KINH DOANH 101 WORKSHOP – Small Business Resources Day
It is rare when you can bring together over 200 entrepreneurs, experts and different agencies together for a day of learning, camaraderie and sharing. It’s what we spent months and over a year of planning and coordinating to produce. But what makes this day special, in our opinion, was that SBTN was the mutual meeting place and the force behind this workshop. Because we are not in the business of business mentoring, what we were able to do was to bring those in the know, and those who were experts in the field, into one space, ready to work with fellow entrepreneurs. Working closely with the OC SBDC, we pulled together experts in three arenas that affect many entrepreneurs: Legal, access to capital and marketing.
Originally we had planned for 3-4 experts to lead the day long workshop but the more we worked with agencies such as the OC SBDC and SCORE, we felt we could better maximize the day by sectioning off the panels and including more experts that would be available to work with the entrepreneurs moving forward. Through many meetings and conversations, we fine tuned the topics, who would be best to lead those discussions, and used data from our surveys to hone in on the subjects that mattered most to our community.
Those were the big umbrellas with subcategories that really allowed audience members to engage and get a better understanding of augmenting their business. Below is a copy of the agenda as well as the questions that were posed to the panelists. To hear the answers, you can go to our website at www.kinhdoanh101.com and watch the workshop in its entirety.
First Panel: Effective Websites/Social Media/Marketing/ International Business/Expanding Markets
Karen Scuncio, SBDC: What is the market for international business for Vietnamese Americans? Does SBDC provide any training on international businesses to small business owners?
Jasmine Braswell, US Dept of Commerce
What is the Global Website Assessment tool and how can the Us Dept of Commerce assist exporters? Will they be able to help businesses find qualified distributors in target export markets?
Martin Selander, SBA:
Does SBA provide any grant or special assistance for companies which export to countries like Vietnam or Mexico?
Gia Ly, Arrow GTP Marketing:
Why should any small business do marketing? What are some effective ways for small businesses? How should a company think about expansion?
1) When should they do it? Where can they get help to think about it?
2) What are some products or services that would fare well in the international arena?
3) What is the International Business opportunity out there and how can Vietnamese
Americans access that?
4) How does having an online presence assist businesses in terms of reach and revenue?
Second Panel: Financial/Loans/Credit
1) In many cultures, Vietnamese included, people think that borrowing money is not a very
good thing. Why should I borrow for my business?
2) What one or two pieces of advice you can give to small business considering to borrow
3) How can they establish a relationship with a bank? Should they choose a big bank or a
4) What should business do once it get rejected from a bank?
Ngoc Tinh Nguyen (UNITI BANK)
How does a community bank compete with big national banks?
Jenny Hong (Wells Fargo)
How does a big bank like yours serve small businesses?
Tony Nguyen (CPA & Attorney)
How does a small business prepare to borrow? What should they do to get a yes from banks?
Kristy Bain, SBA Lender Relations Specialist
What kind of financing or loan does the SBA provide?
1) What is the difference between an SBA Loan and regular loan?
2) At what point would you consider a bank loan? To grow or to start?
3) What will help you get approved? What are you looking for as the lender?
Third Panel: Legal Dos & Don’ts/Startup Essentials
1) Why does a business need legal advice?
2) How should they choose a reputable lawyer or law firm? 3) With years of experience with the Vietnamese community, what are some of the
lessons/examples you have seen?
Teri Pham (Enenstein, Glass & Pham)
When should businesses use a lawyer? Should they have a lawyer similar to having a family doctor?
Bele Nguyen (State Farm)
How expensive is business insurance? Should they have business interruption insurance?
Do Phu Nguyen (Do Phu and Anh Tuan)
With years of experience with the Vietnamese community, what are some of the lessons/examples you have seen?
1) What are the different business entities and which ones are most common in our
2) When looking to choose, what should you be looking out for?
3) What kind of business insurance is mandatory and what is recommended for new
4) Legal do’s and don’ts to look out for?
5) When should a business look into trademarking?
All these topics were covered and the video was aired on SBTN and is also available on Kinhdoanh101.com in its entirety. Entrepreneur Sonny Nguyen of 7 Leaves Cafe took to the stage for an inspiring keynote speech and answered questions from the audience about how he and his family grew their business to over 17 locations in 5 years. We featured 7Leaves as one of our first business highlights in the KD101 series and the response was very positive. We hope that people left inspired and ready to make changes to their businesses with all of the valuable resources and information available to them.