Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business Administration

2nd BIG Cafe is a great success!

On October 14, 2015 at 9 a.m., more than 40 local entrepreneurs, students and faculty gathered at City Campus for 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 Brian Reiss, owner of Party Harbor Inflatables and Paul Johnson, owner of Kingdom Cuts. Brian, looking to expand his business to new locations outside of the Statesboro area, posed the question, “Should I bring on an investor? How do you go about bringing on an investor, and what does that entail?”

Marco George, owner of Covenant Home Security, asked “Have you thought about going into Bluffton and joining the chamber there and getting involved with small business association there? Maybe SBA or Core in that area could help you with how to break into that market or how to get some funding.” Demetria Smith, Simplified Flooring, suggested that Brian use a midway point so he could leverage the items he already has. Other suggestions included forming a strategic alliance with people in the targeted community, constructing a market research analysis of the area, and waiving delivery fees in order to help build a presence in the targeted market.

Paul Johnson presented second. His goal is to franchise his business while still being able to give the highest level of customer service, creating an environment that is family friendly. “My problem or my challenge is recreating my philosophy and being able to do that successfully. How do I reproduce my philosophy?”

Demetria Smith suggested creating rules for franchise owners to abide by after opening up the franchise. She said, “Every franchise owner has specific rules and stuff that they have to do to keep that franchise and with cloning yourself, cloning your philosophy, creating essentially your bible, that’s going to help whoever wants to buy into your franchise to know what this whole theory is about.” Jim Williams provided a contact who has a business very similar to Paul’s, and who previously expanded his business just like Paul desires to do. Other suggestions included using discipleship to mold potential employees, creating a playbook that includes a mission statement, paying time plus commission, and finding people who have the skill set along with the same moral compass.

The second, 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. Also, attend five times and you can receive a free BIG Café coffee mug!

The next BIG Café will be Wednesday, November 11, with presentations starting 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