Hampton Roads Retail Academy Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

Hampton Roads Retail Academy Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed
The vision of the SBDC and the Academy is to strengthen the regions retail community by developing knowledgeable, innovative-thinking and dynamic entrepreneurs.

The Spring Session of the Hampton Roads Retail Academy wrapped up June 25. Presented by the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC), the vision of the SBDC and the Academy is to strengthen the region’s retail community by developing knowledgeable, innovative-thinking and dynamic entrepreneurs.

This Spring, there were four new instructors, all with formal education and either currently or previously part of the business community in Hampton Roads. The classes: Strategic and Business Planning, Marketing and Merchandising, Customer Service, Legal, Finance, and Security, were only one component of the school. Peer-to-peer breakfast meetings took place and one-on-one entrepreneurial coaching with an SBDC Business Analyst.

Peer-to-peer Retail Academy meetingBen Salomonsky, L.L.C., Director of the Hampton Roads Retail Academy, thoroughly enjoys leading the course and seeing his students succeed. “It is a passion for me to assist with their dreams,” said Salomonsky. “I have seen stores re-arranged, advertising campaigns made more attractive, and stores - that were only a concept in the class come to fruition. I love helping, and being a part of their lives.”

Salomonsky continued, “Retail is not easy - even in the best of economic conditions. Having been a psychological counselor, teacher, advertising copywriter, retailer, and entrepreneurial coach; I have the opportunity to present this amalgam of experiences to my students. Business is psychology, and psychology is business - with good doses of mathematics, art, and imagination.”

Roger Barber, completed the course and has plans to open a full service food concession truck named “Rogers Grill” next year.

Barber had great feedback about the course. “It was great to sit down each week and review each part of my business plan,” said Barber. This training forced me to review my policy, procedures and plan. Made me really think about how I would handle a situation or where I want my business to be in five years. Each of the topics covered, provided me with an opportunity to compare how other people approached those areas and a chance to speak with people who had been in business to see what lessons they had learned.”

Barber mentioned he would strongly recommend this training to anyone who is thinking about going into business or becoming an entrepreneur. “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,” said Barber. “Why not take advantage of the resources available to challenge your idea before you invest a lot of money and time into a business that may fail due to poor planning.” 

Check out the Retail Academy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hampton-Roads-Retail-Academy/206746692850130 and for more information, please contact Mr. Ben Salomonsky at 757-353-8866 or by email at BenSalJwlrInc@aol.com

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