Our Islands, Our Future

lanaipennies-rLanai residents interested in learning about how to run their businesses more profitably attended a free workshop and dinner, Pinching Your Pennies: Finance for Small Businesses at the Lanai Senior Center. Presented by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) as part of their Innovation Series, this workshop offered attendees helpful tips on how to run their business more profitably and avoid mistakes that cause failure. Anyone who’s ever bootstrapped a business knows all about the art of doing more with less. The Pinching Your Pennies workshop gave participants a chance to recognize the importance of possible short- and long-term effects of their decisions. For example, “Will it save my business money without negatively impacting profits later on?”

The workshop speaker, Gerry Smith, Director of Business Development at MEDB, covered numerous topics concerning the break-even analysis. “We discussed how to determine the selling price of a product, why cash flow is so important, what fixed versus variable costs are, and the difference between wholesale and retail,” said Smith. “It’s good to be frugal,” he explained. “However, it was important to talk about what will directly affect customers or compromise the ability to operate efficiently, so that efforts don’t backfire. It’s all about looking at a business as a whole, and deciding which costs are absolutely worth it and which can be reduced in an efficient way that still benefits your business.”

“The workshop answered some essential questions for me,” said Lanai resident Cory Labang. “I learned the importance of knowing what money is coming in and what money is going out, and to know whether a profit is being made or not. I’m going to go home and make fixed-cost and variable-cost analyses for all my items.” Lanai resident Matthew Posadas’s career goal is to be a private chef. “The workshop energized and excited me,” Posada said. “I have taken business finance before, but this workshop helped me clearly understand some very important basic concepts. Thank you MEDB!”

This workshop was fulfilling. I’m so grateful to MEDB for bringing helpful business workshops to Lanai. I look forward to future meetings in their Innovation Series.

Matthew Posada, Lanai Resident