frankieanderson

The mission of the SBDC is to help existing and new businesses grow and prosper. We offer free and confidential one-on-one consulting, free or low-cost, high-value training, and special events. We serve the Aurora and Arapahoe, Douglas and south Jefferson Counties. The city of Aurora is host to the SBDC with a fully-staffed office, with additional offices for consulting by appointment only and various workshops in Centennial and Englewood.

Prieto’s Catering

Prieto’s Catering is an Aurora-based food truck selling authentic and delicious Mexican food.  Prieto’s serves a variety of tacos, including the famous birria tacos that everyone is excited about!  They also serve other popular Mexican dishes made fresh, such as tamales, tortas and burritos.  Fully aware that the business needs to be responsive to customer needs during the pandemic, they offer home delivery and pick up from 9AM to 3PM daily.

As a family business start-up, Prieto’s provided catering services in 2017 with sales of just $3,000 in the first year.  In 2019, owner Erika Rojas bought a food truck and realized an immediate jump in sales.  Working with one full-time employee and two part-time employees, Erika was determined to work hard, find new customers, increase sales and hire at least two more employees.  She reflects on her experience with the SBDC:

“I have been taking SBDC classes and consulting with an Aurora-South Metro SBDC business consultant. From the beginning, I have felt supported with resources to resolve my doubts and learn how to manage the business, as well as how to promote my business.  The most valuable service of the SBDC, above all, is the support of not feeling alone.”  With a lot of effort and loyal customers, Erika realistically projects an increase in sales of 350% by the end of 2021.  She is going full steam ahead!

There’s nothing like having steady customers for consistent cash flow.  Prieto’s Catering serves breakfast burritos to a business.  School parent boards, teacher training events and student events is another regular source of sales.  Ten percent of Prieto’s clients are at “Movie at the Park” events.  They also do private parties.  “We want to expand again by finding a stable location in the city of Aurora in the coming year,” says the optimistic and hard-working owner.

Giving back to the community, Prieto’s Catering is a staple at school sporting events, purchasing the food with a special discount and serving young people in soccer between 12-17 years old—at no charge.  When there is food left over, they put together dishes for itinerant people on Colfax Avenue.  Some of their honors and certificates include:

• Best Food Truck 2021 from Lady Boss
• Certificates for finishing entrepreneurial classes

• Training for two years in business management at
El Comal Heritage Food Incubator
• Certified in Food Handling
• The Receta food business training program certificate

The business continues to grow. Prieto’s installed a larger stove in the food truck and purchased equipment to cook in an iron and steam food cart.  CEDS Finance provided Prieto’s Catering with a loan which allowed the business to purchase a vehicle to pull the food cart.  Check out their menu items here and enjoy authentic Mexican food:  https://prietos-catering.business.site

Also, read the story in Spanish (en español: lee esto).

Revisit the BizBeat from this site

The BizBeat is the Aurora-South Metro SBDC’s e-newsletter.  If you ever want to check back to take a peek at some of the stories and resource links, just hover over the Blog tab on the menu bar and click on BizBeat.  The BizBeat is intended to provide you with current resources and updates on small business information and news, from funding to training opportunities, success stories, consulting expertise and more!  To be added to the BizBeat e-list, just send a quick email to info@Aurora-SouthMetroSBDC.com.  You may opt out at any time.

Englewood Small Business Resource Expo

The annual Englewood Small Business Resource Expo, coming up Wed., Sept. 22nd, 8:30-9:30 AM, is abbreviated this year and virtual, and will provide you with an update on the following small business resources:

– Welcome –  Mayor Linda Olson, City of Englewood
– Greater Englewood Chamber Overview – David Carroll, Executive Director
– Englewood Economic Development Overview
   – Darren Hollingsworth, Economic Development Manager, City of Englewood
Aurora-South Metro SBDC Overview – Marcia McGilley, Executive Director
– Client Testimonial/Guest Speaker – Beth Ginsberg, Trompeau Bakery
SBA Overview: U.S. Small Business Administration, Colorado District Office
   – David 
Benavides, Lender Relations Specialist
Funding Resource Partner Overview: Colorado Enterprise Fund
   – Stefanie Fox, Community Lending Officer
Manufacturer’s Edge – Deborah Kerrigan, Regional Director

Join us by pre-registering and receive the Zoom instructions:  https://bit.ly/3x8hKxy. 

Entrenamiento para negocios de cuidado de niños basados en casa ¡Gratis!

Partes 1-6: miércoles, 15, 22, 29 de septiembre y 6, 13, 20 de octubre
6:00 – 8:30 PM — seminarios virtuales — ¡Gratis!

OBJETIVOS DEL TALLER: En esta clase Usted aprenderá técnicas y estrategias para manejar las finanzas, el mercadeo y las operaciones de su negocio.

  • Establecerá su modelo de Negocio
  • Aprenderá a maximizar sus ingresos
  • Entenderá sus Costos y aprenderá a minimizar sus gastos
  • Entenderá como utilizar los medios sociales para promocionar su negocio

 Registración en línea:  https://bit.ly/3wvvuSD  

¿Preguntas? Contáctese con Elena a evascone@auroragov.org o llame al (303) 326-8808.

Rustic Nomads

Starting a business in 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic—has been a journey to say the least, but the owner of Rustic Nomads, Nathan Wiersum, will have bragging rights for life.   “The support received from the SBDC is why I continue to move .”

With a loan from DreamSpring to purchase a food truck, the rest of the business has been self-funded.  Originally, the plan was to grow into a restaurant as soon as possible.  With the pandemic, goals were reevaluated.  The debate was between two options, a restaurant or more food trucks.  

Either way, there was no stopping or slowing down.  Rustic Nomads actually grew exponentially in 2020.  While not be able to report huge profits, the focus during the first year was on building relationships.  Since COVID-19 spoiled the year for many, Wiersum thought it best to survive the year as opposed to pushing profits over people.  Many favorite locations have booked Rustic Nomads, solidifying the business and helping to build a following.  Profits from 2020 were invested in the business, helping the bottom line for 2021.

The Aurora-South Metro SBDC was pivotal in helping start the business and developing the idea of growth.  From helping with the business plan to getting the funding needed to start, the SBDC helped every step of the way.  Since it is a free service, Wiersum could not pass up on the tremendous return on investment and recommends the SBDC to anyone who wants to start their own business.

With one full-time and four to five part-time employees for larger events, Wiersum works with many of the breweries in the metropolitan area.  These partnerships provide Rustic Nomads with a location to sell food and a following to build clientele. Regulars will sometimes come from across town, and this helps the breweries because it puts more people in their seats as well.  Wiersum will plant roots when the time is right as he determines his target customer, traveling around the metropolitan area and narrowing the market.

Although not veteran-owned, Rustic Nomads stems from veterans.  “Growing up as military kids and moving every few years, we have had the fortune to  live on different continents and experience cuisine that we would not have  otherwise known.”  Rustic Nomads simply means ‘freedom to make unpretentious delicious food that everyone can enjoy anywhere.’  And they  do so with genuine hospitality.

While the food scene is relatively saturated, Wiersum believes that there is room in the industry IF supplying a good product.  And that’s the key.  Rustic Nomads sources their products locally and emphasizes using sustainable products.  Delicious food has become their trademark of excellence — from pastrami to mozzarella — and experiencing sandwiches from the Route 66 burger to the Wanderlust, with delectable sides.  Visit https://rusticnomads.us/menu (The first photo above:  Nathan Wiersum (rt) with Jen Findlow who helped Rustic Nomads make their first dollar.)