OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
Sometime over the past few years, the meaning of the word “business” has changed.
Business used to be something that men in suits conducted in offices and on golf courses. Today, some of the most successful men in business don’t own a suit. And business is no longer a boy’s only club.
Shows like Shark Tank make business look like a game anybody can play; if you’re prepared to roll the dice and partner for life with someone you met 12 minutes ago.
And then there’s the ubiquitous app. You can apparently dream one of those up on Friday, and by Monday you’ll be making millions in the App Store.
Some of those stories are true. But most of us have more modest dreams. We’d like to be our own boss and have our own business. We’d like to be able to pay the bills and save a little. And if we could accomplish that much we’d be happy. The main obstacle to achieving even these modest dreams is, simply, a lack of business know-how. We might be born with a talent to make, build, or perform, but most of us are not born with business skills.
In some places you’d have to go to business school to acquire those skills. Here in Acadiana, help is closer at hand.
Heidi Melancon is Executive Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center. The LSBDC – as most people refer to it - helps start and grow small businesses out of its offices at UL. They’ve been around since 1983 and Heidi has been running the show since 2014.
2014 was also the year Anne Falgout became Executive Director of the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance. The alliance is based in Abbeville and helps start and grow businesses in Vermilion Parish.
If you're already in business and want to grow, or you want to get into your own business but are not sure how to do it, this edition of Out to Lunch will be instructive and inspirational.