Nearly 400 businesspeople and entrepreneurs attended Wayne County's second Business Resource Network Roundtable event at Schoolcraft College in Livonia Tuesday morning to network and learn more about succeeding in business.
"Supporting existing and emerging local businesses is the cornerstone of my administration's economic development strategy," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, who delivered a keynote address. "I'm pleased we can provide this kind of information and service to the Wayne County businesspeople who stuck with us through the lean times and are now driving the economic recovery and creating jobs in our 43 communities."
Following Executive Evans' remarks, a panel moderated by Mark Lee and featuring Markeith Weldon of Weldon IT, Jason Eddleston of Sterling Oil & Chemical Company, and Dana White of Paralee Boyd discussed solutions for the challenges facing small businesses. The one key takeaway: work for your business not just in your business.
As Dana White explained, that meant taking the time to focus on things like networking and financing while she trusted her employees to handle much of the day-to-day operations with the tools they need to be successful. That was a strategy echoed by Eddleston and Weldon as well.
"Everyone has their title, but I want everyone working in my business to be entrepreneurs," said Weldon. "They need to have their own vision and leadership skills."Eddleston made a similar point: "Hire slow, and fire fast."
In other words, take the time to hire the right talent but if someone isn't working out, it's in everyone's best interest to move on and find a better fit.
All three panelists agreed entrepreneurs have more resources, from incubators to mentorship, today than existed in metro Detroit even five years ago. The Wayne County Business Resource Network Roundtable works to connect small businesspeople and entrepreneurs to recruiting, financing, and site selection.
A networking session was held following the panel to connect entrepreneurs with other businesspeople. The next Wayne County Resource Network Roundtable is expected to take place in the fall.