Monday, June 8, 2009

Juan Silvera > www.hispanicsmb.com

Juan Silvera, Owner, HispanicSMB.com

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Two things primarily: total conviction that your business concept is a winner and the tenacity to pursue your dream business through thick and thin.

What did inspire you to start your business?
I always wanted to do something that could have a positive impact on the many Latinos and Latinas that dream of owning their own business here in the United States.

How did you finance it?
Self financed. I wanted to make a point that with the technology available to us today we can reach thousands of people without making a significant investment from the get go.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes. Networking and community building are things that are instinctive to many Hispanics and it just so happens that they are critical to succeeding in business.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I always remind myself that nothing that is worth building is ever easy. I am convinced that what I am doing is important and can have a meaningful, positive impact on others and that keeps me going.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
It is very difficult to achieve critical mass without significant marketing and PR investment. Many small businesses grow nicely at an organic rate but taking it to the next level is never easy.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
We would love to partner with a larger media organization that could help us expose our product to the hundreds of thousands of potential Hispanic small businesses that are not yet taking advantage of the free resources our site
provides.

What was your childhood ambition?
Simply to be happy. To this day it is still my primary goal in life.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire
1. David Segura, CEO of VisionIT. David has single handedly built the most successful Hispanic-owned business IT shop in the United States. I’ve met David and his success is humbling.
2. The Google Guys. They basically re-defined a medium and created an entire industry category while making a few billions along the way.
3. My dad, Manuel Silvera. He ran his own travel agency (back in the days before the Internet) and built a niche market by catering to the cash-only Hispanic market. It worked.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I can think of many futbol games I missed on Fox Sports because I was working on the site.

What is your favorite quote?
“Good things come to those who wait, but not to those who wait too late.”

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No. It is more difficult to be “conventional.”

Biggest mistake made?
Not starting a business right out of college.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I think so. Innovation is not just about thinking out of the box. Innovation is also identifying underserved niches in the market and I think with HispanicSMB.com we have done just that.

About the Company
Juan Silvera is editor and publisher of HispanicSMB.com, the online community for the 1.6 million Hispanic-owned small and medium sized businesses in the United States. The site provides depth of resources, content and community for the fast growing Latino business community. HispanicSMB.com the ideal platform for marketers wishing to reach Hispanic business owners, entrepreneurs and managers -- an affluent and highly desirable but elusive segment of the market.

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