Disclaimer: This is a sponsored event.
On Tuesday November 17, 2015 Verizon Wireless held their first and only Small Business Summit in Houston for 2015 at JW Marriot Hotel in Westheimer – and it was an awesome gathering indeed!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Houston leads the nation in generating non-farm employment in the nation! With that in mind, small businesses must have a clear understanding of how to achieve profitable outcomes through their endeavors while also inspiring employees to uphold their companies’ core values- Especially in such a multicultural city such as Houston.
Verizon gathered a handful of successful business professionals who have been in the “business owner” game for years and who have gone through trials and tribulations in order to be where they are today. We had the opportunity to listen to Linda Alvarado, president & CEO of Alvarado Construction and Co-Owner of The Colorado Rockies. The only word I can think of to describe her and her words to us that day is extraordinary. Linda talked about being a business woman in an industry dominated by men. One of the things she talked about that struck me was something her parents said to her as young girl- “don’t let your heritage define you”. I believe that being a woman is part of my heritage, as it is for her because she is a woman. In an industry that is primarily dominated by men, she did not let her femininity or Latin roots get in the way of her success and determination, she never “looked for excuses” but found reasons to succeed.
Alvarado’s speech was followed by the minority-owned businesses panel that included Emilio Gonzalez- Executive Director For Strategic Alliances at Verizon, Alex Davidson-CEO at Securranty, Carol Guess- General Counsel at The Guess Group, Inc., Alex Lopez Negrete- President/CEO of Lopez Negrete Communications, Laura Oldaker- CEO/Executive Director at By Your Side Senior Care, and Nelson Reyneri- Senior Vice President, Sales & External Affairs at Liberty Power Corporation. All of these leaders shared insight and anecdotes about starting and maintaining their own businesses. The recurring theme throughout all of their experiences was to “do good business”. As Mr. Negrete inferred, it is important that business owners are driven by a “higher order” or “higher reason” to be in business- that is to do good business. Big or small, any business must align with their core values. When the business takes on a new business partner or client, “if the conversation is about growth, then you become a different type of partner”, says Mr. Lopez Negrete. It’s all about building relationships and genuinely offering a two-way-street business with clients.
Last but not least, we talked about blogging and social media. This was also one of my favorite parts of the summit because, hello, new blogger over here! lol. I was delighted to meet and listen to Eric Tung, Byrdie Franco, and Monica Vila who are all blogging gurus and know what works best for bloggers and for business who maintain blogs. Blogging enables your business to build trust and adds value to your brand. The beauty about blogging and social media is that it’s almost like the nucleus of the business cell. Blogging and social media allows the blogger and the audience/customers to be “friends” and share a conversation. This is crucial for any business because at the end of the day, you want to treat your clients like a person/friend, not just a cash opportunity.
As a new blogger, I am always looking for tips and tricks on how to better improve my blog. Eric Tung gave a great tip that I would have never thought of: When you want to write a blog on a topic, but don’t know where to start, google questions that you may be asked in the future about that topic. This is a great tip because 1. it will improve traffic to a blog post and 2. it makes the blogging experience an easier one by unlocking lots of questions about one topic- meaning I won’t be stricken with writers block. lol
In a city where diversity is part of its charm, it is vital for Houston small business owners to consider themselves as part of the Latino community. I am very content and vitalized with Verizon’s Small Business Summit because it enhanced the importance and the necessity to address the Latino market through an amazing, inspiring handful of multicultural speakers. Thank you, Verizon!
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Thank you for stopping by,