I didn’t need to have all the answers; I just needed to know the right people who already had the answers and then implement what they knew. The problem was that I didn’t know the right people. One person I did know was my business coach, Alleah Clarke, who had a consultation session with me the next day to talk about how we could continue to grow our business. At one point, she mentioned the company “ACRA” and it immediately rang a bell. That’s the same name that I saw just the day before! I told her that they were the main partners for the International Car Rental Show. Once she learned that I knew about the conference, she was thrilled, because she recognized how perfect of an opportunity this would be for me to get the answers that I was seeking.
Then I made the worst (best) mistake that I could’ve made… I told her that I didn’t plan on going. That set off a ticking time bomb in her soul apparently, because for the next 30 minutes, I got an earful of reasons why I was downright insane for not having already booked the ticket. “That operations manager must be worth a whole lot if you’re willing to miss the biggest opportunity to network with hundreds of connections who have all the answers you’ve been looking for,” she said.
That was the push I needed.
99.9% of all businesses in the U.S. qualifying as small businesses and yet 34% of them are still closed due to COVID-19. How can they break past this statistic and stay afloat?
The key may be to structuring their businesses properly and increasing fundability, and that’s where Alleah Erica Clarke comes in. As a business strategist and managing consultant at AJ Cultured, Alleah Erica Clarke is an active proponent of creating businesses that are built to last. Last year’s pandemic fueled her desire to empower small business owners when she heard that over 40% of black-owned businesses closed and learned the top challenges they face are that they lack a lot of the necessary resources to stay afloat.
“We all know we can work hard, but do we have the business structure that we can tap into when we need to?” Clarke goes on to say, “Unfortunately many small businesses were unable to take advantage of the PPE loans and other programs that could have sustained them in 2020. We help establish that type of business structure so businesses of any size can access capital quickly.”
Communication is key. However, most think verbal is the most important. When developing the foundation of a strong and supportive birthing space, communication on all levels must be practiced as much as verbal exchanges throughout the gestational period. The deeper connections we have with our partners are built with building blocks of non-verbal, verbal, emotional, mental, and physical languages.