Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gloria Dioum, Founder of Joseph Management Inc., located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a seasoned financial professional, having served in finance leadership for large, highly competitive corporations. While I enjoyed the fast pace, my passion is helping small businesses focus on creating similar winning strategies to achieve profit and gain financial freedom to thrive.

I have observed that the overwhelming majority of small businesses that closed their doors during the pandemic did so within the first few weeks because of insufficient reserves and limited access to capital. My client portfolio of businesses is in the service industry with a significant portion of women.

Tell us about yourself

I spent over twenty years in corporate America, where I was privileged to learn from some of the best financial minds and learned to find opportunities in the details. I always had this nagging sense, a feeling of being unfulfilled. When the pandemic hit, I, like many Americans, began to re-evaluate my personal and professional priorities and took the opportunity to strike out on my own and follow my passion.

I will readily admit that there was little to no motivation to go back to the corporate world, particularly after listening to heart-breaking stories of small businesses failing. For the first time in my life, I felt that I had an opportunity to make a difference, even if it was just one small business at a time. I have found there are many consultants offering guidance targeting revenue metrics, but they lack sufficient emphasis on scaling and becoming profitable. I believe there are far too many businesses out there with significant revenues but are not profitable. This is detrimental in a downturn economy, as we have seen.

Now I am motivated by the prospect of listening to business owners describe their dreams, and articulate their challenges, and we map a path toward security together. I am energized by helping guide small business owners to implement simple steps to realize greater profitability. When they begin to see a path that includes compensation and saving for retirement, it inspires hope in them and satisfaction for me in a job well done.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my clients was living her dream of owning a business, but after five grueling years of taking losses, she was about to give up. We had a very emotional conversation to decide if her dream could be salvaged. Her husband had given her an ultimatum and was "done" funding her business. Yet, this was more than her dream job; it was her passion.

Despite being lost and overwhelmed, she still had hope. Working through her specific situation and pulling together a workable plan became a catalyst for positive change and profitability. Because she was willing to do the hard work, I was able to help her focus on taking steps that would be meaningful to achieving her goals. I recommended a system to focus only on the profitable product lines, re-evaluate margins before making an offer, increase prices and reduce a great deal of the overhead and unproductive consultants.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

We often wear too many hats and are not disciplined in managing limited budgets and tasks that are outside of our comfort zones. We forget to lean into the experience and foresight of fellow service professionals.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get a mentor, ask lots of questions, and do carve out time to do your research.
  2. Understand your financials and always carefully manage your cash flow. In addition, establish a nice reserve account to keep your business running when unexpected situations arise.
  3. Are you filling a need, or are you really pursuing a hobby? Having a frank discussion on this subject can save you time, money, and frustration.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You are perfect in so many ways, but no one has all the answers. Do not be afraid to make a few mistakes. If you're doing your research, consulting with a mentor, and objectively assessing your opportunity, you are already mitigating risk. Wisdom comes from experience, and sometimes the best lessons come from making mistakes. Even what looks like failure can open the door to greater opportunity.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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