Friday, March 9, 2012

Norma Almanza >

Norma Almanza, Owner & President, The Ya Group

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Confidence, determination and not being afraid of failure.

What inspired you to start your business? 
The challenge and desire to do what I love and in my own way.

How did you finance it?
A small investment of $1,500 of my own money.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business? 
Absolutely. As an American born Hispanic, I understand the U.S. Hispanic market. It’s a melting pot of many groups and it takes a level of comprehension to properly communicate effectively to each of these segments. It’s not just about knowing the language - it’s about knowing their cultural traits. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going? 
I look at adversity as an opportunity. It makes you stronger. If you see it any other way, you won’t succeed. In this economy, it’s standard operating business. 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced? 
There’s no one to blame but yourself. You don’t have a boss - you have clients. Evolving with clients and staying on top of the newest trends for clients is challenging. When I started my business everything used to be TV, Radio, Print and community outreach. Now it’s all of that plus social networking and the internet. 

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Nothing. I enjoy the daily challenges. 

What was your childhood ambition? 
To be an artist and to help people. 

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire? 
Trump for his business savvy and confidence in his skills; J. Lo for her talent, versatility as a business woman and never forgetting her roots; and my parents for teaching me about business and raising me in an entrepreneurial environment. They came from Cuba in the 60’s with nothing except courage and a commitment to living in a free society. They were both business owners and invested in real estate. 

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 
Lunch and a fun round of golf. 

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I never had to make any sacrifices on my personal life; my husband has encouraged me to grow in business. Both he and my children have always been very supportive of my business ventures. 

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
It’s all relative, isn’t it? What is your favorite quote? “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw Biggest mistake made? I never look at it as a mistake but as a lesson learned. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes because I am constantly creating new ideas. Every client, every product, every consumer is different. 

About The YA Group
The YA Group is a multicultural marketing communications agency that specializes in the US Hispanic market. With over 25 years of experience, The YA Group is made up of strategic thinkers who understand marketing goals, objectives, tools and techniques. We know and live the culture that is needed to effectively communicate with urban Hispanic consumers. As trends change, we know what’s hot – and what’s not. Most important is our deep understanding of the things that don’t change: the emotions, aspirations, values and personal relationships that are part of the unique Hispanic culture. A company is defined by leadership and commitment of its employees. I’m fortunate to have an elite team of experienced marketing professionals and resources that I can access in a minutes notice. The company has helped a wide range of clients create recognizable brands and messages that translate to the Hispanic community.

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