Consultant Profile: Tom Lauria
Area Center: Charleston
Title: Business Consultant, Manufacturing and Export
Start Date: December 15, 2009
QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network?
ANSWER: I have over 40 years’ experience in global manufacturing at the senior executive level. I lived in western Europe for five years. After retiring, I started my own consulting business and volunteered with SCORE.
QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant?
ANSWER: I wanted to share my experience and help others, especially those who desire to start their own business.
QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer an aspiring business owner?
ANSWER: Do something you enjoy doing and have the necessary skills to be successful.
QUESTION: What particular area of interest/expertise do you offer your clients?
ANSWER: I am a Certified Global Business Professional and have expertise in global manufacturing and exporting.
QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest achievement?
ANSWER: I was selected as the SC SBDC State Star in 2010 and in 2016 I was a consultant with the Charleston Area SBDC when it was named the National Office of Excellence by the ASBDC.
QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina?
ANSWER: The SC SBDC provides guidance and mentoring throughout the process of starting a business. This service, while offered at no-cost, is invaluable to aspiring small business owners.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC?
ANSWER: Helping clients achieve their goals.
QUESTION: The quote that best expresses your philosophy toward work/life/success is?
ANSWER: If you are enjoying what you do, you’ll be successful.
QUESTION: What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered while working as a consultant? How did you overcome it?
ANSWER: Many clients come to us with a misunderstanding about grants. Oftentimes they have read something from an unreliable source or heard information second or third hand which is incorrect. My greatest challenge is correcting this misguided advice and pointing them in the right direction.
QUESTION: What is your approach toward consulting?
ANSWER: I believe every project a client explains is very important to them. Therefore, I try to listen carefully, never doubt their sincerity and provide them with enough info to make an informed decision.
QUESTION: What awards/honors have you received as an SC SBDC consultant?
ANSWER: 2010 SC SBDC State Star, member of the Charleston Area SBDC when it won the National SBDC Center of Excellence in 2016, President Obama’s Champion of Change Award.
QUESTION: What keeps you busy when you’re not at work What is your hobby/passion?
ANSWER: Reading history. I used to play a lot of tennis, but I’ve slowed down lately. I like to travel back to Europe.