May 9, 2021

A Road Map for Success

Grow It

No one launches a business intending to fail.

| 7/20/2020

eSmart Recycling, Tampa
Tony Selvaggio always dreamed of building a business. In 2011, he moved to Tampa from his native Venezuela to help friends open a scrap metal recycling center. Three years later he launched his own — eSmart recycling — and as a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, began accepting discarded electronics (computers, keyboards, printers, etc.) as well as scrap metal from filing cabinets, refrigerators, water coolers. And with the profits he made from his recycling business, Selvaggio helped fund computer labs for schools and nonprofit organizations that did not have the money to acquire technology. In 2019, he launched TKIBA®, an online educational technology platform aimed at middle and high school students. Now, in addition to hardware, students will have access to a wide-ranging computer curriculum.

Questions to ask before you go global:

1. Is my business ready? Find out at where three exporter assessments are available to help you determine your company’s readiness to: enter its first international market; expand into additional markets; or take on more challenging high-growth export markets.

2. Do I have a plan? Before jumping into uncharted waters, take the time to put your plans on paper. Assemble facts, identify constraints and set specific goals to ensure positive outcomes.

3. Have I done my homework? You wouldn’t take a foreign vacation without researching your destination, so why take your company overseas with no prior knowledge? Study up on markets, trade barriers, regulations and other exporting details specific to wherever you’re headed.

4. Where do I even begin? If you know absolutely nothing about exporting, but would like to learn, a good place to start is the SBA Office of International Trade (


Florida’s SBDC Can Help
Coronavirus Pandemic: Ready Resources for Small Businesses

America’s small business owners are used to competition. But they’ve never come up against a rival quite like COVID-19 and its devastating effects: reduced hours, employee layoffs, lengthy closures and the very real possibility of never re-opening again.

While no one can be certain when this threat will end, small business owners facing hardship in Florida as a result of COVID-19 can be assured of readily available assistance, including:

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: low-interest loans of up to $2 million.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans: up to $25,000 to cover urgent cash needs until larger loans kick in.

For information on these and other resources and assistance available in the aftermath of COVID-19, contact the Florida SBDC Network at 850.898.3479.


Tags: Florida Small Business, A Road Map for Success

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