Teresa Marti is a small business advisor for the Central ISBDC. An advocate for small business and entrepreneurship, Teresa’s background in banking makes her a valuable resource for clients looking for help in accessing loan capital and detailing cash flow management and financial projections. Teresa has a passion for helping her clients take a broader view of their business strategy and make short and long-term plans based on a diverse input and opportunities. Find out more about Teresa in this edition of our Advisor Spotlight.
Q. How did you get started in this business?
A. I come from a family of entrepreneurs with the exception of my father who was a banker. Because of this, it was an easy transition when I decided to move my career from being an entrepreneur to entering the banking industry. It was in my banking career of 20 years where I learned how to help small businesses with funding and financial cash management. This became a passion for me and during the last seven years of my time in that industry, I took a position that allowed me to provide resources, training, and counseling to the small business community. When the opportunity to join the ISBDC team came my way in 2015, I was thrilled.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A. I love my job because I can see first-hand the impact that we are making on our community, our local economy and, most importantly, the way we are directly helping the business owner and his/her employees.
Q. What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to someone looking to start a business?
A. Communication is key. Business owners must try to communicate clearly the information you have gather about your business from different prospectives: from the owner, from the clients that may chose not to buy from you, from the industry, from the community. Sometimes, we get so passionate about our idea or business that we forget to step out of ourselves and approach it in a more holistic manner.
Any business needs to diversity their resources in order to succeed and be prepared to clearly communicate to different audiences to tap into those resources.
Q. How has your past work experiences helped prepare you for this job?
A. As a banker, I got familiar with the realities and needs of different small businesses and I learned to understand the business quickly by looking at their financials. It also is a big help for me to know and understand how lending works.
As an entrepreneur, I understand the constraints and the feelings small business owners go through so I always try to meet them where they are and move forward from there.
As a teacher, I can provide my clients with tools they can continue to use and to approach the challenges step by step with realistic actions plans that are achievable.
My work in the community provided me the ability to see challenges from different points of view. It has also allowed me to tap into more resources for my clients.
Q. What have you found to be the most common issue small business owners turn to the ISBDC for?
A. No matter why clients come to us, at the end the critical issue is their ability to obtain financing. A majority of business owners think that they just need to ask for the money without realizing that it is a process not a question.
Learn more at http://www.isbdc.org/