Comerica Corner: Mi Pueblo Services
Business owner, Celia Velazquez, had no idea that her business would grow into what it is now. Mi Pueblo Services is now a local business that offers endless services to the Latino community. Velazquez’s will to achieve and dedication has only taken her to great lengths.
Celia Velazquez. Latina. Trailblazer. Achiever.
Entrepreneur. Born in Mexico, arrived to the U.S. at the age of 16. Her plan from the very beginning was to attend school but destiny had different plans. She soon started working at a doctor’s office as an account manager.
Due to personal trials and struggles, she then decided it was time to forge her own path. In 1994, she opened her business preparing taxes and representing clients who were being audited by the government. She named her business Mi Pueblo Services. She loved what she did. She wanted to grow, so she started attending seminars, workshops and classes. Velazquez began to fiercely seek an opportunity to grow in the field. She earned her Enrolled Agent license and it was just another step closer to success.
Finances, as with every business are always a difficult department to master. For Velazquez and Mi Pueblo Services, the first two years were the toughest. Getting on your feet and learning the ropes of entrepreneurship is tough. There were times when she felt unmotivated. “I created a sign that said No te des por vencido meaning “Don’t give up”. Most of her problems were due to finances; to not having the income.
But she came across Comerica Bank who gave her the opportunity to continue her business. The bank has helped her with small equity loans. “They have provided every loan. It is important for them to know you. Just tell them your needs and they’re there to help.”, she advises.
Her advice to new business owners learning how to manage finances is that “you need to set priorities in place. Don’t spend money where you don’t need to spend it. Invest smartly.” Its important to be transparent with money. Pay your dues. Discuss your goals money-wise with your financial officer and your bank. Mi Pueblo knew this and is now successfully a corporation.
But, Velazquez did not right away start preparing taxes. Her practice came from helping family member and friends. This is how she truly started her career. It was through them that news started spreading about her profession. She decided it was a great opportunity and that the community needed a Spanish-speaking tax preparer to help them when April rolled around.
But to Velazquez, there was more. She wanted to do more. Now, she offers over 10 types of services. She also has a second location and is working towards opening more locations and franchising Mi Pueblo Services.
Velazquez definitely knows where she wants to head when it comes to the future. To those who desire to go into entrepreneurship, her advice is: “Anybody can start their business. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Don’t be afraid. Just go for it!”
Part of being an entrepreneur is keeping up with new services, learn about new technologies, programs, policies and such. Velazquez said she continues to attend workshops and seminars. “I just keep studying.” She considers herself a workaholic. But with so much passion and drive, being a workaholic may not be such a bad thing after all.