Syntes Language Group
In 1988, former teacher Beatriz Bonnet took over a friend’s Houston-based translation company. Bonnet had a background in languages, but not in business—and when she and her husband moved to Denver in 1995 and decided to keep the Houston office open, the challenges of entrepreneurship multiplied.
Seeking help finding qualified translators and employees to manage offices in two different states, Bonnet turned to SCORE mentor Phyllis Milway. “Phyllis helped me understand HR in general and showed me that I needed to develop a recruiting and hiring process,” says Bonnet. “As a result of the work I did with her, we made some significant changes.”
At first, the only benefits Bonnet offered were paid vacation and sick time. “Phyllis convinced me that to attract and keep the right people, I needed to offer more benefits,” Bonnet says. “As a result of her advice, I selected a professional employer organization [PEO]. That allowed me to have a robust benefits package from the get-go, which included a retirement plan and many other benefits I wouldn’t have been able to offer on my own.”
Bonnet has since switched to a third-party 401(k) administrator that allows participants to select their own mutual funds, and has added a profit-sharing plan. “I want people to feel invested in the company,” she explains. “Employees know there’s something in it for them if the company does well—extra money at the end of the year!”
Today, Syntes Language group has 15 employees and over 200 clients worldwide, and contracts with a global network of translators. Every year since 1998, it has ranked among Colorado’s top 100 minority-owned and women-owned businesses. With an office in Denver and one in Latin America, Bonnet plans further growth: She recently implemented an ERP system to automate processes, improve capacity and make the business more scalable.
“I found [SCORE’s assistance] so valuable,” says Bonnet, who credits Milway with giving her the confidence to succeed. “When I talk to entrepreneurs who are feeling lost or need help, I always ask, ‘Have you tried SCORE?’ “
Mass Mutual is not associated with, and does not endorse, the business featured.