Small business owners advising aspiring entrepreneurs

Samuel Jenkins knows that when you own a small business, you wear many hats — sometimes including maintenance man. (Staff photo by Belinda Dunn)

By Jonathan Alexander
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

With the state of the economy, it might seem impossible to start a business in Northeast Central Durham, but local small business owners disagree.

Sam Jenkins, Joseph Bushfan, and Andrew and Dinah Parker all have some advice to would-be business owners.

Jenkins owns Samuel and Sons Barbershop, Bushfan owns and operates Joe’s Diner and the Parkers operate and own two daycares, Beautiful Beginnings Childcare Center and Another Beautiful Beginnings Childcare Center all in NECD.

They agree that starting a business in NECD could cost between $700-$1200 depending on the amount of square feet that is needed.

The first step is to obtain the federal tax identification number from the IRS. If you’re selling a product then you also need to acquire the Sales and Use tax identification number from the state of North Carolina.

You also must have the necessary business licenses to run the business, depending on the type of business it is. For instance, if you wanted to own or work at a beauty shop, you would need to have a cosmetology license.

Bushfan says that the key to operating a small business in times like these is to adjust to your settings.

“Just knowing clientele and prices in an economically challenged area,” said Bushfan. “You have to stay on both of sides of the fence, having affordable prices for your customers but still making money for yourself.”

Beautiful Beginnings Childcare Center has been open for 12 years and is still going strong. Originally from Durham, Andrew and Dinah Parker were both engineers in Baltimore before moving back to Durham to start up their business.

Billy Keith gets ready for lunch at Joe's Diner, corner of Angier Avenue and Driver Street. (Staff photo by Belinda Dunn)

“We feel like we’re still providing the best quality day care and at an affordable price,” said Andrew Parker.

According to Parker, you must be passionate about your business. He and his wife operate the two daycares, and spend their days there, from open to close.

Samuel Jenkins, owner of Samuel & Sons Barber shop emphasizes that you need more than logistical and financial preparation to build and run a business.

“I had to deal with being mentally prepared with dealing with people — having an understanding of the business impact of profits and loses,” said Jenkins.

He says that most people think that they can do it on their own, but that is not the case. It takes a lot of help to be successful.

“Get an accountant — understanding I can’t do things my way was the hardest part,” said Jenkins. “It’s important to open up a [separate] business bank account. This in turn keeps your business finances separate from your personal expenses.”

The City of Durham also offers materials and advice to guide entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business. Their business guide can be found at:

Weblinks to Voice stories about each of the businesses:

Joe’s Diner

Samuel & Sons Barber Shop

Another Beautiful Beginnings Childcare