Three principles for success in starting a business

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Originally published online in the BYU-Hawaii Newsroom, August 2008]

An entrepreneurship professor at the BYU Marriott School of Management told BYU-Hawaii business students they don’t necessarily need a lot of experience, exceptional training or even much money to start a successful business.

Gary Williams [pictured at right], a successful entrepreneur in Utah before joining the BYU business school faculty three years ago, shared three principles on Sept. 23 with the BYU-Hawaii students that could help them “evolve into entrepreneurs.”

Number one: “Don’t kill yourself trying to change the world.”

“Some of the best companies out there didn’t change the world,” said Williams, who encouraged budding BYU-Hawaii entrepreneurs to “search for the not so elusive angle, or new twists on something that already exists.”

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The ‘big payday most entrepreneurs dream of’

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Published originally in the BYU-Hawaii online “Newsroom,” September 12, 2006]

A Honolulu attorney advises business students on exit strategies

In the first entrepreneurship lecture of Fall Semester 2006, Honolulu attorney Larry Gilbert provided BYU-Hawaii School of Business students with “some real world lessons” on the “big payday most entrepreneurs dream of” — the exit, or selling off a start-up company.

“I will tell you what they never taught me about [exits] in school or law practice,” said Gilbert, of counsel with Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing Lawyers and an expert in providing legal and management assistance to technology growth companies who has been personally involved in three exits.

Speaking in the McKay Auditorium on September 12, Gilbert said exits typically fall into three categories: IPOs — initial public offerings of stock, acquisitions or mergers, and organic or cost-effective growth from within.

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L&L CEO recommends decentralization

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Published originally in the BYU-Hawaii online “Newsroom,” February 18, 2003]

Eddie FloresThe CEO of Hawaii’s largest plate lunch restaurant chain says decentralization and giving management part-ownership are keys to L&L Drive Inn’s success.

Eddie Flores [pictured at right], a Chinese-Filipino who immigrated with his parents to Hawaii in 1963, told BYU-Hawaii School of Business students in the Feb. 18 Entrepreneurship Lecture Series that L&L Drive Inn has 1,000 employees, and annual revenues of $34 million from 48 branches in Hawaii and 13 more on the mainland, where the rapidly growing chain is known as L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.

A witty speaker, Flores recounted how after working at Bank of Hawaii Laie Branch, he started a commercial real estate business. “I found a location on Liliha Street [in Honolulu] and bought it for $22,000 as a gift for my mother. I was only 25 years old.”

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