On Saturday April 6, 2019, we were thrilled to be in attendance at the Soar Empowerment conference put on by T.D. Jakes and Black Enterprise.
The speakers were excellent and the messaging was timely and on point. Everyone we came in contact with were excited about the information being shared by the presenters.
They are looking to expand the Soar concept and from what we experienced on their inaugural event, we think it will be a great addition to their event lineup.
To learn more about the conference visit: www.BlackEnterprise.com/soar
Select Group Of Black Business Owners Attend Luncheon At The AEI Startup Factory To Strategize For 2019
Blog Post - On Monday, January 28, 2019, a select group of Black business owners who are members of the AEI Startup Factory in Stonecrest, GA. organized a lunch to strategize on collaboration for 2019. The group was comprised of premium members of the fast growing co-working space and incubator.
The lunch served as a way for the members to get to know each other better and to understand how they may be able to use each others skills and talents to increase their individual businesses in 2019.
Mr. Lucester Allen, owner of the AEI Startup Factory, as well as the management team of the AEI Startup Factory were present to give advice and share their plans for the upcoming year.
Businesses represented included: Blake Vision Entertainment, Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company, BBLTV.net, BBLAdnetwork.com, True Mechanical, Inc., AA Financial Services, Fresh Start Financial Services, and Urban Home Entertainment, Faithwerks, BlackBusinessList.Com and more.
There was a spirit of cooperation and unity felt by all who attended. Food was provided by the catering staff of the facility.
Many new collaborations and initiatives were launched as a result of the meeting. Stay tuned for exciting developments coming from this powerful group of entrepreneurs. We'll keep you posted on their progress.
To learn more, visit: www.AEIStartupFactory.com
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
How engaged are your employees at your company? Are they vested in your company's success? Do they feel valued as employees? Research shows that employees that are given the freedom to be creative are more likely to make decisions that can help your business succeed.
Employees that are restricted and are forced to follow rules without little change are more likely to upset customers and clients. I'll give you an example. Have you ever called a cable company for service? What was the experience like? I remember calling the cable companies on many occasions and having all of the employees that I speak with tell me the same company issued line about my complaint. It was frustrating to speak with people at the company who didn't seem to be able to help me. I thought, maybe if I can get a manager on the phone that the manager could make a decision that's different from the regular agents. This is common in customer service. "May I speak to your manager" is uttered on a daily basis.
But what if the agents were given a list of things that they could do in order to take care of the customers? What if you never had ask for the manager. I think that your customers would be ecstatic that they could get their issue taken care of with the first person that they speak with.
Outstanding customer experiences can only happen if employees are given the freedom to take care of the customer and give extraordinary service.
Company leaders should foster an environment where employees are given opportunities to offer suggestions on how to solve problems or improve your business operations. This will let them know that you value their opinions. This will give them better job satisfaction and you will have higher employee engagement. No one wants to work for tyrants who don't take suggestions. If you don't give your employees freedom to be creative you can pretty much guarantee that they will be constantly on their phones or computers looking for another job. Your customers will be able to tell if your employees are happy or not and it will affect how the customer feels about your business.
Do yourself a favor and research different ways in which you can make your employees feel valued.
Here are a few links:
What are YOUR thoughts? Do you give your employees freedom to be creative? Are you an employee who feels restricted at work? Leave a comment and let's talk about it.
Until tomorrow... Go Be Great!
Founder / CEO
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
There is a well known statistic that states that 8 out of 10 businesses that start will eventually fail.
Wow. That's a large number. There are many reasons why a business may fail but one of the main reasons could be a business owner's lack of planning.
In business there is no way for you to know what may happen from one day to the next. Perhaps your customers will find other business to fulfill their needs, or maybe a natural disaster will occur and destroy some of your property, records, or client base. Who knows? Anything could happen right? But that's where planning comes into the picture. You can not only plan for things that you want to go right, you can also plan for when things go wrong.
A proper business plan will also keep a business owner on track with their goals. Unfortunately, it's very easy to get side-tracked and go into an area of business that was not planned for previously. Making a pivot in business is fine, but wild, uncontrolled swings in business objectives could cause confusion for you, your employees, and also your customers. If you don't know where you're going, no one will want to follow you into the unknown.
Even though, it's widely accepted that business owners should have a business plan, there are some "new school" entrepreneurs who say that they start businesses and never have a business plan. There are some well known success stories of people who just had an idea and hit the ground running without a plan. I'm sure that may have worked for them, but I don't think that the majority of us should put our resources and livelihood on the line on a whim. Resources and funding can be hard to come by, especially for minority business owners. Make sure that if you're gambling on other people's money that you are doing so wisely and cautiously.
Competitors can come snooping for your customers!
As an entrepreneur you should also be aware of your market. You should know if there are other businesses that are similar to yours. They may be trying to steal your customers from you.
Good customers are hard to find and they may feel like they can lure your customers away instead of finding their own. How will you address sudden new players in the market?
Remember how badly Blockbuster Video dealt with the threat from Netflix and Redbox? At one point Blockbuster had over 50,000 U.S. employees and over 9,000 retail locations. Now, they only have 1 retail location in the United States. They fell from being one of the largest U.S. businesses to one of the smallest in just 14 short years. The leadership of Blockbuster Video obviously didn't have a plan in place for observing the competition and keeping up with the needs of their customers.
My advice? Don't fall victim to poor planning. Research the internet for business plans and find knowledgeable people in your community that can help you grow your small business the right way.
Remember the old adage, "failing to plan, means planning to fail."
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