I want to start my own business, but I don’t know everything.

By Leonardo Pozzobon

f you ask entrepreneurs why they started their businesses, motives spread all over the place, from following passion and wanting to turn a hobby into a business; being personally unable to hold an office job and needing to be its own boss; all the way to just “I saw an opportunity”, “I saw a market”, “I saw room for improvement”. After this, conversations often go into the “I wish I knew” topic, and that’s where pain starts talking by itself. You will hear stories about sleepless nights trying to solve operational problems and lost business opportunities due to lack of experience or not knowing where to find an answer. Thus, it always helps to have resources to learn from and reach out to in times of trouble.

The learning chance that helps one become a better business owner often comes as a result of a previously failed business. When the business owner is busy putting out fires day and night, it is only after failure that one will take the time to do a postmortem and understand what went wrong. Thus, it is important to stay on your feet, listen to your business, and make timely changes if/when needed.

A quick google search will get you to hundreds of “10 things I wish I knew before starting a business”, “7 things to know before opening your business”, “5 things I learned from running a business” and similar results. Of course this experience will be very different for people running different businesses and with different lifestyles, but here is a list of selected quotes I found quite relevant for most entrepreneurs:

  • Running the business takes 24/7

The biggest difference between a 9-to-5 job and being a business owner is the total lack of a fixed schedule. There is always the possibility for your client to have an issue with your product at an inconvenient time, or a supplier to have trouble in the middle of the night. Consider these possibilities, have contingency plans to address your customer’s needs, and organize responsibilities among your employees to ensure resiliency.

  • Optimize, outsource and automate everything you can

We at EGBI take our time to explain “The Four Roles An Entrepreneur Must Take” (Product Manager, Organizer and Manager, Marketer and Salesperson, Financier), and we emphasize that the entrepreneur must focus on the roles he is best at. Start by wearing many hats, but as soon as you have some traction, consider the best use of your scarce time will rely on dedicating your full attention to what you’re best at and outsourcing or hiring for other activities.

  • A part-time gig gives peace of mind

Once you give up a regular full time job in place of a business, you will be subject to the whims of seasonality and economic ups and downs. You can plan for these risks either by building a strong savings lung, or having a part-time gig to supplement the varying income from the business. This resiliency will give you peace of mind.

  • At the beginning everyone is excited and ready to help. When help is needed, it’s hard to come by.

People want you to succeed, and as soon as you start will get excited for your success. However, not everyone is willing or available to help you when you’re in such need for help. What should you do? Find access to reliable resources to help you through the hard times, find mentors, find a business coach.

With all this in mind, you should now know that you will face unexpected challenges, and learn from every opportunity you have. These common challenges I mentioned are not the end of the world, and do not mean that running a business is impossible. Challenges and obstacles are there for you to improve yourself and your business, and once you get to such a point in your entrepreneurial adventure, you will be more than welcome at EGBI for training, coaching and support.

Shirts Write Men Business Help Discussion Two


Ice Cream Cone or Fruit Cup?

Las Mangonadas opened it’s doors in December of 2016 to serve customers a variety of their forty homemade flavors of ice cream,  cakes and pastries made daily, fruit cups, and other tasty snacks.  Claudia Sanchez, the co-owner of Las Mangonadas, learned about the business from her uncle, Alfredo Sanchez,  who was already an entrepreneur. Claudia gained experience through a similar business she helped her uncle with in Illinois until she decided to move back to Austin.  Both created the Austin business to provide the assortment of sweet to salty munchies that also include corn cups, smoothies, Doritos locos, and so much more.  In business for less than a year, they have already started to see growth in sales.
Claudia first became connected with Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) when she attended Curso Empresarial, EGBI’s series of workshops taught in Spanish by local subject matter experts who have years of experience dealing with start-up businesses.  “The workshops helped with the general vision of business and learning from the experience of other attendees and instructors.  I was motivated that running a business was not going to be easy, but with tenacity it was going to be possible.” Claudia continues, ” I continue to receive assistance from EGBI anytime I contact them. They are always ready to help with resources, their knowledge, and encouragement. ”

 

 

Do you have a Tamale Addiction?

Tamale Addiction is famous for being fresh, organic, local, and delicious! Since it first set up at a farmer’s market in 2010, these tamales have managed to collect a following of Tamale Addicts and in the process increasing their production from 80 tamales their first week to now 9000 tamales on a Monday through Friday work week. Their flavors have spread fast through markets and coffee shops around Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, and major events as ACL Music Festival, Old Settlers Music Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Formula 1 at COTA, etc. Recently these savory meals have made it into local retail stores.  Now their product can be found in Wheatsville Co-op, Royal Blue Grocery, People’s Pharmacy, Fresh Plus, and Thom’s Market. You may even be lucky enough to spot a Tamale Addiction food truck in an office campus near you!
Owner Adrian Paredes and his wife Mariana’s experience in the food industry started in 2009. After a failed venture with Mexican desserts, a new opportunity randomly aroused when a farmer’s market director asked them if they could make and sell tamales (they didn’t know how, but they said “yes”). Over the next days, Adrian and Mariana called every family member they knew to collect recipes, tips, and tricks about making tamales. They worked all week to prepare 80 tamales for their first market. Those tamales were sold out within an hour. The couple rose to the task before them: going organic and local and create vegan and vegetarian options for their customers. They had found the magic!  This is when Tamale Addiction was born.
Due to rapid growth,  Adrian Peredes sought out training and consulting services from the Economic Growth Business Incubator to develop a business plan and financial projections.  “I  am so grateful for the training, support and networking EGBI has given my business.  The business has been such a great adventure for my wife and I.”  – Adrian Paredes.


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.