In my continued effort to speak not only for small businesses but minority and women https://thejegroupzone.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/back-to-basics-for-business-growth/, I am standing in the forefront to help out voices to be heard. We must speak loudly and strategically above the white noise from writing to our elected officials to voting in those that have our best interests at heart. “In order to succeed, we must continue the journey as small business owners with the support from Congress, government and elected officials.”
What are your thoughts about #45, women and their reproductive rights?
Do you know how to fight? There are different ways to fight, spiritually, physically and mentally. If you have an interest in learning how to fight get a copy of the Art of War by Sun Tzu. You will see this book with several types of jacket covers but if it says The Art of War by Sun Tzu you are in for a treat. This Ancient History Classic uses the military formulations, principles, and practices to teach fighting techniques. In the book, the Chapters are sectioned off to explain the importance of the strategies, plans, disposition, energy, weak and strong points, and staging of a battle.
You will learn how to focus on the seasons and terrains while strengthening your leadership and management styles which provides a stance necessary for fighting. Get positioned to fight by studying your enemy. Fighting is not based upon how you feel but flexibility, movement, adaptation, and development. When an army is ready to fight, there must be a plan of action. The Art of War provides you with everything that you would need to become an effective fighter.
Reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu was such a pleasure that I have read it over and over again throughout the years. It has provided me the tools necessary using the military prowess that I have been able to use every day on my journey. As an advocate on several fronts from public lands, national monuments, historical buildings and landmarks, businesses, and youth to young adults I have learned that my focus must be on and remain on the facts, and details in order to provide a solution to the problems at hand. If you are seeking a way to fight tactically consider adding the Art of War by Sun Tzu to your library.
I wanted to save Google for last because their presence was felt and known throughout our three days in Washington, D.C. so welcome to Series 7. I was shocked to learn that they had a Google Washington, D.C. office and it was beautifully set up. On Day 2 we ended the day with a Google hosted Awards Program and Reception. This was such a great treat because not only were we able to get a chance to visit one of their many offices but we got a chance to celebrate the success of three businesses as they received the 2015 Small Business Award. Please join us in celebrating with Virginia McAllister, Iron Horse Architects who received the Technological Innovation Award; Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis, Nspiregreen who received the Community Development Award and Beverly Hanstrom, Colorado Medical Waste who received the Sustainability Award. Congratulations ladies for helping to make this world a better, greener and sustainable place to live. If you want to read more about these ladies click here. Afterwards the party was on with great networking, music and excellent food. What a great way to end a business day.
At the end of Day 3 we attended a Google Technology Training. The training “Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map” is designed to help business owners maximize their online presence with insider tips and best practices for online marketing. Here’s an overview about the training and how the program works visit https://www.gybo.com/business. On the business page you will see either “Check My Business” or see a search box with “Does Your Business Info Show Up On Google?” enter your business name and city. Your entry will determine if you already have a business presence on Google Maps. If so your information will populate quickly like Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) did then you will have the ability to edit the information if needed.
If your business does not currently exist on Google Maps you will see “Your Business Isn’t On The Map” then you will have the ability to add your business name and city. Once you have taken these steps you are on your way to enhancing your online presence using Google. In some cities you may have the opportunity to attend a Google Hosted Event designed to help you leverage your business online, create a free website and much more. If you are a business owner and interested in learning how Google can help you grow your business there are a wide array of tools and/or resources available visit Google Apps for Work.
If you are one of the Business Capacity Building Partners such as SCORE, SBDC or one of the Chambers of Commerce there is a program designed for you visit https://www.gybo.com/partners. As a part of this effort your organization will be considered a Google Official City Partner where you will have the ability to help businesses within your area to scale up and maximize their online presence with free resources and hosted workshops using Google tools. As business owners there are a lot of tools and resources available to help us in our businesses ask for a referral in your network or social group.
If you need a consultant to help take you to the next level in your business or need some training on supplier certification programs, building supplier-buyer-prime relationships or on government contracting call us at 1-800-865-0701 or email email@example.com remember these services are designed to help you with your ideal corporate or government partners.
We appreciate you taking the time to connect with us and look forward to connecting with you again soon.
SERIES 2 – DAY 2 NATIONAL PRESS CLUB Morning Sessions
Day 2 morning sessions at the National Press Club. Our day started at 7.a.m and ended at 8 p.m it was power packed, let me tell you all about it. Despite the time zone differences for several of us we were happy and elated to meet so many other business owners throughout the U.S. We met in the foyer of the hotels and waited for the buses that would transport us to our first stop, the National Press Club.
Panel 1: Access to Capital
At the National Press Club John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO, Small Business Majority opened up the morning with a Welcome and Opening Remarks. Panel 1 Access to Capital: The Key to Entrepreneurship and Economic Development facilitated by Amy Cortese, Journalist and Founder, Locavesting Media included Connie Evans, President and CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity; Brayden McCarthy, Head of Policy & Advocacy, Fundera and Catarah Coleman, Co-Owner, Southern Girl Desserts. This panel addressed a concern of Hazel Hector, Founder and Executive Director, Jubilee Mobile Institute, Inc in her letter to me for the Summit, access to capital. Here are some highlights of what was discussed in Panel 1:
For banks small businesses are seen as high cost risk factors
There are about 8,0000 businesses denied daily for funding
Women represent one out of every 23 loans
Women businesses grow slower than men
Women businesses do not seek loans or funding for their businesses
There are several non-traditional funding sources available to small business owners: Kiva and TILT Forward that do not use FICO Scores but other scoring factors; Lending Club (peer-to-peer lending based in San Francisco); RapidAdvance in partnership with SBA and Credit Unions
Additionally, several companies offer business credit cards to help grow your business and some of them offer low interest rates and flexible payment plans
It is in your best interest to seek funding before you need it, than when you need it. If you wait until then you will be susceptible to seek any type of funding presented to you.
Let’s hear from Catarah Coleman, Co-Owner, Southern Girl Desserts as she tells her story about her funding experience:
My partner, Shoneji and I began to seek a small loan in 2012 to cover expenses for our build out as we prepared to open the doors to our mall based bakery. We were denied. Then immediately we were approached by a customer who informed us that we could receive $40,000 within three days with no collateral. We tried it and it worked; it was so easy! That loan we were able to pay back within six months with no problem. Then we decided that we needed some working capital and went to our bank for the loan. We thought that since we had been using some of the small business products that they offered (i.e. payroll) and was depositing an average of $50,000 a month that it would not be a problem getting a loan from them but we found out that this was not enough. Again we were denied by them.
Ironically, we had been receiving several types of literature, emails and phone calls from other lending sources offering us quick cash. Since we had previously been able to pay off our previous loan quickly and the process was easy, we decided to accept one of the several offers that we had received. This offer was accompanied by a broker. The broker allegedly performed the research and provided us the best type of loan for our needs, so we were told. Once again we were able to quickly secure another loan, but then things changed. This loan in particular began to interfere with our cash flow. The payback rate began to defeat the purpose of acquiring working capital in the first place.
Let you tell you why this arrangement was not good for us. There were two loans with a payback rate of 30 and 90 days. Every dollar and cent from the merchant side to the daily ACH withdrawals was drowning us. Shoneji and I were so stressed because I was getting married and we still had to manage payroll. We had to do what it took to stay afloat and still pay back the loans that we had acquired for working capital; which actually did not turn out that way after all. We did not know what to do but one day we received a flyer that changed our lives from Opportunity Fund.
At first glance the flyer from Opportunity Fund seemed the same as the other funding information that we had been receiving but with one caveat upon thoroughly reading their literature I felt that maybe we should give them a call. I don’t know how but I felt that it was worth a shot. “I felt as if Jesus himself was on the other line and my faith was restored! I knew I was on the phone with someone who wanted to help and was going to do their best to do so.” It took about two years, but September 2014, our initial loan with Opportunity Fund helped to save our business, sanity and to bring things back to normal. We found out later that those two loans put us at a 56% interest rate; we would have never been able to get out of that bind at the rate this arrangement had us going.
Shoneji and I will forever to grateful to Opportunity Fund for coming when they did. Now we only have an 8.5% interest rate after Opportunity Fund got all of this funding fiasco cleared up. And none of those other loans show up on our credit report! We knew Opportunity Fund was different because they offered low interest rates, longer terms and Eric and his team had a genuine concern about the financial health of our business, and this is why they are so special to us. We were able to experience a human side of lending.
I advise anyone to ask questions before they sign anything! Make sure that they explain everything clearly and that you truly understand what the pros and cons are of the loan. Don’t feel pressured to accept the loan terms, if they want your business they will make the necessary adjustments. And if they don’t that lender does not have your best interest at heart.
This was one huge learning experience for us. We knew that baking cakes and pies would take us on a journey, well it has and we are better for it. “Be present in all aspects of your business, it could determine your longevity!”
Recently, the Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) was chosen as one of the Nation’s Top 100 Most Pioneering Small Businesses nationwide and received a special invitation to the White House. During my time there I will be leading the charge in giving a voice to disadvantaged and underrepresented business owners in how the White House and the government can better serve you. I would like to take your voices with me. Please send me a letter on your business letterhead and include your contact information and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 30. Email Subject: Small Businesses Speak at the White House.
I am the Founder/Owner, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup), Integrated Business Resource (IBR) Company that has been providing consultation, education and training services in business development and government contracting to both corporate (B2B) and government (B2G) entities and their stakeholders for over thirteen (13) years. I am an industry expert in diversity, certification, inclusion and government contracting. I am sought after for speaking engagements, book signings, as well as consulting, training and education services.
I am a trailblazer as being the only minority woman to pen a technical guide on government contracting,Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting, B.E.S.T. Publishing (A Division of Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup). Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting is a highly anticipated step-by-step guide (aka as the Certification and Supplier Diversity Bible) designed to help business owners whether they are start-ups, growing or mature. Every year the government and corporate entities spend billions on goods and services throughout the U.S. Businesses, especially underrepresented and disadvantaged, miss out on these billions of dollars every year. Don’t be one of them pick up your copy of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps today.
JEGroup clients include Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce (SVBCC); American Express; Scotts Valley Tribal TANF; Richmond Black Chamber of Commerce (RCOC); Richmond Main Street; SCORE; SF Small Business Week; SBA; Examiner.com; On the Move Careers; Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Women’s Initiative; Green For All; Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and Random House.
Come out and celebrate with Vernita Naylor and the Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) on our nomination at the Oakland Indie Awards on May 29.
Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) is an Integrated Business Resource (IBR) Company that provides business development and government contracting education and training services to corporate (B2B) and government (B2G) entities. We provide these services through various means from written articles, training, panels and consulting to motivational speaking. In servicing our clients their stakeholders have been able to obtain the training necessary to build capacity, increase their business revenue, become empowered through education and make improvement in their business infrastructure. We are always looking to partner with government or corporate entities with an interest in providing education and training services for their stakeholders.
We are also advocates for underrepresented and disadvantaged (small, woman, Veteran and minority-owned) businesses where recently we were chosen as one of the top 100 pioneering small businesses nationwide and received a special invitation to the White House. Vernita Naylor will be taking the concerns of these businesses to the White House and give them a voice there. We also help buyers meet their diversity and inclusion goals by connecting them with qualified suppliers. Our services are ideal for growing businesses.