Joshua Miller, Assistant Vice President & Business Development Officer at Somerset Trust Company; and Jeffrey Boldizar, Director of the Small Business Development Center at St. Francis University recently visited Mrs. Amanda Shaffer’s 9th Grade Oral Communications class, at Meyersdale Area High School, to discuss how to create a proper business plan. Students are working on a project to create a fictitious business and present a business plan on their idea.

Students in Mrs. Amanda Shaffer’s Oral Communication class welcomed two special guests as part of their latest project. These ninth grade students are creating fictitious businesses and have been conducting extensive research to identify start-up and operational costs, establish a business plan, design business cards, forms of advertisements and a resume. The final aspect of this project will be to present a slide show presentation to present to the class as part of the oral communications speech requirements.

To help meet these requirements, Joshua Miller, Assistant Vice President & Business Development Officer at Somerset Trust Company; and Jeffrey Boldizar, Director of the Small Business Development Center at St. Francis University, addressed the class on the “real-life” responsibilities and skills needed to start a business.

“We are here to provide examples of how the Business Center and bank work together to help people start a business,” Miller explained.

Miller said that from a financial institution, the most important aspect he considers when asked for a loan is the business plan.

Boldizar also shared that for any future business owner, planning and research are the difference between success and failure.

“There are many reasons businesses fail, the most common is lack of planning. Know your market, know what it takes to run a business,” Boldizar explained.
“I know these are fictitious businesses, but one or many of you might just have something that can be your future business and career.”

Boldizar praised their ideas and encouraged them to consider these options as more than just a class project.

“You all have some great ideas and ideas I have seen work. There is a real need for trades,” he explained.
“Know that you can make your dreams come true.”

Shaffer said the information provided by Boldizar and Miller is information these students can use now for their projects and throughout their lives.

“I wanted these men to speak with the students to convey what all was involved in starting a small business and what investors are looking for in a good business plan,” explained Shaffer.