From the city of Snellville:

Some businesses are like rickety rafts struggling to stay afloat on the ocean; others are luxury sailboats cruising steadily. What separates the raft from the sailboat is a sound business plan.

That was the lesson Benny StaRomana of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center gave to more than 40 city business owners gathered at the first of four of this year’s Entrepreneur Summits on Tuesday (Jan. 14) in Snellville City Hall. The event was offered by the city’s Economic Development Office and the Snellville Entrepreneur Council.

“Sometimes businesses feel like a man on a sinking ship,” he said. “Sometimes the water is easy. With business planning, the water is easy.”

StaRomana said a business plan provides a vision, a mission and values. It helps business owners identify trends and obstacles and defines a focus market and predicts sales and other financial factors. Finally, business owners must define their plan and write it down, he said.

The summit was designed to give new and growing entrepreneurs an idea of the resources the city has to help them including the Snellville Business Toolbox website (, peer advisory groups and mentor-protégé programs.

“We want your business to succeed this year,” said city Economic Development Manager Eric Van Otteren. “This year looks like there are a lot of good opportunities – and we want to give you the tools to take advantage of them.”

The event was sponsored by Snellville businesses FASTSIGNS and Brand Bank.

The next Entrepreneur Summit is scheduled for April 22. Those interested in attending can register at