Area Center: Florence Title: Business Consultant Start Date: July 15, 2013
QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network? ANSWER: My career track includes a strong foundation in the textile manufacturing industry wherein I worked for approximately 27 years, culminating in the position of Plant Manager for one of the largest screen engraving companies in the United States.
From 1993 until 2000 I worked as the owner and operator of the "Different Strokes Art Studio and Gallery” in my hometown of Latta, SC.
After my days in the private sector, I worked at a local Hospital as a financial accountant, from there I worked from 2002 to 2009 as a Job Readiness Instructor for Marion County SC DSS.
I have been the Overseer and Director of several government-funded programs which were implemented by Pee Dee Community Action Partnership that involved a self-help housing project.
In the year 2013, I came to work for the SC SBDC where I am currently employed.
QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant? ANSWER: I have always liked having a positive impact on people, in that their lives can be substantially changed for the better. I think that being an SC SBDC Consultant affords the perfect venue to make this possibility a reality.
QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer aspiring business owners? ANSWER: Know your vision, don't let anyone else tell you what it is, only you know for sure. Write it down, modify it, and write it down again until you know it "inside out, backwards and forwards,” and then find your local SC SBDC, set an appointment and let’s get started on making your vision a reality.
QUESTION: Do you have a particular area of interest/expertise that you offer clients? ANSWER: I feel that my interpersonal skills that I use as a Business Consultant is my strongest asset, which I use to pinpoint exactly what it is the client is in immediate need of. I feel that the ability to listen "first" is paramount before I begin to talk about resources or anything else that I would point the client towards.
QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest accomplishment? ANSWER: I feel that my greatest accomplishment to the SC SBDC in particular, as it relates to the 8 rural counties of the Florence Area, is that I have brought about a greater "awareness" of the SC SBDC. Many clients have stated that my name was given to them by local Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Directors, word of mouth and Political offices. Sometimes it takes going above and beyond what seems to be the norm, but its worth it. QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina? ANSWER: The SBDC is possibly the "most" important resource for small business owners because we are “the bridge” of sorts that helps get them to the destination of knowledge and more resources needed to be a viable entrepreneur.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC? ANSWER: My most favorite part of working for the SB SBDC is when I work with a client from all the aspects of doing a startup, to when the business is established, being operational, and making a profit.
QUESTION: What is your approach toward client counseling? ANSWER: My approach is that I am an "active" listener, and then take the information that I have been given by the client to address what is "really" needed. I have found that sometimes they think that they know what they need, but that is not always the case.