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Our View: Entrepreneurs are essential to a community

They are business savvy. They are risk-takers. And they are dreamers.

Entrepreneurs do what many never choose or are able to do, and that is start their own business.

Last week, the Kane County Chronicle ran a two-day series on entrepreneurship. The series, which featured stories by reporter Jonathan Bilyk and photos by Sandy Bressner, looked at how starting a business has changed locally and nationally over the years. It also discussed what challenges entrepreneurs likely would face in today’s environment.

What is clear is the men and women who decide to start their own business have a determination to succeed on their own. These individuals often put countless hours into making their visions become reality, choosing to go down a path that can be – and often is – extremely difficult.

For many, the launch to build a business will end as a dream not fully realized. But for many others, there will be success.

We commend entrepreneurs in Kane County and elsewhere for their hard work and dedication.

These are the individuals who create new jobs and bring new products and services into our lives. They are people who are an integral part of our community.

Among them are Peter Bogle, Jane Briner, Anne Gugliuzza, Steve Gaspardo and Rebecca Colburn – all of whom were featured in our two-part series.

Bogle, of St. Charles, has created the O-Liminator, a product that took months of testing and is now being sold at hundreds of retail stores. Briner, of Geneva, has found success with her unique business model at the Shoppes at 127 in Geneva.

Patience and planning led to Gugliuzza opening the Batavia Academy of Dance, which is set to expand. And Gaspardo said accuracy problems that plagued the metrology field led him and a team to develop the ComScan system, which involves taking perfect photos of items that can be converted to 3-D computer-generated images.

Meanwhile, Colburn has been satisfying the appetites of people with her Gracious Hall catering company, which has a facility in Geneva. Her thoughts summed up what many entrepreneurs feel about running their own business.

“I prefer the satisfaction I feel knowing this is all mine,” she said.

She and other entrepreneurs, as well as small-business advisers, offered the following tips to those who are considering opening their own business:

• Don’t worry if banks decline your request for financing. Generally, entrepreneurs need to find a way to cobble together enough financing from personal savings, friends, family and other private investors to survive for two or three years, to demonstrate they are capable of leading a business to success.

• Find a voice of reason. Take time to talk over your business ideas with someone who can be trusted to be honest – brutally honest, if necessary. Don’t let your business fail because your idea is either not viable or has not been fully vetted.

• Don’t expect to vacation whenever you want. Running a business is not necessarily a ticket to lifestyle flexibility. Business owners often struggle to find balance among their businesses, families and other personal concerns.

• Be passionate about what you do. If you don’t love what you do, it will show.

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