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Q+A with 2022 Scale DSM Participants

Scale DSM in 2022

September 13, 2022

This article includes an interview with Latha Kumar, Zamorins Solutions, Inc., Shelana Laing, Smile Labs VIP, and Andres Rodriguez, Cotofo’s Auto Service, who answered questions about the Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator.

 Zamorins Solutions  Smile Labs VIP  


Where were you in the process of building your business when you started the Scale DSM program?

Kumar: My financial planning was not up to mark when I started the program.

Laing: I've been in business for six years and am doing well, but I’m looking to dial down more and discuss more options for registered locations, certification program and increasing business in my locations.

Rodriguez: I’ve been in business for about 12 years

What do you love about the Greater Des Moines (DSM) Small Business Community?

Kumar: Scale DSM is helping me to build strategies and get the financials in place. The CEO mentoring team and the team in Scale DSM is helping my business to grow.

Rodriguez: I learn from other small business owners like me.

What made you interested in the Scale DSM program?

Kumar: This is the first program I am attending as a business owner that helps to put the right perspectives in place for business.

Laing: When I received an email and filled out the form I thought why not try.

Rodriguez: I wanted to learn something new.

What was your favorite Scale DSM course?

Kumar: Financial strategy and the ratios to evaluate the business are my favorites.

Laing: We are not done, but so far Financials since we have accountability. I needed to do this five years ago.

Rodriguez: All of the courses are new to me, so I am learning a lot.

What was one idea that you had about business ownership before the program that has been challenged?

Kumar: Financial tracking to understand the current position of my business was a challenge for me.

What was the most important advice you learned from the CEO mentoring groups provided through the program?

Kumar: Work on the business along with the work in the business.

Rodriguez: Write your goals.

What was one of the most surprising things you've learned overall?

Laing: The number of resources available.

Rodriguez: I’m learning how to use bookkeeping software, which saves a lot of time and helps me to know my numbers.

What are some goals that you’ve created for yourself now that you’ve experienced Scale DSM?

Kumar: I have set up three-year and five-year financial goals to achieve business growth.

Laing: My hope is to gain 300 new members for my business.

Rodriguez: I want to be a better CEO and to have my business work for me in future.

Why do you think this programming with benefit other small business owners?

Rodriguez: It will help them improve the business and skills.

For more information, contact Juan Pablo Sanchez, Director of Inclusive Business Strategies at The Partnership.

Scale DSM is a minority business accelerator for diverse entrepreneurs in various industries, including food service, media and more. The Greater Des Moines Partnership program is sponsored by Wells Fargo and powered by Interise®.

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Juan Pablo Sanchez

Juan Pablo Sanchez is the Director of Inclusive Business Strategies at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.