Women have historically struggled to have a professional career or own a business. Of all women who want to have a professional career or own a business with professional level income, minority women have had the most challenges. Most of us know some very famous women of minority, such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Lopez, or Connie Chung. But there are a growing number of minority women in professional careers, and owning their own successful business.
Richelle Shaw is one of these successful minority women. She was the only African American woman to own a public utility in the nation, and built it up to a multi-million dollar company. Then in the 911 event, her business was destroyed. In less than a year, she built it up to a multi-million dollar company again.
How did she build up her business so successfully? She learned from and avoided the most common mistakes in business. These are:
1) Lack of focus in critical areas (be aware of your business, customers, and time),
2) Taking any and all customers (be decisive and target a market),
3) No documented system for your business (Have a system for recording hourly wages, sales, referrals, and follow ups),
4) Using your website as a big business card (Use your website to generate revenue), and
5) Forgetting to properly thank customers (Show appreciation to your patrons).
These lessons to avoid and other lessons to follow are discussed in her book, “How to Build a Million Dollar Business in Las Vegas, Without the Casinos”
I had the fortune to hear her speak not just once, but twice, and she not only is definitely worth listening to and learning from, she is also a big inspiration to all women who want to be professional or who want to own their own business, minority women or not.