Small businesses are at the heart of every community. At Univest Bank and Trust Co., we have the privilege of working with local small businesses. Whether they are starting a new business, growing their existing business or expanding to a new facility, we’re honored to be their partner and help them on their journey to success. That’s why we’re highlighting a few of our small business customers. They will discuss what inspired them to take the leap and start their own business, bumps they hit along the way and advice they have for other entrepreneurs.
Establishing a Love of Learning Spanish
Melissa Page Peter, owner and founder of Mi Casita, taught Spanish in Philadelphia public schools for five years. In that time, she noticed her students did not feel a strong connection to learning a language because they were not introduced until seventh grade or later. After doing some research, she discovered that there were no Spanish immersion early education programs in Philadelphia so she decided to open one.
Melissa learned that educating families on the value of learning a second language at such a young age was challenging so she created information sessions, story times, and play dates for interested families. This helped the families understand how Spanish immersion worked and the benefits it provides for the young students. She also partnered with many local businesses to develop relationships in the community.
Cash flow can be difficult for many buisnesses and Mi Casita wasn’t any different. Receiving monthly tuition is important to ensure Melissa is able to make regular operational expenses like rent, payroll and supplies. “I worked with Univest to set up ACH autodraft for the families to provide steadier cash flow,” said Melissa. “I no longer had to feel like a collections agent and was able to focus on what matters which is developing a great program for our children!”
As she reflected on starting her own business, there was one thing that she would change. “I wish that I had started it sooner,” remarked Melissa. “I absolutely love what I do!”
Melissa has some advice to share with others who want to start their own business. “Make sure you have six months of operating expenses available when you begin,” she suggested. “Then, once you are profitable, have a line of credit just in case of emergencies.”
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC – Equal Opportunity and SBA Preferred Lender