Written by Sharla Bardin for 19th St. Magazine, October 2021
Amal Khairallah’s inspiration for a new business grew from her interactions with her Bible study group.
The group includes senior citizens, and Khairallah said she appreciates the wisdom she’s gained from the seniors and hearing about their experiences.
“I just love being around them,” said Khairallah, of Noble. “To me, they’re living history books.”
That admiration, plus a drive to help others, motivated Khairallah to start Beck and Call Transportation LLC, which caters to senior citizens with services that include transportation to appointments, prescription pick-ups and grocery shopping.
Khairallah said starting a new business is exciting and daunting but she’s navigating the experience with advice and coaching from Gina Bertoletti, small business management consultant at Moore Norman Technology Center.
The center offers a Small Business Management program that provides professional support and coaching to entrepreneurs who want to stabilize and build their business, according to information from the center.
Services include one-on-one business coaching, professional learning opportunities and a network of resources.
Bertoletti works with business owners from the start-up phase to three years in operation, and Henry Dumas, business coach and small business management coordinator, works with mature businesses in operation for about five years and longer, Bertoletti said in an email response.
Bertoletti said she and Dumas work one-on-one with business owners to focus on their specific needs, help guide them through issues that impact businesses and work with owners on accomplishing objectives.
“As we walk with them step-by-step through the twisty road of owning a business, we are looking to ensure forward movement, best use of time and talents and alignment with their personal goals for the business,” Bertoletti said.
Another incentive for a business owner to work with the coaches is that “our services are free. If you live in Moore, Norman or south Oklahoma City, your ad valorem tax dollars have contributed to the services we provide,” Bertoletti said.
She said helping small business owners succeed not only benefits that company, but also the community as a whole.
“Small businesses are essential to our economy. They contribute to employment and the vibrancy of the economy. They generate wealth in the local community and provide services that are needed by that community,” Bertoletti said.
Along with the business coaching, Bertoletti said the center also offers business courses that can offer additional education and training and, “We also work with established organizations and provide them with custom solutions that help the business grow.”
“Our resources are vast and we want nothing more than to see Oklahoma businesses succeed,” Bertoletti said.
Khairallah said she appreciates Bertoletti’s “wealth of knowledge,” insight, guidance and encouragement and “she believes in me.”
Khairallah said that while starting a business can be scary because of the uncertainty, she still wants to take the risk. She has a passion to serve people and gain insight from them and she said her business is an extension of that goal.
“I found a purpose for me,” Khairallah said. “It uplifts me and I get to know people and I learn about their stories.”
For more information about the Small Business Management program at Moore Norman Technology Center, visit www.mntc.edu.
Amal Khairallah, of Noble, is the owner of Beck and Call Transportation LLC, which offers transportation services to senior citizens for errands and appointments. Khairallah said she is grateful for the guidance she's received from business coaching services at Moore Norman Technology Center.