Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with the Owner of Risha Grant, LLC., based in Tulsa, OK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have a speaking, training, and consulting business. My typical customers range from Fortune 100 and 500 companies to small organizations that want to adopt a more inclusive culture and help their employees get rid of their BS by identifying, owning, and confronting their unconscious bias.
Tell us about yourself
I started the first diversity communications firm in the State of Oklahoma. We were a communications and marketing firm that helped companies to reach diverse markets. We have now morphed into a company that helps other companies and their employees to shift their company culture by being better than their BS through understanding unconscious bias and rooting out systemic racism.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is knowing that I'm helping people to see the world differently and to be self-aware of their biases and how those biases show up in their behavior. Also, it has been a long-time goal to grow my business globally, and I (along with my awesome team) have done that as well.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it depends on where you are in the entrepreneurship journey. In the beginning, it was access to capital. That was a long, arduous issue that threatened to end my business month after month. Then, it was selling a service that people didn't know they needed. I've been in business for 25 years, so diversity, equity, and inclusion weren't hot topics for most of those years.
I had to educate companies on why it was needed, and most of the time, I was only called in when lawsuits were happening. At this point, it's scaling my business. We are consistently hitting the seven-figure mark, but we have to keep growing and adding additional revenue streams.
It doesn't matter where you are in the process. There is always a challenge of sorts. It's just that the longer you go through those challenges. You know that you will find an answer eventually.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Firstly, thoroughly understand the business you want to get into. Understand your competitors, your potential clients or customers, and how your business will be a solution for their pain points.
Secondly, learn basic marketing and take a financial class. You can have the best product in the world, but if you don't know how to market it, it will never be seen or utilized. If you actually begin selling your product or service but don't understand how finances work, you will lose money as fast as you can make it.
Thirdly, remember that your business is not about you. It's about how you will solve pain points for your clients and customers. Everything you do should have that in mind if you are solving a problem. It's a product that someone needs.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurship is hard! There are peaks and valleys. Ride the peaks but plan for the valleys. Also, at times (many times), it will look as if all is lost and that you can't go on. No matter what it looks like, keep going. The universe will meet you where you are.
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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