10/15/2013 01:30 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Ingredients to Build a Thriving Business

If you want to enjoy life, have a cupcake. As the owner of Brooklyn Cupcake, I'm loving life and enjoying the journey because I'm doing what I love to do and that's making cupcakes.

Brooklyn Cupcake began from a simple request from my former co-worker to make my latino inspired cupcakes for her daughter's birthday party. Thinking nothing of it, I made the cupcakes. They were a hit at the party. Better than that, she paid me too! Soon after the party I began to receive requests from others that were at the party and from my then co-workers. I was so excited that people raved about my cupcakes and were eager to pay for it; I decided to make this my full time business. I love baking cupcakes!

Today, Brooklyn Cupcake serves the same latino inspired cupcakes from three location in Brooklyn and Long Island City, New York. I have a team of 8 wonderful people that are as passionate about cupcakes as I am.

To build a thriving business you must include the following key ingredients:

1. Vision - Thriving businesses have a vision as to where they are heading and what they are working towards. The vision is the driving force that guides the action of the company and provides inspiration to the people working within the business to take action. Without a vision, a business will find itself wasting time, money and human resources.

2. Growth plan - Unlike a business plan that focuses on the business objectives, a growth plan takes into consideration the business owner's personal growth aspirations. This type of plan is the business owner's personal operational plan. The plan incorporates leadership skills and styles, and brings to light the human capital needs related to growth. The plan factors in dashboards that can be used as a tool by the owner to monitor key business and personal metrics.

3. Resource Map - Once you determine your vision, create your growth plan then you will need to identify resources needed to move your business forward. The creation of a resource map will assist the business owner in addressing the following questions; 1) what resources do I need, 2) what resources do I have, 3) where are the fits and gaps and 4) what action steps are needed to secure the resources. Mapping your resources out in this fashion can and will provide insight into resources that are within reach of the owner.

4. People - If you truly want a thriving business you must surround yourself with people who are good at what they do, passionate about what they do and passionate about your vision.

Based on these ingredients, Brooklyn Cupcake is in its' third year of operations and has accomplished a lot. We have many more cupcakes to bake and we are excited about the journey we are on!

This post is part of a series of posts by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month click here. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.

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