Learn from those who have gone before

Perhaps you’ve been displaced from your job.

Perhaps you’re tired of working for others and have saved a bit and have a hobby you think can be turned into a career.

Perhaps you should listen to those who run small businesses successfully before completing your plunge into working for yourself. Or maybe you’ve taken the plunge and are wondering what’s next.

Providing an opportunity to hear successful local small business owners is the Enactus student entrepreneur group at the Franciscan University of Steubenville through its annual Project Bootstraps seminar.

To be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the St. Joseph Center on the university campus, the 2014 edition of Project Bootstraps will feature a wide range of businesses and the route their owners took to being in business.

Featured will be John DiCarlo of JD DiCarlo Distributing Co., Jim McBane of McBane Insurance and Financial Services, Lou DiGregory of DiGregory’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, Paul “Butch” Simon of Toronto Auto Parts, Rich DeLuca of Axess Management Group and Jim Emmerling of EM-Media Inc.

From long-term family businesses to startups, from snack distribution to financial and real estate, car parts and a greenhouse, there are many sources of information that will be provided by the men on the panel. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn, to find out what success means and that it’s never an overnight proposition.

The panel members will surely share their secrets of success as well as how to deal with the pitfalls that come into every business.

And, their knowledge means the next group of small business owners can learn how to plan, proceed and operate.

Sponsors in addition to Enactus include the Herald-Star, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Small Business Development Center.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into owning your own business, or if you’ve done so and need some guidance, or if you just want to learn about what makes a successful business successful, plan to be at the university Thursday evening.