust deed foreclosures

Benefits of a Real Estate Attorney

Working with an attorney who knows Texas real estate law makes buying or selling your real estate less overwhelming. In every transaction, having an attorney guarantees that all legal requirements are met. This includes wording on deeds or contracts and any specific regulations regarding rentals that need to be included on leases.

As a seller, hiring an attorney frees you from having to juggle paperwork while trying to clear out your home and show it to prospective buyers. For buyers, obtaining the services of an attorney can make it easier to understand local rules and regulations and recognize any potential problems. Business owners or investors looking to purchase new property may benefit even more from the services of a real estate attorney. Running a business and preparing for a move or expansion is hard enough without trying to understand everything about real estate law.

 

 

 

 

Law Office of Roberto A. Ramirez

ramirez@rmz-law.com

 

 

10 Essential Contracts for Every Small Business

By:  Roberto A. Ramirez with Law Office of Roberto A. Ramirez, PLLC 

Starting and running a small business often involves a staggering number of legal contracts.  Below are a list of essential contracts for small businesses.

1. Business Contracts – You need more than a handshake. Make sure it’s a done deal with a professional Business Contract. When it’s in
writing, it’s easier to prevent miscommunication because the details of your agreement are clearly outlined.

2. Service Contracts – Service contracts outline exactly what you will provide as a business. Service contracts are agreements for
specific acts, such as painting your house or tuning your car, and are distinguishable from contracts for goods.

3. Independent Contractor Agreement- Independent Contractor Agreements are a way of clearly outlining the scope of the work, payment schedules
and deadline expectations of a freelance arrangement. Make sure you have signed agreements with every
consultant or short-term employee you use.

4. Release of Liability – As an operator of a business, use this form to release your company from liability for any injuries or damages
sustained by a participant in an activity either owned or sponsored by your business.

5. Equipment Lease – Use this contract if you will be leasing equipment or plan to lease out your own equipment. You’ll want to
complete your equipment lease agreement before the equipment changes hands. That way, if either party has
any questions or concerns, you can refer to your lease agreement to resolve things.

6. Non Disclosure Agreement – Nondisclosure agreements are fairly common in many business settings, as they offer one of the most surefire
ways to protect trade secrets and other confidential information meant to be kept under wraps. Ask potential
employees or current employees to sign this so your proprietary information doesn’t leave your business.

7. Provisional Patent Application-  Protect your product or invention in advance of a full patent filing. A provisional filing allows you to use the
“Patent Pending” notice and establish an official patent filing date.

8. Noncompete Agreement- Noncompete Agreements are intended to help you protect your business. They restrict your employees, business
associates or clients from directly competing against your company.

9. Employment Agreement- This agreement between an employer and employee specifies the rights and obligations of each party. The
employee’s compensation, job duties, expense reimbursement, benefits, and confidentiality obligations may be
described in detail.

10. Employee Handbook- Employee Handbooks are an important part of your hiring package. They include necessary legal statements,
outline employment expectations, relate your business vision, and define benefit packages.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Starting a Business Successfully – Spanish

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM CDT

 

Nuestro presentador de SCORE, Dr. Harold Koch, le ayudará a explorar lo que se necesita para ser un empresario y cómo desarrollar un Plan de Negocio, para que se convirtiera en un exitoso propietario de negocio. Él le explicará sus opciones para ser dueño de un negocio y le guiará para obtener la ayuda aquí en Austin que usted necesita para triunfar.

Our SCORE presenter, Dr. Harold Koch, will help you explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to develop a Business Plan for becoming a successful business owner. He will explain your choices for owning a business and guide you to get the help you need to succeed right here in Austin.

Speaker: Harold Koch

Su mentor certificado de SCORE y presentador del taller es Harold Koch, titular de un MBA y Doctorado en Negocios. Trabajó durante once años en Colombia, Bolivia, México y España con el Banco Mundial, la Universidad de Harvard, la Universidad de Tulane, y la empresa multinacional jabonera The Andrew Jergens Company.  También se ha desempeñado como consultor en el Instituto de Pequeñas Empresas (SBI), agencia secundaria de la Administración de Pequeñas Empresas (SBA); además, como fundador, actualmente administra una fundación sin lucre [501(c)(3)] en América del Sur que se titula “BECA”.

Your certified SCORE mentor and workshop presenter is Harold Koch, holder of an MBA and Doctorate in Business. He worked for eleven years in Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, and Spain with The World Bank, Harvard University, Tulane University, and a multinational soap manufacturer, The Andrew Jergens Soap Company as the Latin American Marketing Manager. He also has served as a consultant with the Small Business Institute (SBI) of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and, as a founder, currently manages a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation in South America titled “BECA”.

Date & Time : Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM CDT
Location : Ruiz Library, 1600 Grove Blvd., Austin, TX 78741

REGISTER FOR THIS workshop BY score, HERE!

 

 

Why There’s Only One Ideal Type of Salesperson

By Ronell Smith

Last year Rand Fishkin, a Seattle software executive, started an exciting Twitter thread when he let loose a provocative comment regarding sales tactics:

“Best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.”

As you’d expect, the comments that flowed in ranged from total agreement to disagreement bordering on denouncement.

In many ways, everyone is right and wrong: Sales and salespeople get a bad rap, some of it deserved, in large part because the worst examples (i.e., pushy, sometimes sleazy tactics) stick out in our minds and override those occasions when salespeople were actually quite helpful.

We have our brains to blame for the contempt, says Clifford Nass, a Stanford communications professor and co-author of The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships, said in a New York Timespiece on the topic.

Click To Enlarge
Why There’s Only One Ideal Type of Salesperson Infographic

Don’t Forget About Good Customer Service When Growing Your Business

By Al Lopez, EGBI Executive Director
Too often, small business owners and startups are so focused on becoming known and marketing themselves to the wider public that they forget about the importance of good customer service. Either they fail to take into account customer satisfaction or they begin to take their earliest customers for granted. However, don’t let the pursuit of fast growth blind you to the need for good customer service.
First and most importantly, good customer service is the foundation of building a trusted brand with an engaged and loyal customer base. Especially in the digital era, the power of word-of-mouth marketing cannot be underestimated. If customers aren’t happy with the service they have received, they won’t just tell their friends – they will also let everyone on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram know about it as well.
But look what happens when you keep a close focus on customer service: you can convert regular customers into super-customers of your business. Marketers often refer to these super-customers as “brand ambassadors” or “evangelists.” And it’s exactly these ambassadors and evangelists who can really help your startup grow and take it to the next level. After all, it is much cheaper to retain a customer or gain a referral than it is to find a new customer.
The most obvious way existing customers can help to jump-start your growth is by bringing repeat business. You no longer have to worry about churning through customers and finding new ones. And, it is often the case that customers will trust you to take on bigger and bigger projects as they gain confidence with you. For example, a loyal customer who comes into your restaurant on a regular basis might decide to hire you for a big catering project that can help take your new restaurant in a new growth direction.
You also won’t have to worry about spending a bigger and bigger piece of your overall budget on marketing. Your customers will do your marketing for you. They will make word-of-mouth referrals for you and let everyone know what a quality product or service you deliver each time. Best of all, these are authentic reviews. Nobody is paying them to say something nice about you, and that’s something that readers or viewers will immediately recognize. Authentic customer testimonials can be very powerful indeed.
That’s why a satisfied customer is good, but a delighted customer is best. There are many ways to “surprise and delight” your customers with good customer service. If you’re paying attention on social media, for example, you can sometimes pre-empt any problems a customer might be having. It’s best to get ahead of a concern on Twitter than to let a few bad tweets get out there!
And, you can choose to surprise and delight customers around special times of the year – such as with a special year-end holiday gift. Even a small gesture – like giving away a complimentary dessert “on the house” to help celebrate a special anniversary – can create a very loyal customer.
So you can see why quality customer service is really the key to sustaining and growing your business. Every interaction with a customer can become an opportunity to deepen the relationship and ensure that your customers are as happy with you now as when they first started using your product or service.
In short, quick and rapid growth is not just about piling up new customers as fast as you can – it’s also about making sure that your existing customers are still enthusiastic about what you offer. Great customer service is the key to growing your business.

Customer service