A self-described “diehard business person and entrepreneur” and “compassionate capitalist,” Ron DeRosa is the co-founder and a managing member of Hometown Business Alliance (HBA), a company that offers a new, low-cost business opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to build a business of their own facilitating small business networking in their own community. He believes business and entrepreneurship are the backbone of our nation and the engine that creates significant growth opportunities.
Ron has more than two decades of business/entrepreneurship experience and is the manager/owner of more than one company. He launched Hometown Business Alliance with his partner last year to give small business owners a better, more affordable option for forming critical and mutually beneficial relationships that foster growth and increase profitability. HBA helps small businesses to form alliances more easily, affordably and efficiently.
Here Ron shares his thoughts on everything from the need of entrepreneurs to follow their gut instincts, what he’s learned about sales, what it takes to “hit a home run” and more…
How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business? Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why.
I think the person has to be passionate about their endeavor. That is one of the main keys for success. New entrepreneurs will hear all kinds of negative input from their surroundings—you can’t, it won’t, you don’t, etc. They must have the backbone to press on despite all of it.
I would say that if this kind of negativity stops them in their tracks, it’s a bad sign, and they should really reconsider entrepreneurship. If the negativity just gets deflected, that’s a great sign that they are ready to tackle their new endeavor.
For me, I make the decision to launch a business or new project if there is a need for it, or if I see something can be done in a better and/or more efficient way. I also have to have an understanding about what the endeavor involves, as lack of knowledge is one main reason for most failures. Moreover, I have to have passion about what I’m going to do, as this is the fuel to propel me forward.
What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves?
Follow your gut! Don’t listen to the naysayers as they are a dime a dozen. Stay focused; expect the rough patches and blaze through them anyway with your eyes on the desired result.
What did you do before you decided to become your own boss, and how have those skills helped you in your current business?
I was a sales representative and account manager. The sales skills helped me because in sales you learn how to market yourself. Everyone is selling all the time, whether they realize it or not, so they might as well be good at it. I also learned that people like to BUY and not be sold, so I learned to listen and meet people’s needs or solve their problems as opposed to merely selling them my stuff so I could make money!
You also learn the importance of having a positive attitude. If you think you can, that is half the battle; and if you think you can’t, you might as well close up shop and go home. As for the account manager role, I learned to build relationships. If the new business owner can stay positive and focused on helping others with their products or services, then they will hit a home run.
If you own more than one business, how have you integrated your businesses to juggle it all successfully? Any suggestions?
Yes. You need to partition your day so you can focus on one business at a time during certain chunks of time. Maybe the activities for one business are best handled in the morning, for example. If there is no difference in a.m. versus p.m., you can schedule two to three mornings a week for Business A and the afternoons for Business B. Mix it up, but always know which business you are focusing on in terms of effort at any given time.
More about Ron DeRosa and Hometown Business Alliance:
Ron DeRosa is the Co-Founder of Hometown Business Alliance, a company that offers business opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to facilitate small business networking in their own communities. It’s an approach that creates a branded and structured framework to foster productive and mutually beneficial partnerships and working relationships among small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals at the local level.
This minimal-investment, fast-ROI business opportunity will enable you to create multiple streams of income, including residuals, work from home or an existing office as you see fit, and control your own time. Additionally, it’s a tremendous opportunity for existing business owners to complement their already existing venture while providing a much-needed service to other entrepreneurs and professionals in the community.