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Meet EGBI Volunteer – Maria Hoffman

By Bego Calderon

Born in Venezuela, Maria holds a bachelor’s in architecture and a marketing certificate. As a new degree holder, she had the opportunity to work in trade shows’ booth design and production, translating into more than ten years of work in the field of trade shows and corporate image. Later, she moved to the United States and worked in higher education administration spearheading the student services department in a private university. For more than a decade she worked developing student services procedures and training with a particular concentration on students’ non-academic matters assistance, regulations compliance, campus safety, handbook revision and update, student onboarding, and major university events.

Her responsibilities as a student services administrator also provided her with an open door for community service, getting involved in organizing fundraising and awareness events to support national and local organizations, overseeing, and advising students’ clubs and associations, and mentoring the Student Government Association.

Her volunteer work led her to act as a mentor for a non-profit organization, Youth and Democracy in the Americas. Being its Mission to raise awareness regarding the situation of democracy in Latin America, it successfully progressed attaining the support of the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro, several US Senators and Representatives, national and foreign student organizations, and various other non-profit organizations.

More recently, Maria has been involved in e-commerce and logistics having among her duties the translation and interpretation of meetings, training, and documents for limited English proficient team members. In her spare time, she volunteers as an assistant instructor for an early literacy for adults’ program, and as an English-Spanish translator and interpreter for non-profit organizations.

Maria shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI.

Share a fun fact with us.

I love to swim in cold waters but not on the beach or rivers. I prefer to swim by jumping off of a boat, in the clear shallow blue waters of the open sea.

“It is an exciting opportunity to learn about EGBI’s work and mission” – Maria Hoffman

-How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I was looking for opportunities to volunteer and got involved with EGBI through Volunteer Match.

-Why do you volunteer for EGBI?

It’s an opportunity that allows me to give back to the community. On the other hand, I have the chance to put into practice my translation skills, which is something I highly enjoy.

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

Professionally I believe it is an exciting opportunity to learn about EGBI’s work and mission. Personally, EGBI provides me with the rewarding feeling of being of help for a good cause.

– What was the most rewarding experience you had while volunteering for EGBI?

I’m new to EGBI, yet I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate to spread the voice about the resources available for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

– Why do you think others should volunteer or support EGBI?

Helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed is very important, and volunteering with EGBI increases the opportunities to accomplish that goal.

EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. If you would like to support our efforts, please visit our website https://egbi.org/donate/.

Meet EGBI Intern – Giuliana Karolina Noboa Castañeda

By Bego Calderon

I am from Ecuador and am presently pursuing a career in business administration. However, my actual love is marketing, which I am very passionate about. Originally, I planned to become a Biotechnology engineer, but I am glad that I discovered my true calling in marketing and business. Despite this change, I still have an intense interest for the realm of science.

My dream is to work on effective marketing strategies that are closely related to corporate sustainability. In my spare time, I like to go hiking and weightlifting. I also enjoy experimenting with new recipes that I see on Instagram; the more challenging, the better.

Giuliana shares her experience as an EGBI volunteer.

Share a fun fact with us.

I love creating scrapbooks with doodles and paintings, even though I’m not particularly skilled at drawing or painting. I challenge myself to improve, and occasionally, I plan out how I want it to look and then trace it from my phone. Additionally, I take pleasure in gathering mementos from outings and dates, such as tickets and tiny flowers, and incorporating them into my scrapbook.

“If you can do something for others, life brings that positivity back to you” giuliana karolina Noboa castañeda

-How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I was searching for volunteer programs near me, and EGBI looks like a promising opportunity to assist business owners. I truly appreciate their focus on the Hispanic community and the attention they give to language. This was especially meaningful to me, as I am aware of the challenges that new business owners face when they don’t speak English fluently or feel more comfortable with Spanish. Translating is a perfect way for me to contribute and provide help.

-Why do you volunteer for EGBI?

That question takes my mind back to that phrase that goes: “Nadie puede hacerlo todo, pero todos podemos hacer algo.” (Meaning: “Although no one can accomplish everything, each of us can contribute in our own way.”)

Being part of the solution and offering relief to others are fundamental aspects of community involvement. I believe EGBI offers a volunteering opportunity that helps maintain the connection between fellowship and knowledge management, as it enables people to learn from others and share their own experiences.

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

Engaging in translations keeps me attuned to the demands of business owners, utilizing language that can influence rephrasing while retaining the essence to create the impactful meaning present in all the blogs. This has been a valuable learning experience. On the other hand, I have also been involved in marketing efforts recently. Observing the sharing of resources and knowledge, and exploring ways to contribute with creativity and innovation, has been a significant enrichment for me.

– What was the most rewarding experience you had while volunteering for EGBI?

Translating the interns’ blogs allows me to witness the enthusiasm and eagerness of fresh minds to contribute. The proactive approach evident in every word is truly invigorating.

– Why do you think others should volunteer or support EGBI?

If you can do something for others, life brings that positivity back to you. At EGBI, you have a wonderful reciprocal opportunity, surrounded by the perfect environment, tools, and people who are equally willing to support you.

EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. If you would like to support our efforts, please visit our website https://egbi.org/donate/.

Meet EGBI Client – Patricia Correa

By Josephine

Born in Mexico and raised in Escondido, California, Patricia Correa eventually moved to Texas and has lived there for 27 years. She has owned her welding business, Cornerstone Welding, for 15 years. She has always had a entrepreneur spirit – after owning several businesses in the past like a food truck, bridal store, wedding planner/decor and even e-commerce, her welding business has been her number one priority. Patricia is married to her husband, Juan Correa, and currently run the business together. She is the mother of 6 (2 boys and 4 girls). As a family, they not only work for our family business, but also have a passion for serving in God’s ministry. Together they lead a church group in Bastrop TX. Patricia says that her purpose is helping anywhere she can be of service.

Patricia shares her experience as a client at EGBI.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

My story as an immigrant was issued in a book called “The Truth in our Stories”. 

“The business knowledge EGBI provided helped me build a better structured business.” Patricia Correa

Tell us about your business.

My business offers mobile welding services. We have a shop in Bastrop where we fabricate and do custom work from fencing, railing, to structural steel. 

Website https://www.bastropweldingcompany.com/

How did you first find out about EGBI?

I found out about EGBi through a friend who is also a EGBI client.

How did EGBI help your business? What service did you benefit from?

I took all the business courses. My business was lacking the fundamentals of business management. The business knowledge EGBI provided helped me build a better structured business. It helped me understand financial accounting and EGBI also helped me set up my own Quickbooks account. I  learned about business entities which led me to create the best one for my business. This has helped me with lowering taxes. 

Why should people consider supporting an organization like EGBI?

They are very informative and the instructors are very knowledgeable and helpful. They cared for my unique needs and concerns, and helped me develop the skills necessary to be even more successful. My biggest victory is an increase of 40% gross revenue and my profit margins went up at the same level. The business coaching workshops have been incredibly valuable in helping me grow as a business woman managing my business and also helped bridge my knowledge deficit. I highly recommend EGBI to any small business owner.

EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. If you would like to support our efforts, please visit our website https://egbi.org/donate/.

Preparing for Financial Emergencies: Building a Resilient Business

By Neel Kakkad 

Unforeseen events can strike at any moment, putting even the most successful businesses at risk. Whether it’s a global economic downturn, a natural disaster, or a sudden change in market conditions, financial emergencies can leave a business vulnerable if not adequately prepared. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to have a well-thought-out financial contingency plan, maintain an emergency fund, and acquire appropriate business insurance to ensure their long-term stability and resilience in the face of adversity.

1. The Importance of a Financial Contingency Plan

A financial contingency plan is a detailed strategy that outlines how a business will respond to various financial crises and challenges. This plan should be comprehensive, covering potential risks, cash flow projections, cost-cutting measures, and alternative revenue streams. By having a well-crafted contingency plan, businesses can quickly adapt to changing circumstances, ensuring they survive and recover from unexpected disruptions.

2. Maintaining an Emergency Fund

Just as individuals should have an emergency fund to cover personal expenses during difficult times, businesses should maintain their own financial safety net. An emergency fund provides a crucial buffer to cover operational costs, salaries, and other essential expenses when revenue streams are disrupted. A general rule of thumb is to set aside three to six months’ worth of operating expenses. This fund can be kept in a separate account and treated as a last resort to tap into only during genuine financial emergencies.

3. Acquiring Business Insurance

Insurance is a fundamental pillar of financial preparedness for any business. While some risks can be mitigated through proactive planning, there are certain events that are beyond a company’s control. Business insurance provides protection against losses arising from unforeseen events, such as property damage, liability claims, and business interruptions. Common examples of insurance include general liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation, and business interruption insurance. By transferring some of the financial risks to insurance providers, businesses can shield themselves from devastating financial blows that could otherwise lead to closure. Be sure to visit with an insurance professional to discuss specifics.

By prioritizing these three elements, businesses can ensure they are well-prepared to face any financial challenges that come their way. Investing time and resources into building financial resilience will not only protect the business’s future but also instill trust and confidence among employees, investors, and customers. Remember, it’s better to be prepared for the worst while striving for the best.

Effective Cost Control Strategies for your Business: Maximizing Efficiency and Minimizing Expenses

By Neel Kakkad 

Effective cost control is essential for maintaining profitability and staying ahead of the curve for your business. By identifying and reducing unnecessary expenses while optimizing operational processes, businesses can unlock their full potential and achieve long-term financial success. In this blog, we will explore practical cost control strategies to help you streamline operations, negotiate better vendor deals, and implement cost-saving measures.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Cost Analysis

The first step in effective cost control is understanding where your money is going. Conduct a thorough cost analysis to identify all expenses, both major and minor. Then, categorize these expenses and assess their significance in relation to your overall business operations. Often, seemingly insignificant costs can add up over time, impacting your bottom line

2. Optimize Operational Processes

Inefficient operational processes can lead to wastage of time, resources, and money. Look closely at your workflow and identify bottlenecks or redundant tasks that hinder productivity. Consider implementing process automation and adopting technology solutions to streamline operations. 

3. Embrace Sustainable Practices

Sustainability not only benefits the environment but can also be cost-effective in the long run. Consider adopting eco-friendly practices that reduce waste and energy consumption. This may include recycling initiatives, energy-efficient lighting, or using sustainable packaging materials. Not only will these efforts lower costs, but they can also enhance your brand image and attract environmentally conscious customers.

4. Analyze Inventory Management

Excessive inventory ties up capital and increases storage costs, while insufficient inventory can lead to missed sales opportunities and rush orders. Conduct a comprehensive inventory analysis to strike the right balance. Utilize inventory management software to track stock levels, forecast demand, and optimize ordering processes.

5. Encourage Cost-Conscious Culture

Fostering a cost-conscious culture among your employees is vital for sustainable cost control. Educate your team about the importance of financial responsibility and involve them in identifying cost-saving opportunities. Implement reward programs for cost-saving ideas that are successfully implemented. When everyone in the organization is committed to cost control, it becomes an integral part of your business’s DNA.

Effective cost control is a continuous process that requires vigilance, adaptability, and an eye for improvement. By conducting comprehensive cost analysis, optimizing operational processes, negotiating with vendors, embracing sustainability, analyzing inventory management, and encouraging a cost-conscious culture, your business can maximize efficiency and minimize expenses. Small cost-saving measures can add up over time and have a significant impact on your business’s financial health. Embrace a proactive approach to cost control, and you’ll position your business for sustainable growth and success in the face of ever-changing market dynamics.