Vanessa Castillo Bell


What if we could turn back the clock in order to do something different in our business? What would we change? Would it be how much we invested in the business idea or would we have selected a different product to sell?

There is a misconception that we cannot change our business or pivot it to do something differently after it has been established. The fact is when you have a business you must adapt to change and scale it properly for future success.

Recently we asked Facebook entrepreneurs the question: “As a small business owner, if you could change something about how you started your business, what would it be?”

Below are a few responses from our local entrepreneurs:

Annie Palomares Ruiz: Implementing a thorough billing system and organization methods. It’s so crucial to follow a specific plan and carry through. Also, just remind myself to ensure my mental health. I can’t do my best for my clients if I don’t first ensure I am doing the best for me.

Chito Castillo: Priorities. In my opinion, it’s all about the perception of the customer from the first impression. If I were to do it over again, I would get all of my licensing and certifications right at the start for every service I offered before advertising them as options. I would create a professional company image right from the beginning (clean, professional logo, business cards, website listing accreditations, etc.). With those things in place, I believe I could have generated more initial income, a steady customer base and allowed for more time to be spent on business development rather than playing catchup with financing routine equipment maintenance, struggling to maintain services/customers and falling back/readjusting all the time. Still working on this. Let’s go.

Natasha Noronha: Be more organized on finance and your worth for your ideas.

Benjamin Pendleton: Get workers compensation as soon as we hired our first employee.

Trish Martinez: Getting over fear quicker.

Anibal Tafoya: Go after more work, bigger jobs, lose the fear of failing.

Isaiah “Tio Gordo” Lopez: Putting God first right away.

Vanessa Castillo Bell is an Arizona Western College Small Business Development Center counselor, digital strategist and social media coach. She can be reached at


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