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Power User Spotlight: Starting a Business Takes Hard Work and Dedication

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Power User Spotlight: Starting a Business Takes Hard Work and Dedication

By ChristineL
Published: January 15, 2010

Joseph Lizio is the CEO of www.businessmoneytoday.com, based in Texas. He regularly blogs and writes articles related to financing small businesses. Prior to starting his own business, he worked at the Concho Valley Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Wells Fargo, and Intel. He holds a MBA in Finance from the University of Oregon.

While managing his online business full time, Mr. Lizio (also known as phanio) has been an active member of Business.gov's community since its launch, sharing business finance information. He currently has the greatest number of replies and one of the highest kudos counts of all members.

We recently asked Mr. Lizio to share some more about his experiences as a small business owner.

How did you start your small business? What was the deciding factor that made you ready to take the leap?

When I worked as an executive director of a business incubator in Texas, I realized that one of the greatest challenges that business owners face was raising capital for their company. Many business owners believe that the bank is their only source of funding, while in reality there are so many other financial options.

After I retired, I had some time in my hands, so I combined my hobby - learning about websites, HTML, PHP, etc. - with my passion for finance. Now, I run an online business that focuses on educating small business owners about their financing options. It has been online for 2 years and is doing great.

What is the biggest challenge you faced in your experience as a small business owner? How did you meet that challenge? What were some of the lessons you've learned that you can share with other business owners?

The biggest challenge I faced was involving myself in every aspect of my small business. Since I had no experience with websites before, I had to learn everything from the ground up and teach myself all the languages needed to build a website. While I have a degree in finance, a lot of what I know dealt with corporations so I had to learn more about small businesses.

I would say that dedication and hard work are essential to starting and running a small business. It is also through dedication and hard work that I was able to meet this challenge.

What are the biggest benefits of being a small business owner? What's the biggest thing you would miss if you ended up working for someone else?

The biggest benefit is the freedom to decide the vision of my small business. I am the person that makes sure that it is my vision that will be realized. If I wanted to make a change to my business, I can do it when I want to and the way I want to.

On the other hand, I would need to go up the command chain of the company to make a small change. There is so much less bureaucracy if you are a small business owner.

Why did you choose to start an online business?

An online business is like any other business in many respects. You have to define a need in a particular market, market your product and service, and sell it. However, the big difference lies in the way you go about marketing your product. If you own a retail store, you would probably put an ad in your local paper to advertise your product. If you run an online business, you would advertise through back links and SEO.

If you were to give a person who wants to start a business one piece of advice, what would it be?

Starting and running a business takes hard work and dedication. You cannot expect to have a successful business if you are not willing to put the time and effort into it. Christmas is coming up and everyone has plans to take a vacation. I will be here working on and running my small business.

You have been very active on Business.gov, answering questions and providing suggestions. What keeps you coming back?

I have a desire to help and educate small business owners about finance options and Business.gov is a great platform to do so. Members ask great questions and I enjoy answering them. My favorites are questions that delve in depth about the specifics of loans and finance.

Quick Facts

Username: phanio
Date registered: 3/18/09
Total messages posted: 324
Total kudos received: 238

As of January 15, 2010

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Except when specifically noted, any views or opinions expressed on the Business.gov Community forums, blogs or member-contributed resources are those of the individual contributors. The views and posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of the Business Gateway Program Office, the U.S. Small Business Administration, partner agencies, or the Federal government. Information on the Business.gov Community site is provided as a service to the Internet community, and does not constitute legal advice. Business.gov aims to provide quality and accurate information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to by Business.gov. Since laws and regulations change frequently, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

Message Edited by ChristineL on 01-15-2010 01:18 PM

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