Caterer suggests four books for success in business.
By Travis Doyle
Women who want to succeed in business need to think like entrepreneurs every day, Rene Watson, program manager of Bexar County’s Small, Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, said March 30 in the craft room of Loftin Student Center.
She was speaking to about 15 students at the final of five workshops and seminars sponsored by the Enactus Club and Wal-Mart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Group.
“To be successful in business one must think like a entrepreneur every day, always finding new opportunities,” Watson said.
“Always research your competitors in any business, and never forget the basics of a marketing mix — price, promotion, placement, and packaging.”
Other speakers at the event were Silvia Alcaraz, co-owner of Cocina Heritage; and Margot Fuentes, business adviser for LiftFund.
Watson explained ways find information about partnerships with federal, state, local, and private sector organizations.
She showed the website of the organization she works for at www.bexar.org/129 it allows users to market products and services to governmental and commercial entities in Bexar County.
She showed resources in the community to help promote businesses, such as 22 chambers of commerce, 42 links to Bexar County municipalities, 19 special districts and utilities and 26 federal agencies.
Alcaraz and Fuentes presented “Empowerment Through Entrepreneurship.”
Alcaraz originally wanted to be in accounting but discovered she was more interested in general business administration.
“Sometimes you convince yourself to think how much you want something, yet you will not let your ego get in the way for what you really want,” Alcaraz said. “To be a true entrepreneur one must always have thick skin, and remember most of the time when someone is trying to help you, they will always want something in the end.”
Alcaraz discussed how she shifted from owning a domestic and business cleaning company, Smacs, to opening a catering business two years ago, Cocina Heritage.
“I feel empowered,” she said. “Not only have I made a job for my sister and I, we created and passed along our heritage to our employees,” Alcaraz said. “When we started catering, it was always about the flavor not the fame.”
She suggested four books to read in the steps to becoming a entrepreneur: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills; “The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey; “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie; and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
Fuentes said LiftFund, formerly known as Accion Texas, helps launch businesses and supports entrepreneurs with business loans for up to $250,000.
“We offer conferences, free of charge, with our business advisers that will help a entrepreneurs start brainstorming,” Fuentes said. “We (LiftFund) also hold training sessions, workshops, and seminars.”
Fuentes also discussed the networking opportunities in “1 Million Cups,” weekly networking events open to anyone in business.
Each week two local entrepreneurs present start-up efforts to mentors, advisers and entrepreneurs.
The group meets at 9 a.m. at San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad St.
Liftfund will sponsor workshops for entrepreneurs. Information can be found at sanantonio.sites.1millioncups.com.
Fuentes can be contacted at Mfuentes@liftfund.com
More info about LiftFund can be found at www.liftfund.com