Anthony Cambas Facilitates Opportunities for Oklahoma Small Business

Word is getting out about global opportunities for the small business owner. Word is…the markets are lucrative, and the process is less difficult than one might think. Anthony Cambas, Director of the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development-SBDC, is one of the reasons that exporting goods and services is being simplified.

Cambas, a former U.S. Customs official, has almost 30 years of experience in international trade. His impressive credentials include export development and customs reform in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Anthony holds a Masters Degree in International Customs Law from the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2014, was named the State Star for the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network. Cambas’ resume also boasts a Fellowship of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) . . . and, he’s multilingual.

The good news for Oklahoma small businesses is that Cambas’ expertise is close to home. Anthony has been the Director of the International Trade Center-SBDC at Oklahoma State University since 2012 and loves helping clients navigate through the process. “What I enjoy most about my job is helping my clients in the broad sense of the term. This may be through finding a new overseas buyer, ensuring that the shipping goes smoothly, and that they are paid timely.”

According to Cambas, education is key. “I especially enjoy helping clients understand how international trade compliance is a strategic business issue that leads to more profits and long term business opportunities, as well as helping avoid fines, penalties, and even worse.” That’s why you’ll see Cambas throughout the state, lecturing on international trade and customs matters, as he did during the Small Business International Trade Symposium, held at OSU-OKC in Oklahoma City in December.

For more information and questions about international trade resources and opportunities, contact Anthony Cambas at 405.744.7128 or anthony.cambas@okstate.edu. For other business services, contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit www.oksbdc.org.

OKSBDC Success Story: AAA Insurance

If you’re a business owner, you know that repeat customers are always a good sign. So it goes with the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center. We love it when our previous clients use our services again!

Such is the case with Donna Powell, owner of AAA Insurance in Durant, Oklahoma. Powell first contacted the OKSBDC in 1998 to get assistance with the creation of a business plan for her first company, Texoma Business Staffing. Eighteen years later, with a well established company to her credit, Powell began formulating plans for AAA Insurance, her second entrepreneurial opportunity. “With the tools and resources I received from the OKSBDC through my previous business, I knew that I could do most of the information on my own,” explains Donna.

With her second business plan well underway, Powell sought specific demographic information from Ahmad El-katib, OKSBDC advisor for market research and geographic information systems (GIS). “I was able to do a competitive analysis and provide a list of all the insurance agencies in the area,” says Ahmad.

Donna also acquired consumer spending data about home, auto, and life insurance. “Without the tools provided by the Small Business Development Center of Oklahoma, I don’t feel that I would have had the confidence to start a(n) (insurance) business in the area,” remarks Powell.

Perhaps the ancient proverb sums up the services of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center best…”Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

If you would like more information or have questions about OKSBDC services, call 580.745.2877 to schedule an appointment. Video

Speaking Your Language For Small Business

Communication is essential in every aspect of life. Business services are no exception. That’s why the leadership of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center has focused on creating a diversified staff that will better meet the needs of its clientele. “We provide support services for entrepreneurs and small business owners,” says Bill Carter, OKSBDC State Director, “and we must change with the growing needs of our clients to be effective.”

Within the OKSBDC state network, over eight different languages are currently represented. Among them are Spanish, French, Portuguese, and native languages from Africa and Ethiopia. According to Tiffany Newton, an OKSBDC advisor and native of Bogota, Columbia, her diversity has proven to be a valuable tool.”

Of course, speaking the native language of Spanish clients is very helpful, for communication purposes, but there’s also a cultural advantage, that has the potential to benefit every business owner. “For example,” Newton continues, “if I have a client who wants to explore international trade in South America, I have first-hand knowledge of social trends, cultural etiquettes, and marketing opportunities that can’t always be found through internet research.”

Anthony Cambas, Director of the OSU International Trade Center- SBDC, has a similar view when describing the multi-cultural environment in the Stillwater office. “We offer tremendous international trade opportunities to our clients by using our connections, insights, and experiences and link them to a world where 95% of possible consumers are located outside the USA. As a team, we think independently and draw deeply from our individual experiences and perspectives but combine our efforts to better serve our clients. Our clients have international trade questions and we have international trade solutions!”

For more information and questions about OKSBDC services or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit www.oksbdc.org.