Meet EGBI Client – Luis Salinas

Luis Salinas is the owner of 24hr Passports and Visa Services. Born and raised in Austin, he graduated from St Edwards University with a degree in Business Administration in May 2021. He started his passport expediting business in April 2022 and has been in business for over 7 months. Luis says EGBI has been instrumental in his business’ success and has helped him every step of the way.

Do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I started my first business when I was 8 yrs old. I sold glow sticks and toys to kids at events where my mom was the photographer.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I got involved with EGBI through a friend’s recommendation, who was also a business owner. He told me how much of a positive influence EGBI has had on his business and convinced me to check it out.

Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?

It’s important to support organizations like EGBI because they support the wellbeing of our community, as well as foster economic growth and advancement.

How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

My involvement with EGBI gave me the confidence to start my business and take a leap of faith. Thanks to them, I finally got the ball rolling.

Why is it important to learn information in your primary language?

Spanish is my first language and I believe it’s very important to embrace your roots. I was born in the U.S. and have lived here my entire life, but my parents are originally from Mexico. They would only allow me to speak Spanish at home and instilled a very deep sense of pride for my Mexican heritage. That is why I embrace learning in Spanish, and why I continue to develop my ability to communicate with others that share the same language.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI Clients – Owners Of Natural Healing Wellness Co.

By Marisol Klauer

Christina worked in Social Work for more than a decade and earned a Master of Science from UT-Austin. Christina then went on to work for the next decade serving the mentally ill population in various agencies in Austin.  Though she thoroughly enjoyed supporting her clients and empowering their agency for change, she felt she needed to transition to living her dharma by teaching various aspects of Spirituality. During this time, Christina began to experience a spiritual awakening that transformed her view of the world and her role in it. Christina enjoys spending time in nature so you can find her on the hiking trails in Austin.

Aaron Gobert is also a University of Texas-Austin Alumni, who previously worked as an Audio Engineer with his own record company, “ATX Recording”. Aaron later pursued a career in the medical industry and worked for various agencies in the Austin area. During this time, Aaron began to educate himself about the Alkaline lifestyle and its benefits. Aaron went on to share this valuable information with Christina and they founded Natural Healing Wellness Co. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys educating others about genetics and human history.

Do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

My husband and I are both University of Texas Alumni.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I attended one of Monica’s Marketing classes online first. Then I started coaching with her and took the 90 day goals course later.

Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?

I love the work that EGBI is doing to support small businesses in Austin. Starting a business is a challenging task, but it is nice to know I can call Monica or Joni to point me in the right direction.

How has EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

EGBI has helped me to step out of comfort zone in advertising my business and reaching my goals.

I especially loved the 90 day goal course. Though I did not reach all my goals, I was able to create some serious momentum that propelled my business forward, in a way I may not have accomplished on my own.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Summer Program Intern- Aamir Kutianawala

By Alison Flangel

Meet Aamir Kutianawala, a summer program intern at EGBI. Aamir has been working with EGBI for the summer. He is a rising junior at Westwood High School and would like to go more into business/marketing as he progresses with his education. Outside of school and EGBI, Aamir is part of his school’s debate team, robotics team, DECA team, and various others as well. He loves playing and watching sports in his free time, and has also been pursuing guitar on the side!

Aamir shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I have been learning to play the guitar for 3 years.

How have you been involved with EGBI?

I have been working on a variety of tasks, but mainly help clients/business owners with finances and marketing. I also provide broad support by making lectures for entire groups of clients, along with helping to complete any general tasks.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer at EGBI?

I think it’s important to work with EGBI to support disadvantaged business owners, and help bridge the gap with underrepresented groups in business.

What has your favorite experience with EGBI been so far?

My favorite experience has been taking and editing pictures for a client’s Etsy shop.

“EGBI helps you make a difference in the community.”– Aamir Kutianawala

In 2021, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Ken make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Summer Program Intern- Shamitha Ramanan

By Alison Flangel

Hi! My name is Shamitha and I have been with EGBI for a month now and it has been an enriching experience. I am an incoming senior at Westwood High School, and as my education progresses, I hope to pursue a degree in finance or management. Outside of EGBI, I am in my school’s orchestra, Academy Ambassador program, GenShe, and several other clubs and honor societies.

Shamitha shares her experience as an intern with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

A fun fact about me is that I grew up mainly in London, England, and California.

How have you been involved with EGBI?

I mainly do research and analysis for clients’ businesses to see where they can improve financially. I’ve also recently worked on importing and exporting goods, bookkeeping, and more.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI allows you to connect with people from all kinds of different backgrounds and changes your perspective on business and the world around you.

What has your favorite experience with EGBI been so far?

My favorite experience has been attending the 90 Days business workshop. I’ve been able to connect with a lot of different people and learn about their businesses and inspirations. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with them one-on-one to help expand their businesses.  

“EGBI provides you the opportunity to learn new skills, communicate, and network.” – Shamitha Ramanan

In 2021, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Ken make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Trello for businesses

Trello for Small Business Owners

By Shamitha Ramanan

Trello is a web-based project management program with an easy-to-use interface and a lot of flexibility for organizations of all sizes and sectors. It’s an excellent option for entrepreneurs and company owners searching for a low-cost solution. Trello’s base plan is free, but they do offer two paid versions: Business Class and Enterprise.

Features

The first thing people will notice that distinguishes this platform from others is that it has no restriction on the number of projects, users, or tasks. The site also provides templates that are customized to specific sorts of tasks. 

Trello divides projects into boards, similar to the software in Pinterest, and divides diverse chores into easy, basic phases. Time-sensitive activities may be assigned a due date and time, and when done, just drag and drop them into the next phase of your board.

Productivity & Creativity

Whether you’re working on a design sprint that has to be structured into phases or a creative project for your newest client that needs to go through numerous review procedures before completion, the platform can help you get everything organized and done as efficiently as possible. 

Product Development

Trello may help you assign tasks to different members of your team and keep track of product phases and deadlines.

Sales 

If you want to organize your sales cycle with Trello, the software makes it quite straightforward. Lists may be established to track lead information, score, and status, and team members can be allocated to different cards. 

In one page, you can move cards down your pipeline, designate due dates for tasks for your clients, attach necessary documents, and keep track of where your leads are in your sales or CRM pipelines.

Event Planning 

Trello is also a wonderful tool for event planning, even if you are not a professional event planner.  You may make a board for a specific event and lists to help you keep track of deadlines, task status, and dates.

Save money

Actions to reduce operating costs

By Shamitha Ramanan

By lowering your operating costs, you can outperform your competitors. Small business entrepreneurs ought to constantly hunt for strategies to save costs without compromising the caliber of their goods or services. 

Consider these suggestions to lower your company’s operational expenses and possibly increase revenue:

1. Automate tasks

Numerous internet platforms and software tools are available that help streamline and automate a small business’ daily operations. Numerous functions, like bookkeeping, website hosting, marketing communications, payroll, and others, can be handled by these systems. 

Technology is beneficial because it encourages productivity. Efficiency results in lower operational expenses, especially for things like direct labor.

2. Outsource 

Delegating certain jobs to subject matter specialists will help you save money and provide even better outcomes. Marketing and advertising are two areas that gain most from outsourcing. Certain operations can be outsourced as a long-term investment that pays off in the long run.

3. Find a freelancer

It’s one thing to outsource your IT department or human resources’ requirements, but what about routine tasks? In your company, freelancers might step in to cover tasks that aren’t always required. 

It makes little sense to hire a full-time staff for sporadic demands.

4. Pay your bills in advance

Many suppliers may give you a discount if you pay your bill ahead of time. Savings of even 2%–3% every billing cycle can add up quickly. 

To minimize any late fees or other penalties, make sure to at the very least pay your invoices on time. The same holds true for any other debt you have, including loans. If you are late or start missing payments, your interest costs might rise.

5. Think eco-friendly

Your company’s running costs go up when you print everything from fliers and catalogs to internal papers. Encourage staff to print papers only when absolutely required, and if you must print a catalog, purchase a size that will prevent any from ending up in the recycling. 

Compact fluorescent lighting should be used to save heating and cooling expenses, and physical waste should be reduced. To save energy, disconnect the equipment from any unused workstations to decrease electricity usage. You’ll save money on monthly office supplies prices in addition to electricity bills.

construction business

Start a Construction Business in Austin, Texas

By Monica Peña

Are you wanting to start a business in the construction industry, but don’t know where to begin?  Whether you specialize in flooring, remodeling, painting, or roofing, below are helpful tips to successfully launch the company.

  • Get experience.  If you have not already worked for a construction business, there are many aspects of the business that you may not have considered.  Industry rules related to areas from permits, licensing, contracts to customer service can be less straight forward than anticipated.
  • Register the business.  Registering your business establishes it as a legal entity which helps the owner have limited personal liability, receive funding, and create a brand that is recognizable to potential customers.  
  • Create a business plan. A business plan can help with all aspects of your start up from potential problems, pricing to explaining the concept for your business. It is a road map to the success of your business.
  • Fund your business.  Figure out a budget and how the construction business will be financed. How will material and labor be paid for? How and when will payments on projects be received?
  • Decide on the niche of the company.  Choose the specialty of the work whether projects are commercial, residential, or government contracts. Determine certain area of Austin or surrounding towns that the business will concentrate.
  • Build a marketing plan.  This includes creating a strong brand with name, logo, and figuring out how to communicate the niche of the company. Design a plan to communicate with potential clients, customers, and territories.  
  • Take advantage of resources available for your new business. EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.  Staff helps connect business owners with different business tools and outside resources.

Contact us to meet with a business coach that can help guide you through your small business journey. To get started, register AQUÍ.

Open a Daycare in Austin, Texas

By Monica Peña

Are you wanting to start a childcare business, but don’t know where to begin?  Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TXAEYC) is a state affiliate of the National Association of Education of Young Children.  This is an excellent resource in Central Texas for anyone wanting to get started in the early care and education industry. TXAEYC offers updates in the childcare rules/regulations, continuing education, training opportunities, and networking events to learn from peers.

Below are some more helpful tips to successfully launch a childcare business.

  • Get experience.  If you have not already worked in childcare, there are many aspects of the business that you may not be aware.  Industry rules related to areas from documentation, cleaning supplies, snacks, communication with parents can be less straight forward than anticipated. This is where exposure to this type of circumstances would be beneficial.
  • Register the business.  Registering your business establishes it as a legal entity which helps the owner have limited personal liability, receive funding, and create a brand that is recognizable to parents deciding on using your services for their children.  
  • Create a business plan. A business plan can help with all aspects of your start up from potential problems, work flow, pricing, what is included in your services, and so much more. It is a road map to the success of your business.
  • Fund your business.  Figure out a budget and how the childcare business will be financed.
  • Decide on the niche of the company.  Choose the specialty of the services being offered by the childcare facility. Will your center offer after school services, STEM learning, language immersion, or any other special services?  Determine certain area of Austin or surrounding towns that the business will concentrate.
  • Build a marketing plan.  This includes creating a strong brand with name, logo, and figuring out how to communicate the niche of the company. Design a plan to communicate with potential parents and community partners that can refer families to the business.  
  • Take advantage of resources available for your new business. EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.  Staff helps connect business owners with different business tools and outside resources.

Contact us to meet with a business coach that can help guide you through your small business journey. To get started, register AQUÍ.

Cleaning business

Start a Cleaning Business in Central Texas

By Monica Peña

Are you wanting to start a cleaning business, but don’t know where to begin?  Below are helpful tips to successfully launch the company.

  • Get experience.  If you have not already worked in a cleaning business, there are many aspects of the business that may not be clear.  Industry rules related to areas from chemicals to customer service can be less straight forward than anticipated.
  • Register the business.  Registering your business establishes it as a legal entity which helps the owner have limited personal liability, receive funding, and create a brand that is recognizable to customers.  
  • Create a business plan. A business plan can help with all aspects of your start up from potential problems, pricing to explaining the concept for your business. It is a road map to the success of your business.
  • Fund your business.  Figure out a budget and how the cleaning business will be financed.
  • Decide on the niche of the company.  Choose the specialty of the work whether it is to clean commercial, residential, or after construction jobs. Determine certain area of Austin or surrounding towns that the business will concentrate.
  • Build a marketing plan.  This includes creating a strong brand with name, logo, and figuring out how to communicate the niche of the company. Design a plan to communicate with potential clients, customers, and territories.  
  • Take advantage of resources available for your new business. EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.  Staff helps connect business owners with different business tools and outside resources.

Contact us to meet with a business coach that can help guide you through your small business journey. To get started, register AQUÍ.

Stay organized with OneNote

Using OneNote for your Business

By Shamitha Ramanan 

OneNote is a digital note-taking program. It gives you a central location to keep all the information you need for your daily life. Notes are easy to organize, print, and share with no paper loss or loss of information. The best part is that your notebooks are kept online where you can access them on any mobile device.

You can use OneNote in your business to stay on top of tasks, research, meetings and much more. 

  1. Project collaboration 

How do you organize and collaborate on projects using OneNote? With the aid of notebooks, sections, and pages, OneNote enables you to save information. You may designate notebooks for each of your various work projects and include sections for group notes that list details based on the project’s condition or stage.

Additionally, you may share a OneNote notebook with your employees. All you have to do is invite them to it and they can access the data. By exchanging information, everyone can keep track of the project and provide updates as needed. The notebooks can also be sent through email or converted into PDF files.

  1. Meeting notes

Team meetings are commonplace, and when working with a remote team, they become even more crucial. But it’s simple to overlook recording meeting minutes and ensuring that everyone on the team has access to the material. OneNote enables you to take meeting notes, organize them in a specific notebook, and distribute them to your entire team or organization.

  1. Research

Use OneNote to organize and retain your notes whether you’re conducting market research or just gathering data about your potential or existing clientele. One can assemble text notes, and include data gathered in other Microsoft Office programs, such as Word. And you may add any content you come across that would be relevant for your project, such as photographs, videos, links, and documents.

  1. Blog post hub

OneNote can be used to store your blog post ideas if you run a business blog. You can compile all the information on the subjects of your blog posts in individual notes and include all pertinent links. Additionally, you may create drafts of your blog entries in OneNote, where you can also keep track of published posts and their related URLs for quick access whenever you need it.

  1. Scanning documents & embedding Excel spreadsheets

OneNote can be used on smartphones, making it simple to scan documents with your phone and store them in OneNote notebooks. Contracts, receipts, and any other document pertaining to your customers or your business can be scanned. Instead of printing them out and losing them, you can tag those scans so you can quickly locate them anytime you need them. Excel is an excellent tool for organizing your money, other numerical data, and keeping track of crucial metrics. 

You may insert Excel spreadsheets directly into your notes using OneNote. 

As a result, it will be simple for you to keep track of pertinent information in your notes and have it on hand for team or client meetings. Additionally, you may attach notes to your Excel data, allowing you to solicit suggestions and criticism from your staff, colleagues, and even clients.

With so much versatility Microsoft OneNote has become a popular platform for business collaboration and organization around the world.