Jozelle Luster Booker, President and CEO of the Mid-South Minority Business Continuum
You (yes, you!) could help create community wealth today and become a history maker of tomorrow.
Jozelle Luster Booker, President and CEO of the MMBC Continuum, says the first step is to research your industry and determine opportunities for business growth. From there, she says, clearly communicate your product or service offerings, understand the vendor and supplier requirements for your industry, and have a customer service and communications plan. Hint, hint … we create communications plans.
And after you’ve decided what and how, a recent report in Black Enterprise Magazinesuggests Memphis is the right spot to set up shop!
Sisters Madison and Mallory recently pitched their company on "Shark Tank" and landed a business deal. (Photo courtesy of Angels and Tomboys on Facebook)
Not only did Memphis sisters Madison Boyd, 12, and Mallory Boyd, 10, develop their own business — a body care company for tweens and teens — they also recently pitched their company and landed a business deal on reality TV show “Shark Tank.”
After realizing there weren’t any body products for girls their age, the sisters created Angels and Tomboys, which offers lotions and body sprays in signature scents like Cotton Candied Apples and Lemonade Doughnuts.
The kidpreneurs donate a portion of proceeds to nonprofits that support young girls. Their tagline? “Love being a girl … because all girls are created uniquely different.”
The Fruition Complex rents space to entrepreneurs. (Photo courtesy of R. Hameth Photography and The Fruition Complex)
When starting their own businesses, Miranda Clark and Denise Greene experienced the challenge of overhead costs. Together they developed a solution: The Fruition Complex.
The Fruition Complex is a women-centric office space, although men are also welcome. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can rent cubicles, conference rooms, offices and forward their phones to TFC’s administrator.
“Overhead can be so expensive,” Clark said. “We decided to spread the wealth and create something that provided not only the space, but also resources and development tools like networking events and speakers.”
Need an office space for your small business? Learn more here.
RISE Foundation program participant Allison Conley practiced her business pitch for her custom-made jewelry design startup. (Photo courtesy of RISE Foundation)
Allison Conley had no idea that attending a local workshop would be the catalyst for transforming her custom jewelry making hobby into a small business.
She is one of many RISE Foundation participants who have received support starting a microenterprise. RISE’s matched-savings program, Save Up, helps low-wage earners better manage their income. Participants work toward purchasing assets, such as homes, or establishing microenterprises.
Storytelling blended with art inspires Allison’s unique designs. She often personalizes her creations with materials that have special meaning. She said she expects to reach her savings goal and launch her business in 2019.
Fidelity Bank recently launched P.O.W.E.R. (Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized), a program designed to spur revenue growth of its women-owned business clients.
According to American Express’ State of Women Owned Business Report, women business owners are starting companies five times the national average rate. There are over 11 million women-owned businesses in the country.
“Women business owners are changing the landscape and we want to support them by providing a platform that provides tools and opportunities to connect and network with other like-minded women.” said Katie Crosby, Chairman of the Board. Learn more about the program here.
While plans may need to be adjusted, the vision for your company shouldn't change.
I’ve worked with entrepreneurs a long time. One was an Army Ranger in Vietnam, another was a motorcyclist with a ponytail. Despite stylistic differences, successful entrepreneurs always have a vision and a plan.
Vision is a look far down the road to what one’s company can become. A plan is a map for continuing down that road. Each is essential. Plans detail the steps that move a company forward, but as General Eisenhower said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Plans change as circumstances dictate.
The entrepreneur’s vision never changes so that the strategic destination is always clear.
As Facebook changes its algorithm again, there are tips you need to know to ensure your audience still sees posts from your business pages.
Start a page, build a following and promote for free. That was the old Facebook. Change is now here.
Facebook announced that unpaid content from businesses and brands is basically being moved out of your news feed to make room for more posts from friends and family. No biggie for many, but for folks like us who promote services and the next big thing in Memphis, this tip is for you!
Keep building your following, but ask your audience to adjust their settings to prioritize your posts. And for a bigger boost, add Facebook ads to your 2018 marketing budget.
Latino Memphis' executive director, Mauricio Calvo, will be honored Jan.11 at the PRSA luncheon.
Mauricio Calvo, who has served as the executive director of nonprofit Latino Memphis for the past ten years, has been named Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America’s Memphis Chapter.
The award honors a member of the community who excels in communicating with the public, is well respected in the community and invests their time and talent communicating a specific message.
Calvo will be honored during the PRSA monthly luncheon, held today at the University Club. Latino Memphis helps our city’s Latino residents gain the opportunities needed to become engaged and active participants in our community.
Memphians Kenya Adjekum Bradshaw and Rochelle Griffin are the creators of Gift Wraps. (Photo courtesy of Gift Wraps website)
Looking for a way to making a mundane outfit pop? Memphians and co-owners Kenya Adjekum Bradshaw and Rochelle Griffin paired purpose with style to create Gift Wraps for women.
Gift Wraps wrap your gift — a “treasure without payment, or a natural ability or talent” — in vibrant colors and fabrics imported from Ghana. Gift Wraps also feature handmade accessories, including statement jewelry and accents like handkerchiefs and neckties.
Since its debut this year, Gift Wraps have been featured in the Harlem Fashion Row’s 10th anniversary event, a New York City-based fashion company and Naturals in the City Hair Expo.
Writer Megan Mottley parlayed her passion for baking into a successful business. (Photo courtesy of Goodness Gracious Cookies)
Have you ever had a hobby you thought just might work as a business? Megan Mottley was once a professional writer who simply enjoyed baking and giving cookies to her friends and family.
Goodness Gracious Cookies, Inc. was launched when Mottley’s teen daughter needed to raise $3,500 in three months to go on a mission trip to Japan. “After a few social media posts, we raised over $5,000 in less than eight weeks,” Mottley said.
Two years later, the company serves corporate clients such as Nike and FedEx and is participating in its first holiday pop-up shop.
Be Free Revolution offers minimalist necklaces, bracelets and earrings, all handmade by refugees. (Photo courtesy of Be Free Revolution)
Looking for a gift that gives back? Be Free Revolution is a great pick for anyone who loves jewelry.
After meeting abused and starving kids in Kenya, Be Free Revolution founders tackled the root of the problem and have since transformed hundreds of lives. You can contribute by purchasing the beautiful, unique jewelry, which is made by women in Kenya and refugees right here in Memphis.
The handmade baubles not only contribute to employment, but provide meals for kids at Wings of Life in Kibera Slum. Go ahead, peruse for perfect gifts. Don’t forget to purchase a piece for yourself!
Leadership Memphis is being honored by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.
Leadership Memphis has earned the Commitment Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program, administered by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.
TNCPE, Tennessee’s only statewide quality program, is patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program — the national standard for recognizing role-model performance through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. TNCPE recognizes high-performing organizations that demonstrate continuous improvement and role-model processes. This year, TNCPE has named 31 organizations as 2017 Award winners that represent outstanding achievement.
Leadership Memphis will accept the award at the 25th Annual Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet, scheduled for February 21, 2018.
Will self-driving cars make road signs obsolete? More businesses become obsolete every year, but there are ways they can defend themselves against obsolescence.
Sir Francis Bacon is credited with the aphorism, “Knowledge is power.”
Business professors once cited buggy whip makers to explain technological obsolescence. Today, one need only explore a smartphone for examples. Makers of cameras, calculators, atlases and restaurant guidebooks have joined those whip makers.
The New York Times speculates that self-driving cars will eliminate the need for traffic lights and road signs. The only defense against obsolescence is thorough training and continuing education across entire organizations. Managers must endorse this and listen to ideas that come from it.
Today, Sir Francis might rephrase his advice, “Relevant knowledge is power.”
Twenty-eight women who’ve achieved their goals against all odds.
“Women Who Won” by Bill Ellis is an invaluable compendium of inspiring and motivating examples of achievement.
Profiling 28 women from around the world – some of whom are icons and others who will be new to readers – this book brings compelling and intriguing people to life. Every story delivers profound insights for us to learn from and apply in our lives – no matter our gender.
A book that can be read from cover to cover in one go, or savoured story by story, “Women Who Won” is for those wanting to live their best life and achieve their greatest dream.
To increase employee engagement, leadership needs to demonstrate its values.
According to Gallup, 70% of employees at U.S. companies feel disengaged.
One reason: many feel senior executives are out of touch with their employees. To increase engagement, employees need to believe in their employers’ stated values. It’s not an issue of whether employees know and understand their stated values, it’s that they don’t see those values being demonstrated.
It’s possible to measure the level of disengagement at your organization and dig deeper to identify sources and develop a plan to address those sources. When employees are fully engaged, they are motivated, committed and passionate in everything they do.
A call center at the FedEx Institute of Technology will employ about 20 University of Memphis students. (Photo courtesy of University of Memphis)
In an effort to reduce financial pressure on students and improve retention and graduation rates, the University of Memphis has launched a new initiative with FedEx.
The university’s Research Foundation has a wholly owned subsidiary called UMRF Ventures, Inc. Student employees at a new support center handle calls from FedEx team members, including first-level technical support, such as phone configuration, basic application and computing device troubleshooting.
The call center, in the university’s FedEx Institute of Technology, employs about 20 students 365 days a year. UMRF Ventures plans to create 500 on-campus employment opportunities for University of Memphis students.
In September, the Memphis-based business shipped 25,000 handcrafted, luxury chocolates — weighing 1,000 pounds — overnight from Memphis to Los Angeles, just days before the Golden Grandeur-themed event. It took Phillip Ashley more than two weeks to prepare the chocolates for the ball.
Founded in 2012 in the heart of the city’s Cooper-Young neighborhood, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, which has been praised by everyone from Vogue to Forbes Magazine, handcrafts designer chocolates in small batches, sourcing fine ingredients from all over the world.
Fireside Amber Ale will soon be available in cans. (Photo courtesy of Memphis Made Brewing Co. on Facebook/Brandon Dill)
You’ll soon be able to enjoy a favorite Memphis craft beer at home.
Memphis Made Brewing Company announced it will begin canning its beer year-round to sell in local stores. The company will brew its popular Fireside Amber Ale, which will soon be available in 12-ounce cans. They’ve canned beer before, but this is the first time it will be sold permanently.
Memphis Made Brewing Company is a small, independent brewery located in the heart of the city’s Cooper-Young neighborhood. The company produces three year-round beers and also makes plenty of seasonal and limited-run brews.
Crises can arise at any time and through no fault of your own. Protecting your personal brand is always at the center of good crisis planning.
As long as we rely on technology, we leave ourselves open to threats, including the most recent data breach at Equifax that potentially affects nearly 150 million people. We receive phishing emails regularly, and every time you swipe a credit card, you open the door to disaster.
There are resources available outlining the proper steps to mitigate these potential crises as to not affect you, your family or your business for years to come.
Sushirito and kimchi fries from Sushi Jimmi's new restaurant (Photo courtesy of Amelia Ables)
We’re noticing a trend: Some of our favorite food trucks are opening brick-and-mortar stores. Hello, best of both worlds!
It makes sense for restaurateurs to start out on wheels. There’s less risk and overhead while building their brands. We first became fans of local favorite Sushi Jimmi when it was solely mobile. Now, we can dine at the permanent location or track down the truck. It’s awesome because we love options.
It’s inspiring to see some of our favorite trucks expand to restaurants and keep their wheels, serving as a reminder of how businesses can grow in Memphis.
Generation Z makes up one-fourth of the U.S. population. Its oldest members are now in their early 20s.
Unlike millennials, Generation Z (born after 1995) grew up in uncertain times, so they have different priorities. This is important for employers to know, because members of Generation Z are now seeking their first jobs.
Three things to know about Generation Z employees:
– They like to communicate via social media. Post jobs via their preferred platforms: YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.
– Company culture is important to them, so show you care about your employees.
– They seek stability. Discuss long-term career opportunities, even if it’s a part-time job.
Disruption is a threat in today's business environment, which puts the ability to think strategically at a higher premium.
Much like sports teams cycling through head coaches, companies often seem to constantly be changing CEOs.
The reason for this revolving door? Lack of strategic capacity. Oftentimes people move up the corporate ladder based on achieving certain business metrics – such as sales or profitability – yet many lack the ability to think strategically and make good judgments when it comes to solving complex problems.
Organizations can address this by placing greater emphasis on measuring an individual’s capacity to think strategically and the person’s ability to not only create a vision for an organization, but to communicate that vision throughout the organization.
A Memphis MMA promoter hopes to unlock the best in Mid-South children.
World Boxing promoter Sam Watson was honored by the city, county and state Thursday, which is now recognized as Sam Watson Day in the Bluff City. Between promoting the recent Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor fight, World Boxing promoter Sam Watson got a key to the city from Mayor Jim Strickland.
Watson is also partnering with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to give children an outlet for energy that otherwise could result in negative outcomes and life choices. He also hopes to bring more boxing to FedExForum.
Once you’ve identified your personal brand, you are ready to market yourself in an authentic, not braggadocious, way. This self-promotion showcases your expertise. It is said that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Marketing yourself creates that luck.
How? Become an expert. Build your network. Engage in social media. Learn to communicate. Make your personal appearance congruent with your brand. Recognize opportunities to strengthen your brand. Be generous with your talents. Volunteer. Ask for help. Be remarkable. Your brand is your highest priority, your essence. It’s the foundation upon which you will build your professional career and personal existence.
This is part three of a three-part video series on personal branding. We hope you enjoyed!
From social media rants to negative reviews, consumers often exercise their power to call out poor service. But what happens when a business gets it right? Do you tweet about a kind word from a server or a mechanic’s extra effort?