Big Tips for Small Business Owners

By Whitney Ijanaten, The Phe’be Foundation Advisory Council & Small Business Owner

“The work you do today is the residual for tomorrow.”

These were the words echoed in a recent interview by Cleveland’s own, Renee Singleton, President & CEO of Singleton and Partners (S&P). For 19 years, S&P has operated as a general marketing agency that began in a home office and now operates in an 8,000 square foot office building with an expansive client portfolio that includes the Ohio Lottery and the Ohio Department of Health. S&P is a perfect case study on turning your passions into a viable business enterprise.

This quote stresses the importance that any work done today, is not done in vain. Our success tomorrow is based on the labor we put in yesterday. So when beginning a small business or transitioning your side income streams into a trade, these are the lessons Singleton wishes to share with up and coming entrepreneurs.

  1. Leave a Paper Trail

It is imperative that you make sure your business’ paperwork is in order. If not, it will haunt you and we certainly don’t want that. So before you begin, research the different options on how to structure your business. Are you an LLC? A sole proprietor? An S-Corp? For more information, check out: or

  1. Bank Early

Seek out money from a local bank, all levels of government, as well as local organizations and community programs. Grants, loans, and especially COVID relief funding can be available to you. There’s money out there, go get it! Don’t let fear run your business model. Seek banking advice early. Don’t wait!

  1. Find out Why?

When we put ourselves out there, we may not always be well received. Ask why you may not have gotten that loan, grant, or opportunity. It is in the “why” that we grow and can come back stronger!

You got this! Cleveland looks forward to seeing what you have ‘in store’ for us (pun intended).