- Faith & Family
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years — often because they are unaware of the many pitfalls facing fledgling companies. In order to help develop a more knowledgable community of successful entrepreneurs, The Miami Times recently partnered with Regions Bank and held a small business seminar at Florida Memorial University.
“One of the biggest mistakes that beginning entrepreneurs make is using the barrier of finance as a way to deter them from pursuing a business idea,” said George Ray, III, 29, an entrepreneur himself and manager of the Small Business Education Program (SBEP) at Miami Dade College. Ray was one of the workshop presenters at the seminar. “The purpose of a business plan is to refine your idea into an actual plan that will attract investors. If you have a good idea people will invest if your idea makes sense. Don’t let money be your barrier.”
Ray and other presenters also spoke about the role and lifestyle of entrepreneurs, gave information on how to incorporate businesses and discussed vital tax law information. Bertha Woods, who has been in the network marketing business since 1993, said the speakers really sparked her interest to further develop herself into a businesswoman.
“One of the things that stood out to me in [Ray’s] speech was planning,” Woods said. “Staying organized is one of the problems that I ran into as an entrepreneur. Now I am thinking about attending some courses that teach business information on how to plan. This seminar was very educational and very entertaining — I am looking forward to attending more seminars like this one in the future.”
Yvette Costoso, who has been in business off and on since 1989, said she leaned a few golden rules on how to increase her chances of success.
“Staying focused, staying on task and having enough capital can be some of the toughest parts about being a businesswoman,” said Costoso, who has businesses in the multi-level marketing and non-profit sector. “When I first went into business I did not have a business plan, but after hearing the presentation I will be consulting someone today about developing a business plan for myself. It is very important because it will help me to be able to have something to reflect back on when I am stumbling.”