Local entrepreneurs share inspirational insights with NJSBDC @ TCNJ on how they moved their small businesses forward


Ewing, NJ – On March 22, 2017, NJ Small Business Development Center at The College of New Jersey (NJSBDC at TCNJ) leveraged the power of LIVE social media video when it featured six Mercer County, NJ businesses on Facebook Live as part of National SBDC Day. The video interviews, available in English & Spanish at https://www.facebook.com/sbdcnjfan/, were hosted by NJSBDC at TCNJ Lorraine Allen,  regional director, and Lilian Mauro, assistant director, who led in-depth and insightful conversations filled with real life advice and tips.

Throughout the day, Allen and Mauro interviewed Mercer County small business owners at their locations to showcase aspects of their unique entrepreneurial journey, which also provided an opportunity to tout their goods and services. Several local established small business leaders who have benefitted from working with the NJSBDC at TCNJ participated in the daylong video series on Facebook Live and shared their own personal anecdotes on growth and success.

Here is a sampling of what they shared:

  • Consider Taking More Risks for Steady Growth
    Amanda Puppo-Firtek is a regional expert on telemarketing campaigns and CEO of telemarketing firm, MarketReach Inc. Although she has grown her business very conservatively and is close to reaching seven figures in revenues by being very conservative in retrospect she recognizes that approach may have hindered business growth early on, “We have grown rather slowly and organically which means we didn’t take as much risk as we would have liked to when I look backwards. Today, I am looking at taking some more risks in the coming years in terms of investing in hiring quality people as well as designing a more attractive compensation plan for existing employees to manage retention. In addition, I advise as you build your team really think about how to attract the right people who get along to create a nice working atmosphere.”
    See the full video here: https://www.facebook.com/sbdcnjfan/videos/10158366360615641/ 
  • Throw Yourself Off of Your Entrepreneurial Island
    Mike Rosen, CEO of Commercial Cleaning Corp., a company based in Trenton, NJ with origins from the early 1900s and now employs 250 people, shared that he has grown as a CEO simply by connecting to other like-minded business leaders going through similar challenges, “Although we desire to expand our business beyond New Jersey, our beginnings and hub for our business is in the Trenton, New Jersey area. If we don’t get out to meet new people we really don’t know what is going elsewhere. By being out there involved with Rotary Clubs, NJ State Sustainability program, business associations and participating on local boards it helps us be out there. We can learn so much from each other even when we are all from different industries and often that is the only difference you have among other business leaders. How you deal with finances or personnel challenges are very much the same and we all learn strategies from each other.”
    See the full video here: https://www.facebook.com/sbdcnjfan/videos/10158347774365641/ 
  • Try to Control Only What You Can
    Christopher Jerjian is the president and owner of Ibis Plaza which offers office suites, express & venue rentals in Hamilton NJ by the hour, day, week, short or long term. Jerjian has been provided office space to Hamilton market since 1982 and recently renovated his Hamilton location to offer a venue space. When asked to share his golden rule in business, Jerjian says don’t waste time on things you cannot control and to keep an open mind, “ I try to focus on what I can change and that is really the best option. You should always keep an open mind. Don’t take everything at face value because often something is not often what you first think. Even if it’s a repeat situation always try to drill down because each situation can be quite different.”
    See the full video here: https://www.facebook.com/sbdcnjfan/videos/10158371022995641/ 
  • Seek Help to Increase Opportunities
    Helen Aviles, owner of J&H Construction based in Trenton added, “My advice is for all the people who already have an idea or are already starting with their company but they do not have much knowledge to be able to get it forward, seek the help of professional advisers from the SBDC since they provide all that knowledge and it is Exceptional and from my experience you will be very successful and you will say thanks as how I am saying it at the moment and will open new opportunities for your business.”
    See the full video (interview in Espanol) here: https://www.facebook.com/NJLATINOSBDC/videos/1316114455092739/

National SBDC Day was a first of its kind collective proclamation of the success and impact among the 1,000 America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small businesses community. The NJSBDC at TCNJ (www.sbdcnj.com) consistently supports the Mercer County business community through business counseling, educational programs and events both in English and Spanish.

NJSBDC@TCNJ is one of only a few centers in New Jersey consistently offering a business counseling program in Spanish for Latino-owned businesses in Mercer County. NJSBDC at TCNJ also holds Mercer Keep It Local, a monthly networking breakfast held designed to bring together small businesses throughout different venues in Mercer County. Keep It Local is a series of no-cost events sponsored by Customers Bank of Hamilton, NJ.

Regional Director Allen feels that small business owners have a lot to offer each other, but their knowledge is often untapped. “Everyone’s experience as a small business owner is quite special and the knowledge gained when growing a business is often intangible. National SBDC Day provided a vehicle to make their best practices tangible and allowed them to connect with entrepreneurs in their community at different stages of growth and I hope that the information these business leaders shared will encourage and help others reach their goals.” 

To learn more from these business leaders and more, watch the full interviews at: https://www.facebook.com/sbdcnjfan/

You can also call NJSBDC at TCNJ office at 609-771-2947 to request counseling or sign-up online here: http://sbdc.tcnj.edu/services/established-businesses/counseling/

About the NJSBDC
Small Business Development Center – New Jersey at The College of NJ (NJSBDC at TCNJ) is an accredited member of the ASBDC-NJ network, a network of 12 small business development centers throughout the State of New Jersey. The NJSBDC at TCNJ provides free and confidential small business management counseling and low-cost comprehensive training workshops to assist the small business communities in greater Mercer County. For more information about counseling services and training visit https://sbdcnj.com.

Media Contact: Shakira M. Brown SMB Strategic Media LLC 1-888-436-0033 shakira@pradviser.net