Entrepreneurs often face the challenge of making key business decisions by themselves. Due to the small scale of their businesses, many might feel the lack of resources keenly and believe they have to come up with ways to advance and expand their businesses alone. With this in mind, the Asian Business Association (ABA) created Entrepreneur Day, a day for small business owners to engage and network with each other, and through this conversation strengthen their businesses.
Held on November 10, 2016 at the luxurious Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles, the event was generously sponsored by Frontier Communications and Herman Miller, one of the most renowned American manufacturers of office and home furniture and known for the infamous Aeron chair. Having perfected the Lean methodology, their name is synonymous with modern furniture and innovative designs. As a longtime supporter of ABA, Herman Miller is committed to supplier diversity and offers extensive education, training, and mentoring programs as well as community and business outreach.
The event was led to a great start with a welcome speech by Dennis Huang, Executive Director and CEO of ABA, followed by the Entrepreneur Spotlight session, which featured our President Lindy Huang Werges, Vice President of Nu-set Lock Caron Ng, and President of Cybertegic James Hsieh.
Participants were then separated into four entrepreneur groups that each addressed an area of concern to small businesses:
- The Marketing group was led by Karen Park, President of TEN Advertising. As one of the top ten AdAge multicultural advertising agencies, their clients include Bank of America, AT&T, Kia, and Kaiser Permanente. With her group, she discussed the importance of branding and advised that businesses should spend 60% of their time and effort on marketing. In addition, they should find out what their unique value drivers are and utilize them to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
- The Government group was led by Lydia McGee, a member of the Business Outreach Team for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Ken Phan, Management Analyst at Los Angeles World Airports. Together with Emma Maxey, Manager of Supplier Diversity at Golden State Water Company, they discussed how to best navigate government and public agencies for contract opportunities.
- The Funding group was led by Michael Synn, Director at Corporate Advisory Services. He talked about traditional and alternative ways for entrepreneurs to fund their small businesses, tips on obtaining capital, and offered great insights on the best practices for entrepreneurs. He also recommended the U.S. Small Business Administration as an excellent resource that offers loans and grants, as well as free consulting services for small businesses.
- The Legal group was led by Jay Chung, Partner at Lee Anav Chung White Kim Ruger & Richter, LLP.
By bringing in experts in each field to discuss the four main areas of concern to small business owners and facilitating engaging discussions between the participants, the ABA has once again excelled in providing training and education to its members, as well as bringing divergent groups of Asian Americans closer together, towards its mission of representing Asian American business owners and creating business opportunities for its members and their diverse communities.