Our CEO Filomena Fanelli hosted a wonderful weekly show on Hudson Valley News Network called Business Newsmakers. Sponsored by our client Tompkins Mahopac Bank, the business leaders who appeared on the show offered valuable business lessons learned through years of experience as entrepreneurs and executives. Here are some learnings we took away from the final six episodes of this season of the show:
Kara Mac, Creator of ShoeCandy, shared insight into the early years of concept and research from getting a patent, leaving her day job, networking, and all that it takes to run a successful business.
- Find a business partner who has strengths that complement yours.
- Women – network and support other women.
- Practice your pitch and believe in yourself.
Steve Hoare, Owner of Wheels R Us, MAG Auto Group, and recently, Northeast Ford in Millerton, NY, discussed starting successful car businesses and turning a disability into an ability.
- Let your fear drive you to be successful.
- Integrity and doing the right thing in business will set you apart.
- Have a five-year plan, build your business and relationships.
- Set new, realistic and achievable goals every year.
Bill Diamond, Owner of Spins Bowl, Grand Prix NY, and other properties, shared how his company’s 700 employees transformed and managed 11,500,000 square feet of office and entertainment space.
- If you own the property/space when you’re launching a new company versus renting, you have added security to get the company up and running.
- Do your research, but decisions often “come down to your gut.”
- It’s okay to make mistakes; learn from them and move on.
Rebecca Lee, Owner of Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, discussed what it’s like to own your own business.
- You can train skills, but you can’t train someone to have a great personality. “I want to hire for kindness and then train for skill.”
- Network with others in your industry who understand your business experience.
- If you learn one new thing, it’s a win.
Al Morales, CEO of Yorkville Sports Association, talked about how he grew his business over the past 40 years to handling over 500 corporate and recreational leagues.
- Give yourself time each week for recreation to avoid burnout, even when you are busy.
- Teamwork makes the dream work – great employees help create a consistent experience for your customers.
- Diversify your business and bring in young staff to help keep your business relevant and fresh.
Judith Papo, President of Legal Shred, discussed how she grew her business with a personal connection and personal touch.
- Look for new business opportunities based on existing needs.
- Take advantage of business resources such as SCORE.
- Read Good to Great and Built to Last by Jim Collins.
- Having a business partner helps you focus on the parts of your business you enjoy.
Dan Pizzarelli, Owner of DC Sports and DC Indoor Golf, talked about the startup of his indoor golf concept and the decision to take over the old Fun Central property to renovate, rejuvenate and add amenities and features.
- When working with new employees, give them lots of direction.
- Engage with young professionals for the growth of your business and community.
- Expansion based on being first is high risk, but also high reward.
Master Robert Leclerc, Owner of Leclerc’s Martial Arts, discussed his 22 years in business and how he’s achieved success in his three school locations through discipline, consistency and a close relationship with his staff.
- Constantly develop bench strength within the business.
- Show consistency from location-to-location-to-location. People want to know what they’re going to receive.
- Employees: See what their goals are and their vision for themselves; assist them to get there.
- On working with colleagues: In order for them to produce at the highest level, they have to be comfortable in their lives, be stress-free in a way.
If you find such advice of value, you can find additional episodes on YouTube.