Creating a Successful Business
by Karla Lujan and Jovanna Solis
Often times when one seeks advice on how to run a successful business the responses are always either too ambiguous or too vague. To start off your venture as an entrepreneur takes a lot of courage and challenge. If you decide you have the courage and you are ready to take on the risks then you are at a good start. Professor Art Diaz, from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), was kind enough to sit with us and answer a few questions on what his best advice is to run a successful business based on his experience. Professor Diaz is a lecturer in the marketing and management department at the College of Business at UTEP and an executive director of Centers for Entrepreneurial Development, Advancement, Research and Support (CEDARS). Aside from being a professor at UTEP, he owns several successful businesses and has consulted several hundred other businesses in other cities as well.
When asked what three pieces of advice he would give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs, Professor Diaz said it is important to “have passion, have a good business plan, and understand your financials”. Most successful businesses are built on purpose and passion which leads to commitment and dedication. There is no point in creating a business if you are not prepared to give it your all, which is why you should maintain the desire and passion to achieve your goal. Professor Diaz also emphasized that in order to accomplish your business idea you must create a business plan. Most often businesses fail at their early stages of development because their business plan fails to meet certain area expectations, this is why it is essential that you create a good business plan before you start your venture. To make sure that your business plan succeeds, Professor Diaz advises to set yourself a goal, understand budgets, research your markets, and to have a firm understanding of the different areas of the business. Understanding the functions of financial statements for your business will help you stay on track of your business, meaning, keeping track of the income and expenses and finding out what regulations your business needs to abide by and so on.
When asked about his past failures and what lesson he learned from them, Professor Diaz said he had none but mostly missed opportunities. Some of his regrets were not attending college right after high school as well as missed opportunities on investments in which included not buying stocks on American Airlines, McDonald’s, and Chevron among others. His reason given for such missed opportunities was because he was not ready to take on such risks. With this, he emphasized once again how important it is to be knowledgeable on your market and understand financials.
Finally, when asked about what motivates him to continue being a business owner, he said it is mostly staying busy, helping people, and having independence. An advantage he mentioned about owning your own business is that you get to be your own boss and you can do it anywhere as long as there is a market you can work with. In all, you could say that if you are self-motivated, ready to work hard, you have a business plan ready, there is a market for your work and you are truly passionate about what you are embarking on, then you have the elements that will make your business successful.