ver since he was a child in Peru, Ramon Escudero knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a business owner. Growing up and watching his father going to work as a dentist and teaching children at school inspired Ramon to follow his own passions and dreams. He was so fascinated by how free and happy his father was in doing his work that he aspired to be just like him, in his own way.
He did just that. While attending business school in Peru, Escudero realized it could take years to start a business in his home country. After graduation, he found a respectable agency that promoted tourism in Peru, industries, imports/exports, etc., where he was able to connect with more and more people. Connecting with and helping others is one of the most enjoyable things for Escudero. “Connections are what make your business thrive and grow,” Escudero said.
While working with a foreign investment branch, Escudero traveled to Washington, D.C. and attended the George Washington School of Business to receive his master’s degree. After attaining his master’s, he worked with various businesses throughout America and Peru, ending with the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce.
So, how did he become the executive director of the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce? Escudero said, “When you have a wife, you need to take turns. So, after she followed me around to different jobs, it was her turn and we ended up here in Lancaster county.” What brought Escudero to Elizabethtown College?
Escudero came to the College last Friday for a presentation on how to make resources available for small business start-ups. Students learned tips and tricks for starting a business. Escudero went through a step-by-step process of what students need to do and who they need to know in order to start a prosperous business.
For starters, Escuerdo told students to ask themselves, “Is owning a business good for you?” If so, one needs to be willing to handle very time-consuming positions and passionate about his or her work, or else there is no use. The next step is to take advantage of resources, such as consulting with professors or going to the library and researching information about other businesses. A few key tools for starting up a business, suggested by Escudero, are ESCO Corporation, Assets (of Lancaster) and Community First Fund. “These useful sources can help to gain more knowledge and starting a business right,” Escudero said.
After deciding that owning a business is the right path, the next step for students is finding what type of business is good for them. Escudero stated five key points in determining what business is best for you. First, find what you are most passionate about. From there, talk to sources, conduct market research, check the census website and consult with different business professionals. The key point he could not stress enough was to go to the library for data.
When satisfied with the result of the first two steps, Escudero went through the remaining process with extremely knowledgeable detail, very handy for business students. He then went on to talk about how students should choose a name for their businesses. After brainstorming a few ideas, search for other businesses locally and make sure there are no duplicates. Next, register the business through government agencies or town boroughs. “If you’re creating a business in a small town, like Elizabethtown, all you have to do is go to the Borough to get a permit. Simple as that,” Escudero said. Next, “Determining your start up cost, expenses, equipment, location, staff and checking your competitors are highly important for guaranteeing your businesses success as well as writing a well-thought-out business plan that can be reviewed and adjusted every year.”
Further on, the final stages of starting up a business are determining who will take care of finances, having a good credit record, determining how to market services, and finally, hiring a staff. Once you have gone through all of the tedious and important steps, you are ready to open your business. When the business is open, there are some other aspects to keep in mind. “Being a good citizen and being well-connected with your community are the most important parts of keeping your business growing,” Escudero said.
Not only has Escudero gone through thick and thin to become what he is today, but he keeps growing more and more and becoming more connected throughout the states. If anything needs to be taken from this knowledgeable presentation, it is that you need to work hard for what you are passionate about and stop at nothing to make it work. Escudero’s final words of wisdom were, “Sources will not do the work for you. You need to work for it.”