I attended a very informative symposium; Cornerstone Community Development Corporation did a wonderful job of bringing together people in the community to speak about the importance of community small businesses and how to transform your business idea into reality.
The venue was a local small business metro café which provided wonderful food and services. The food and service really put you in the state of mind to receive the brain food that was going to be imparted. The speakers covered some of the most important aspects of small businesses: Finance, Human Resource, Marketing and inspiration.
Financial information was given by Carolin Lopez, the Branch Manager of First Bergen Federal Credit Union, and CPA, James Brown: Mr. Brown explained the importance of using a CPA. A CPA is a money saver and can be a source of protection. Having someone that knows the law handling your finances you are less likely to find yourself in a financial bind. CPA save you money because through experience and exposure they see and know what certain fees should be and are able to inform you of avenues of savings.
Ms. Lopez of First Bergen Federal Credit Union explained the benefit of using a credit union compared to a commercial bank. Commercial banks are for profit which means that there are shareholders and other owed a portion of your funds, whereas credit unions focus on pouring back into the account holders and the community. It was explained that you can open a business account with as little as $5.00.
Shawanna Bailey, the Managing Partner of SGB Consulting, shared the importance of getting and sharing the information about employee’s rights. Pertinent documents can be obtain from the Small Business Administration.
Last but not least, was an inspirational story, from a local small business owner, Angela Logan
of Mortgage Apple Cake, who explained how a business can be formed out of necessity and sustained
with passion. You don’t have to have a MBA to own a business. She spoke about the fact that business is ever changing and you need to be flexible but your brand needs to be consistent.
I left inspired with a fresh understanding of steps to take to continue to grow my business.