Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Archive for the ‘small business’ Category

PODCAST: How to Build a Successful Small Business

Posted by HH on September 10, 2013

Brian Walters

Brian Walters

Management consultant Brian Walters recently discussed what is takes to be successful in business on Economic Perspectives. Walters, who teaches business courses at Austin Community College, has an MBA and over two decades of corporate and consulting experience.  To listen to the interview click here:

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Podcast: City of Austin Economic Development Initiatives

Posted by HH on July 23, 2013

Margaret Shaw

Margaret Shaw

Margaret Shaw recently discussed some of the initiatives of the City of Austin to foster job growth and redevelopment on Economic Perspectives.  To listen to the podcast of this interview click here: Margaret Shaw Interview.

As an Economic Redevelopment Program Manager for the City of Austin, Margaret Shaw helps attract businesses that enhance Austin’s livability and economic viability in a manner that preserves the community’s character and its environment.  She promotes commercial investment by industrial, manufacturing and export/import firms, primarily at/near the Austin airport.  Expanding these industries in Austin helps to meet the demands of an ever increasing population and provide job opportunities for residents without a four-year college degree.  She also helps to coordinate mixed-use redevelopment efforts in the central business district.

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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: Traits for Success in Business

Posted by HH on August 26, 2012

What are the defining traits crucial for a leader to build a business?  According to the research conducted by venture capitalist Anthony Tjan and his co-authors Richard Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh,  heart, smarts, guts and luck are the attributes that all successful business leaders share. Tjian shares these insights and others on the Monday morning edition of Economic Perspectives at 7:30 a.m. CT on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at

Tony Tjan with music legend Quincy Jones

Anthony K. Tjan (Tony) is the co-author of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business.  Tjan is Managing Partner of Cue Ball, a venture capital firm based in Boston. Most recently, Tony was Senior Partner at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategic advisory firm where he continues as its Vice Chairman. He spent seven years as a special strategic advisor to The Thomson Corporation, and its then CEO, Richard Harrington (now his Partner at Cue Ball). At Thomson, he played a key role working alongside the CEO on its transformational growth strategy. In 1996, Tony founded and was CEO of the Internet services firm ZEFER, a pioneer in early commercial web initiatives. Tony started his career with McKinsey & Company and holds his AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University. He was also a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Tony sits on several boards, is a contributor to Harvard Business Review, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of MIT Tech Review.

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BCL of Texas Business Counseling Helps Austin Firm Obtain Funding and Overcome Obstacles

Posted by HH on August 10, 2012

Travis Benford, CEO of Blue Light Integrated Services

Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If that statement is true, then Travis Benford just might just be the next Nostradamus. He is building a future to fit his vision. Moreover, he is building a future full of hope and opportunity for his team and his community.

Travis was a car salesman for the 14 years prior to opening Blue Light Integrated Services. He recalled the salesman experience fondly, but remarked that the hours kept him from his family for too long at times. The rewards were good, but there weren’t many opportunities for long term development. Travis knew he wanted to be his own boss someday. He wanted to do something that would allow more time to spend with his family and provide unlimited potential for growth.

Blue Light Integrated Services, a sales call center handling everything from Dish Network to security systems to home repair services, didn’t just spring up from nowhere. Travis worked hard to turn his dream into a reality. A turning point in this process came when he sought out a business coach at Business & Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas. Travis said that at first it was difficult to find time to go to the meetings and classes while working. “It was really tough to make all of those obligations work together, but I knew I had to go,” he said. To be a successful entrepreneur, Travis noted, you have to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. At a Biz Aid orientation class Travis met one such like-minded individual named Carlos Vasquez. Carlos is the Business Development Analyst for BCL of Texas. Carlos is there to help people like Travis transition from traditional employee to successful entrepreneur. He and Travis started speaking and found that there were a lot of ways that Carlos could help.

Travis was beginning to get frustrated with the process of starting a business. Finding financing and office space, hiring people, getting the appropriate legal documents: all of these prerequisites to getting a new business off the ground seemed hidden behind unreasonable expectations.

“The banks couldn’t understand that I was going to start this business and work full time there,” Travis said when asked about this aspect of the process. “I was concentrating all of my effort to make that work. I had a little seed funding from my family, but the banks wanted us to show that there was no chance of default by offering my family’s income as collateral. It was just unreasonable.”

Carlos was able to help Travis overcome most of his major obstacles. Carlos and Travis worked together to get funding and find an office space that worked. As of now, Blue Light Integrated Services is well above the sales goals that they set out in Travis’s business plan. The business operates out of a great office location that also houses their call center. In less than 6 months since beginning this venture, Mr. Benford has hired thirteen other staff members to keep up with all the demand coming through the 7703 N. Lamar Blvd office.

“We are doing great. Right now we are expanding our products and services. We sell commercial TVs now to meet small businesses needs all across the nation,” Travis said. “We have almost outgrown our current space! We are one of a very small group that Dish has approved to sell nationwide. Sometimes the hours are still very long, but I couldn’t be happier.”

For a free business counseling session from BCL of Texas call (512)912-9191.

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Listen to Interview About Growing Your Business with Doug and Polly White

Posted by HH on October 23, 2011

If you’re an entrepreneur struggling with defining your role in the business you may want to listen to my interview with Doug and Polly White, authors of Let Go to Grow. In their book, the authors contend that for a business to reach the next level of success the owner has to ” let go of daily responsibilities and delegate tasks to trusted employees and managers.”  To listen to my interview with Doug and Polly White click here:  Doug and Polly White Interview.

Using real life examples, Let Go to Grow illustrates how the principal’s skill-set must change to allow the business to prosper. But, it goes beyond simply spelling out what needs to be done; the book explains how to do it in clear, concise and practical terms. Let Go to Grow is a must-read that helps principals transition their businesses into growing and thriving enterprises.

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REBRODACAST: Interview on Increasing Profits and City of Austin Surety Bond Assistance program

Posted by HH on September 5, 2011

Dr. Jonathan Byrnes, author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink:Why 40 Percent of Your Business Is Unprofitable and How to Fix It, and Luke Luper, who leads the City of Austin’s Bonding Consulting Services for minority and women contractors, will be the guests for the two segments of Economic Perspectives on September 5, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, Texas.  Listen online at kazifm.orgThe interviews originally broadcast on October 25, 2010.

In Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, Byrnes uses a systematic, field-tested approach to analyzing profitability, helping companies quickly determine which parts of the business are worth expanding and which parts drain resources. Then, using his concept of “profit levers,” he show them how to implement effective and sustainable change to improve the bottom line.

Byrnes, a Senior Lecturer at MIT, is an acknowledged authority on profitability management. His extensive experience spans virtually every industry, including healthcare, transportation, software, retail, financial services, distribution, and others.

At MIT, Dr. Byrnes has taught at the graduate level and in executive programs for nearly twenty years. He has authored over one hundred books, articles, cases, notes, and expert submissions. In addition, he wrote a monthly column on managing profitability for Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge for four years.

Luke Luper

Through the City of Austin’s Bonding Consulting Services, Luper will meet on a one-on-one basis to provide confidential advice in the following areas:
  • Evaluation of company’s bonding needs
  • Assistance with bonding application
  • Identify qualified surety bond agents

To be eligible for assistance firms must be certified as a minority, woman, or disadvantaged business enterprise by the City of Austin Small & Minority Business Resources department.  For more information email Luke Luper at

Posted in Finance, small business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gina Montana Podcast About Doing Business in New Orleans After Katrina

Posted by HH on September 5, 2011

If you missed the interview with Gina Montana about her experiences working in New Orleans as an entrepreneur after Hurricane Katrina click here: Gina Montana Interview.

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New Orleans Business Focus of August 29 Economic Perspectives

Posted by HH on August 27, 2011

L-R: Gil Scott-Heron, Gina Montana at Essence Music Festival

New Orleans native and entrepreneur Gina Montana discussed her experiences surviving as an entrepreneur post-Hurricane Katrina on the August 29 edition of Economic Perspectives.  To listen to a podcast of the interview click here: Gina Montana.

Montana, owner of Montana Productions, has been an arts and festival producer for over 15 yea  She was worked on numerous festivals including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Essence Music Festival, and Voodoo Experience.  In 2012 she’ll be launching the Black Rock Festival which will explore the roots of rock and roll in the African American community.

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The Challenges Facing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Focus of April 25 Economic Perspectives

Posted by HH on April 25, 2011

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, co-author of Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance will be a guest on Economic Perspectives today at 5:30 p.m. central time. Stacy Dukes-Rhone, executive director of BiGAustin, will also be a guest and will discuss BiG Idea Day which is on April 29. Listen live online at

Guaranteed to Fail opines how “poorly designed government guarantees” for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to the debacle of mortgage finance in the United States, weighs different reform proposals, and provides recommendations. This book unravels the dizzyingly immense, highly interconnected businesses of Fannie and Freddie. It proposes a model of reform that emphasizes public-private partnership, one that can serve as a blueprint for better organizing and managing government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In doing so, Guaranteed to Fail strikes a cautionary note about excessive government intervention in markets.

Posted in Austin, Banking, Books, Business, Entrepreneurship, Housing, Interview, Mortgages, small business | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President of Austin African American Chamber of Commerce and Community Development Public Forum Focus of March 7th Economic Perspectives

Posted by nchanel on March 3, 2011

Clarence Goins, the new president of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce, will be the guest on Economic Perspectives on Monday, March 7th, at 5:30pm. Hopeton Hay will also interview a representative from the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department about the city’s upcoming public forums for the allocation of funds for housing and community development. Listen live at KAZI 88.7 FM Austin or online here:
Prior to joining the Chamber, Goins held several management positions with the Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State of Texas. He replaces Interim President Juanita Stephens. Goins will discuss his plans for promoting the growth and development of African American-owned businesses.
Founded in 1982, the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce promotes the development of African American businesses and the expansion of the business community by providing resources, technical assistance, and leadership on policy issues that enhance economic growth and by promoting convention and tourism.
For more information on the Capital City African American Chambers of Commerce,
Also featured is a representative from the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development. As a result of the African-American Quality of Life Initiative of 2005 African American businesses now have more opportunity to provide input on the plans for the federal funds before decisions are made on how the funds will be allocated.
The City of Austin anticipates cuts to federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in fiscal year 2011-12. This federal funding assists with affordable housing, community development, economic development, and public service needs. Neighborhood Housing and Community Development invites you to provide feedback about community needs and how federal and local funds should be prioritized. View upcoming public hearings. Neighborhood meetings are listed below.
Neighborhood Meetings:
Wed., March 9th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Montopolis Recreation Center, 1200 Montopolis Dr.
Tues., March 22nd, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Hancock Community Center- Room 3, 811 E. 41st St.
Wed., March 23rd, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Parque Zaragosa Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales St.

Posted in Austin, Business, Community Development, Economic Development, Government, minority business, small business | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »