Keys to Running a Profitable Small Business: Successful Entrepreneurs

As entrepreneurs and small-business owners have shown, a traditional business or finance background isn’t a prerequisite for success.

Cosmetologist Martha Ellen Mabry, who skipped college to move to New York City and cut hair, admits that she “was not prepared” when she launched her first salon out of a basement at age 21. The owner of two bustling Brooklyn locations told Business Insider : “I didn’t go to business school. But I did know hair.”

A couple who perfected a flour tortilla recipe out of their kitchen turned a pop-up breakfast taco side project into a thriving brick-and-mortar that has a line out the door more often than not.

“I think we both have strong entrepreneurial instincts, but we don’t come from a finance or a business background,” said La Tejana cofounder Gus May. He worked in the food and beverage industry for years and got laid off at the start of the pandemic, while his wife Ana-Maria Jaramillo is a full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist.

Each of these entrepreneurs has evolved alongside their businesses and become more and more business savvy through trial and error. Still, they credit some non-business-related strategies and mindsets to their success. Here are three.


Sip N’ Shop supports small businesses for the month of March

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – An event Sunday helped support small businesses and a non-profit disaster relief organization.

The monthly Sip n’ Shop at Save the Closet aims to give back to the community.

During the first Sunday of every month, save the Closet hosts several vendors, mimosas, and prizes at the Sip n’ Shop.

The organization gives people free clothes following disasters.

Vendor fees go directly to help fund Save the Closet’s mission.

The small businesses who took part in the event are glad they got to put their name out to the public and support the non-profit.

“We’re donating back, giving back to the community, saying the closet makes donations with dignity. So it’s an amazing cause that we’re all so happy to be a part of,” said Your #1 Fan Owner Vyvy Dao.

This month’s theme was leprechauns and four-leaf clovers.

Next month’s theme will be the Kentucky Derby.

If you have a small business and would like to take part in the next Sip n’ Shop contact Vyvy Dao on her Facebook or Save The Closet owner Katy Pinson here.

Financial program helps small businesses boom in Mongolia

Embassy Ulaanbaatar personnel, including Ambassador Richard Buangan (second from right), tour Shuten Uul, LLC, in Darkhan, Mongolia, December 2022. The company makes workwear and safety clothing for private industry, the police, disaster management agencies, and the military.  Photo courtesy of Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Embassy Ulaanbaatar personnel, including Ambassador Richard Buangan (second from right), tour Shuten Uul, LLC, in Darkhan, Mongolia, December 2022. The company makes workwear and safety clothing for private industry, the police, disaster management agencies, and the military. Photo courtesy of Embassy Ulaanbaatar

By John S. Brown

During a recent trip to visit the birthplace of Chinggis Khan for the Khan’s 861st birthday, US Ambassador to Mongolia Richard Buangan stopped to sample coffee and banana bread at the LEDO Café in Chinggis City, Khentii Province, Mongolia. With the help of USAID’s Business Excellence for Sustainability and Transparency (BEST) program, the café secured a low-interest loan of approximately $21,000, which allowed it to scale up its operations significantly, including opening a new branch and expanding its product offerings. Sales revenues increased by 30%, and it was able to create three new jobs. LEDO is one of many successful small businesses driving economic growth and prosperity in Mongolia with the support of the BEST program.

With nearly 60% of the population under the age of 30 years, Mongolia’s rising leaders play a significant role in Mongolia’s future as a sovereign and self-reliant democracy. Nowhere is this fact more evident than in business. Although

Outdated Zoning Rules are Hurting the City’s Small Businesses

“As businesses evolve to meet changing consumer preferences, it has become clear that zoning regulations too often put up real, often unnecessary obstacles for businesses looking to make these necessary pivots as a matter of survival.”

Adi Talwar

Small businesses are in Inwood, Manhattan.

The world has changed and so too have the ways in which people spend their time and money—but regulations are slow to change, and small businesses are suffering because of it. When New Yorkers spend our money locally, we increasingly do so on goods and services that cannot be purchased online, or on dining out at local restaurants and bars.

As businesses evolve to meet changing consumer preferences, it has become clear that zoning regulations too often put up real, often unnecessary obstacles for businesses looking to make these necessary pivots as a matter of survival. This is why the zoning modifications in the Department of City Planning’s “City of Yes for Economic Opportunity” proposal are so important—many of our regulations were written decades before the COVID-19 pandemic and have not been updated for the post-pandemic economy , to support small businesses in

350 events nationwide for Local Enterprise Week

Local Enterprise Week kicks off today with events being held around the country until March 8.

The initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices will see over 350 events take place across the country, which are open to everyone at any stage of business.

There are events for every element of business from improving online marketing and finding new markets to becoming more sustainable and identifying the trends that will affect businesses in the coming years and beyond.

Some of the events include a Pitch Battle for funding, networking with cocktails, a Pier-to-Pier networking walk and a host of AI events to benefit businesses.

Along with the events across the country there are two national spotlight events that will be streamed live during the week and are open to everyone.

The first of these “Understanding and leveraging future trends for your business” looks at the key global trends in the short term and in the next decade to help businesses plan and maximize opportunities around these trends.

This will take place on Wednesday March 6 from 2pm to 4pm.

The second National Spotlight event “The sustainability imperative for your business success” will look at how small business changes can make a

Small business owners are optimistic for growth in 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — While it seems increasingly unlikely the US economy is headed for recessionsmall businesses still face headwinds like higher costs and difficulty retaining qualified workers.

But owners say they’re optimistic as 2024 gets underway, according to a new survey from American Express.

Eighty-five percent of all small businesses surveyed said they were satisfied with the success of their business, and 86% said they achieved their 2023 business goals. In August 2023, by contrast, 80% of all small businesses surveyed said their long-term financial confidence was being negatively impacted by the economy.

AP correspondent Mae Anderson reports on the optimism of business owners.

“Even in uncertain economic conditions, small businesses continue to demonstrate resiliency and dedication,” said Gina Taylor Cotter, executive vice president and general manager of American Express’ small business products & Business Blueprint. “Our latest data shows small businesses see a positive 2024 ahead and they’re taking steps, including hiring, and implementing new tools, in order to stay proactive and competitive.”

Fifty percent of small businesses surveyed have plans to grow or expand their business in 2024. But only 28% said they plan on hiring more employees, as hiring and retention remains a sticking point

Small Business Weekly Forecast | US Chamber of Commerce

We track the latest data on the small business outlook so that you don’t have to. Every week, Tom Sullivan analyzes new data from NFIB, Intuit, WSJ/Vistage, and more, to give a weekly economic forecast for small businesses.

The Latest Forecast

This week’s forecast for Main Street employers is a sunny one. More data shows optimism for increased small business revenues throughout the year which is the main reason for the sunny forecast. Rising costs continue to be a concern, especially higher wages to attract and keep good employees, so the forecast includes clouds that are on the horizon.

Listen: Tom Sullivan and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s Holly Wade talk about their small business forecasts on a weekly podcast. Listen here.​

Watch: Catch Tom Sullivan on ASBN (America’s Small Business Network) every month providing the latest small business policy updates, news, and analysis. Watch here.

Coming Soon: The Q1 2024 MetLife & US Chamber Small Business Index will be released on April 2, 2024.

Stand Up for Free Enterprise

Join us in standing up for American free enterprise.

Your voice is essential, and your participation is critical.

New Small Business Data

CNBC | SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index

Rising Costs, Hard Market Remain but Hope for New Opportunities Holds

There are reasons to be optimistic about the small business insurance market. New businesses are opening their doors every day. Small business start-ups are booming with record-breaking new business applications reported in 2023.

While the rising cost of insurance for small businesses is pushing entrepreneurs to retain more risk and reevaluate their insurance partners, the surplus lines market is helping to fill some gaps.

Small businesses themselves remain bullish on 2024, despite high inflation, high interest rates, worker shortages, and higher costs to insure their operations.

The high percentage of underinsured small enterprises also presents opportunities. In terms of policy counts, small business is still big business.

Small business insurance specialists share the overall optimism for the sector, although they are having to work harder and smarter to serve the sector and they face new challenges every day.

Today’s challenges require more attention from small business insurance experts, says Yvette Prichard, president of small business, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, located in Walnut Creek, California.

“We are definitely seeing a lot of hands-on (attention) needed for renewals,” she said. “Clients are angry, they’re frustrated. Some small business owners are not just merely facing higher premiums at renewal, but many are also facing

San Antonio entrepreneurship booms as city and LiftFund invests in small business growth

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio has seen more local businesses open their doors in the past three years.

That’s because during the pandemic, people have time to turn what was once a hobby into a full business model. Pre-pandemic there were 175,000 new business applications that number has grown to more than 400,000 in 2023.

Local entrepreneur Stephanie Scheller works with her business Grow Disrupt to host “grow your business” retreats and conferences for ADHD entrepreneurs. Seeing the number of small businesses that have opened in the past few years has made her excited for the city’s future.

“In one sense the pandemic was really really good for that, San Antonio has always been I call it small business USA right this is where we have a huge number of mom-and-pop shops we have a huge number of small businesses,” Scheller said.

The city is also doing its part to help small businesses. They are revamping and relaunching the Zero Percent Interest Loan Program aimed at fueling small business growth in San Antonio.

“We know they are important to the community, they’re important to our economic vitality and so you know that is something we really want to invest in

Give advice, tips to future small business owners

If you own a small local business, we want to hear from you. 

As part of our monthly Small Business Guide, we want to highlight the experiences of small business owners and their advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. 

What was the most complicated part for you? What had you wished you had known before getting started? 

If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently? Whether it’s applying for certain funding opportunities or planning things better, what advice would you tell Houstonians who don’t know where to begin? 

Tell us your advice and tips by filling out the form below. You just might see your suggestions in a future Landing story.

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Angelica Perez

Angelica Perez is a civic engagement reporter for the Houston Landing. A Houston native, she is excited to return to the city after interning at The Dallas Morning News as a breaking news intern in the…
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