Panelists Share Insights on Running Successful Businesses

Passion. Conviction. Hardwork. Research.

These are just a few of the traits needed to run a successful business, according to a panel of experts that spoke to Mt. Sierra College's Career Club on Wednesday. City of Monrovia's Neighborhood and Business Services Supervisor, Sheila Spicer Batice, sat on the panel with business owners Anthony Nagatsuka of Yogurtland and Tracy Ramirez of the Market Grill.

City of Monrovia's Sheila Spicer Batice, left, Anthony Nagatsuka 
of Yogurtland, and Tracy Ramirez of Market Grill sat on a panel at 
Mt. Sierra College where they advised students on the process
of opening - and running - a successful business.
"The first lesson in business - and life - is to be humble," said Ramirez, who opened the Market Grill with her husband in 2009. Today, the Market Grill is a popular lunch destination and consistently receives 4 1/2 stars on Yelp. "But also be grateful, thankful for the opportunities you are given. And don't give up."

Ramirez and her husband were living in  Monrovia when they came across a less than 1,000 sf restaurant in need of an owner. A few months later, they opened their business at 525 S. Shamrock Avenue.

Understanding the demographics of their community is part of what contributed to their success - a sentiment that was echoed by the other panelists as well.

Before Nagatsuka and frachisee Marcus Chan opened Yogurtland at 104 S. Myrtle Avenue, he said they thoroughly researched the community and those who made up Monrovia. And once they were open, he said that it took significant marketing effort on all fronts, ranging from utilizing social media to joining the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce to visiting schools to simply getting out and introducing themselves to people.

Another key to their success is conviction. "I choose the best brand," he said, adding that the concept of wholeheartedly believing in the brand also contributed to his success when he owned a Subway.

Spicer, who has worked in Monrovia for nearly 30 years, told the group of nearly 15 students that she has seen her share of businesses come and go. But often what makes the difference between those that succeed is research - including having a solid business plan - and a dedication to hard work.

The panel was part of an ongoing series offered to students of Mt. Sierra College, a graphic design, media and business administration college.

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