Business leadership points for small minority owned business

Paul-Wiggins

Small minority owned businesses’ success is determined, in part, by understanding and applying the following business leadership points.

Essentially, when a business owner understands who he or she is as a business person, what his or her business is, what the business market is, and what this market needs from the business, then this owner is on the way to enjoying immense success as a business leader.

First, the business owner must make certain he or she understands the industry of business in which he or she is operating. Many business owners spend a lot of painful time figuring out what business they are truly in.

Understanding the overall project or job at hand is the initial step. The business owner also must know how to bid the project or job, schedule phasing by workload, develop cash flow plans with an integrated time and expense accounting system, design an inventory management system, and create a safety plan. Of crucial importance is retaining accountants, attorneys and other professionals to assist as the business is built.

Second, the business owner must match his or her vision of the business with the industry market of which the business is part. There must be a match between the business owner’s vision of himself or herself and the business in which the owner is engaged.

There also must be an alignment of the business owner, the business he or she is operating, and the industry in which the business operates. New business owners often discover that to be successful among the first things needing change is the manner in which the business owner conducts business. Processes and procedures developed, based upon assumptions made, must be adapted to the reality of the business being operated and the industry in which it operates.

Third, the business owner must build the business’s appeal to its market and the business’s brand. Both of these tasks require appreciating the complexities of the market and identifying that for which the market is looking.

Fourth, the business owner must recognize that business drives operations. Among the potentially lucrative sources of business for small minority owned companies are large businesses (often defined as having more than 500 employees). Understanding what large businesses are and how they operate is essential.

Fifth, a small minority owned company also must be prepared to demonstrate that it can handle the business – the project – the job the large business needs completed to positively impact the large business’s bottom line.

Sixth, accountability is a key component of business leadership. The business owner must hold himself or herself, and the business, accountable for the responsibility that has been given.

Seventh, the business owner must focus on being able to bill for goods and/or services delivered and collecting the dollars earned. This is crucial to realizing the promises embedded in the business plan, i.e., smooth cash flow. Smooth and adequate cash flow is a hallmark of a successful business, and cannot be accomplished without billing and collecting.

Eighth, owning and operating a business is not for the faint of heart. A business leader is able to weigh and balance emotion when making decisions. Unmasking the root of feelings allows the business owner to see more clearly why the decision is being made, resulting in improved decision making.

Ninth, the business owner must be persistent, consistent, hard working and creative. Every day, goods and/or services must be delivered at the highest professional level possible. Everyone in the company, and all of the company’s clients, benefit when the best quality is delivered.

And, finally tenth, a small minority business owner should develop his or her techniques of leadership, practice these techniques, and refine them. This is the true beginning of being a business leader.

Publisher’s Note: Based in Dallas, Texas, Paul Wiggins is a former NFL offensive lineman, playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. He currently serves as the CEO of Golden Ratio Management Corporation, and is a member of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Minority Contractors, and the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association. Mr. Wiggins serves as an executive level coach and works with minority-owned businesses that are looking to advance leadership within their organizations.

By Paul Wiggins
Jackson Advocate Contributing Writer