The Elements of Entrepreneurship

By: Lyanna Fuentes

Local entrepreneurs, Tonya Sammis and Mario Ochoa, spoke to students Wednesday, October 19, about successfully starting a new business using any and every resource now available with the expansion of technology.

The duo began Sammis and Ochoa, a full-service public relations firm based out of San Antonio, on January 19, 2010 after working together at another firm.

Sammis, Chief Executive Officer of Sammis and Ochoa, stressed the importance of strategic planning when beginning any business venture. The duo also shared their own checklist, which was used to help keep them organized and on track.

“The worst thing you can do in business is skip steps,” said Ochoa, Chief Strategic Officer of Sammis and Ochoa.

The team shared many tips for anyone interested in starting a business of any kind, including the idea and practice of “bootstrapping,” or beginning a business with limited financial resources.

They also recommended several resources including Legal Zoom, MyFax, and Free Conference Call. Ochoa said these tools can help entrepreneurs save money on lawyer fees and expensive phone services.

Local small business development centers like San Antonio Small Business Development Center and other groups specializing in consulting and aid were recommended as valuable resources for any entrepreneurs.

While Ochoa emphasized the difficulty of entrepreneurship, he was sure to support and encourage all students interested to follow their dream of owning and operating a business.

The duo began their small public relations firm with $125 in their newly opened bank account.

“We started with next to nothing,” said Sammis.

By the end of 2010, Sammis and Ochoa had reached $68,000 in sales.

Both Ochoa and Sammis stated that one of the key components in this type of venture is having faith in what you are doing and in that you will accomplish the goals set for your company.

“The greatest capital you can put into a business is personal capital,” said Ochoa. “Having faith is the greatest piece of the puzzle.”

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