Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business Administration

BIG Cafe Launch is a great success!

On September 9, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., nearly 40 local entrepreneurs, students and faculty gathered at City Campus to launch BIG Café. This monthly networking event is designed to help local entrepreneurs solve business problems using the input from attendees while enjoying a complimentary cup of coffee.

Presenting were David Hoyle, coffee sponsor and owner of Cool Beanz Espresso Bar and Jeff Leggett, owner of CT Recycling. David, looking to open a second location, posed the question, “How do I build an infrastructure? I know I can’t be in two places at once.”

Stacey Ventura, a dog trainer by trade and new to the area, suggested training a shadow to learn what he does and how he does it. Marco George, Covenant Home Security expanded on this suggesting incentivizing employees and giving them some kind of ownership in the company. Other suggestions included finding a software to help streamline billing, inventory and payroll as well as having a standard operating procedures manual so that he can feel better about giving up some control.

Jeff Leggett was next to present about his newest venture, CT Recycling. Jeff, current owner of Pestmasters, is hoping to fill a void left by the recent dissolvent of the county’s Keep Bulloch Beautiful curbside recycling program. The problem he sees himself facing is customer acquisition. “How do I get these commercial properties to want to recycle? How do I get those customers to understand that there’s a value in what I do?”

Brian Reiss, owner of Party Harbor, reminisced about growing up in New York and getting paid five cents per can to recycle. “So I’ve been recycling since I was a little kid, it was ingrained in us, plus we wanted that nickel.” Since it was something he learned early in life, he and his family are still passionate about recycling. He suggested getting more literature out to educate the community on the importance of recycling to get their buy-in. Joseph Akins, 84 Lumber, suggested building on the synergy of his Pestmaster business to incentivize current customers to also use his recycling services by offering some kind of discount.

The first BIG Café was a tremendous success. Thanks to everyone who attended and gave such invaluable feedback. Special thanks to the presenters as well. If you would like to present your business obstacle(s) at BIG Café please contact Jill Johns at jjohns@georgiasouthern.edu or 912-478-0872. The forum is not only a wonderful networking opportunity, but also a chance to learn from other entrepreneurs.

The next BIG Café will be Wednesday, October 14 at 9 a.m. RSVP here.

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Business Innovation Group • PO Box 8153-01 Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-0872 • citycampus@georgiasouthern.edu