Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges attended the Small Business Week Awards Luncheon at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel on Thursday and asked some of the owners who were recognized about their advice for other firms.
• “If the small-business owner is confident in his/her products and services, is willing to put the effort in to be the best in their respective industry and is willing to let these benefits be realized by the customer over time, … the small owner will no doubt realize the fruits of his/her labor,” said Timothy M. Liescheidt, president of CF Steel in Oakboro. “After all, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
• “The most important thing is to be persistent in your business and be courteous dealing with the people that want to help you,” said Larry Martin, owner of Larry Martin Farms in Mount Olive.
• “We believe that the best avenue for economic development in the state is to take those small businesses and help them,” said Steve Forrest, chief operating officer with Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in Moravian Falls. “We think North Carolina does more for small businesses than any other state.”
• Ann Black, president of ImmunoReagents in Raleigh, said small-business owners should reach out to all the specialty service agencies in the area.
“A small business is like a child, it takes a village to raise it,” Black said.
• “Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the various aspects of business,” said Carmen Blackmon, executive director of Above and Beyond Students, an educational service that provides academic and social programs in Charlotte. “ … As a business owner, you are forever learning. For that reason, I attend as many workshops and conferences that I can to learn and make sure I am operating my business at the highest level.”