Minority Business Conference
Recently, I attended the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC) event. The Minority Business Opportunity Day Conference was held at the Pasadena Convention Center.
The conference connects corporate members with minority business entrepreneurs. Their corporate members include companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson.
*Full Disclosure – I was invited to attend the Minority Business Opportunity Day Conference in Pasadena, California, but all opinions will remain my own!*
The SCMSDC is a regional council of the larger organization the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. The organization has over 24 affiliate regional councils across the United States and offer business owners access to corporate members.
Here are some of the highlights of the Minority Business Opportunity Day Conference.
The welcome breakfast began with The Honorable Mayor Terry Tornek. After welcoming the members and attendees he gave a brief history of the City Of Pasadena. *Fun fact (according to the Los Angeles Times) there are more restaurants per capita in the City Of Pasadena than in New York City.
Mayor Terry Tornek than introduced the keynote speaker Charmaine McClaire. Charmaine McClaire is a senior executive coach whose value statement (more on that in a moment) includes: “98% of her clients are given more responsibilities within 18 months of her coaching sessions.”
She began the keynote address discussing how to communicate your value, and brand as a business. Here are the three (A’s) takeaways that she wanted every business owners in attendance to demonstrate:
Access: We were allowed access to other business who were in attendance. Maximize the opportunity and network with everyone in attendance.
Agile: Businesses need to be able to be flexible, and willing to change.
Alive: Businesses that are successful are alive. They show up in a big, bad and bold way.
Next, she told us a story about perceptions, she suggested that it’s not what you say, but how you’re heard. She went over her key factors of Executive Success Principles.
The key (ESP) factors include but not limited to:
Speak in headlines
She suggested that we read the newspaper every day and write down what headlines stand out. Ask yourself why did those headlines stand out and how you can create similar headlines that align with your business.
The three must-make points are:
- Why should I listen?
- What’s in it for me?
- What do you want me to do about it?
Who is speaking for you when you’re not in the room? Whoever you meet and discuss your business services may not be able to help you with your B2B, however, they are able to tell others they meet about your business and your brand.
Don’t audition for the part
Own your narrative, be able to clearly state: who you’re, what you bring to the table, and what do you want your audience to know.
Perception vs Reality
In business interactions, there’s the perceived perception that you believe you’re portraying to your clients, employees, and peers and then there’s the reality. The three main takeaways to recognize:
- What image do you have of yourself? Use a list of adjectives to describe yourself and your business.
- What image do others have of you in the workplace?
- What image do you want others to have of you?
Business Tip: Create value statements that can be expressed in sixty seconds. Additionally, you should be able to shift your value statement depending on your audience. The value statement should not include your job title, but what do you bring to the table and if possible statistics of recent accomplishments.
The last take away from Charmaine McClaire keynote address was what you should you do before you make a business call. Her tips include:
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart
- Take deep breaths. As you exhale let out a deep sigh. This will calm you and lower your voice to take out any nervousness.
- Leave A Message.
Within your message, you should include your name, 3 must-makes points, and your value statement.
If you would like to find out more information about Charmaine McClaire check out her website at McClarie Group
Next, on the agenda attendees participated in the exhibitor fair. The exhibitor fair provided minority business owners access to meet with corporate sponsored members.
There were several companies who were on the exhibition floor. One of the programs that I would like to highlight is the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative. Their mission “To Unlock Economic Growth and Job-Creation for small businesses, across the United States.
There are two locations in California that are delivered at the Long Beach City College and the Los Angeles City College. The programs help businesses to grow by providing business deductions, financial capital, and business support services.
Overview of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative:
- The scholarship covers tuition/ program materials
- Develop a personalized business plan
- Graduates have access to local and national members and receive further support for their future business endeavors.
Top 5 Reasons To Apply To The Program (pamphlet provided material)
- You’ll learn from experts in business courses that cover contract negotiations, finance, and people management skills.
- You’ll invest in yourself.
- You’ll get customized business assistance.
- You’ll make connections
- You’ll be poised to grow your business.
3 Month Program Syllabus includes:
Orientation and Module 1: You and Your Business
Module 2: Growth Opportunities
Module 3: Money and metrics
Module 4: In this module, you will obtain a path to become a strategic and effective leader in your business.
Module 5:: This course covers the decision-making skills of hiring, developing and retaining talented individuals to expand your business.
Module 6: Marketing and selling
Module 7: Operation and processes
Module 8: Being Bankable. Gain access to local bankers and financial service providers. Discuss ways to obtain capital for your business.
Module 9A: Action for Growth, Part 1
Module 9B: Action for Growth, Part II. Receive feedback from advisors and class participants on your completed business plans.
To find out more information on the small business requirements and how to apply to the Goldman Sachs program check out their website at www.socal10KSB.com or call (888) 99-10KSB.
Additional, booths I visited were the Asian Business Association. I learned about the organization has been in business for over forty-two years and their main objectives are:
Asian Business Association
Pros of joining the association according to the ABA’s pamphlet:
- Connects business owners with other business owners to internetwork with each other to serve each businesses needs and services.
- Inform small business of programs that offer assistance to small business owners.
- To promote workshops, events, and mixers to improve business success.
- Attend workshops that cover key business skills to effectively grow your business.
- The association advocates for California businesses at the state level.
The next organization that I would like to highlight is one geared specifically towards women entrepreneurs.
National Association Of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
The organization empowers women to utilize their network of women business owners to help you succeed in business development.
Pros of joining the National Association Women Business Owners
- Thy power your business, lifestyle, and community.
- They foster connections with other women business owners
- Learning sessions provided through webinars, development training and so much more.
- Access to resources and connections to assist you with the implantation of your business growth.
Later the conference reconvened for lunch and we listened to the afternoon keynote address given by Neal Sales-Griffin. Mr. Griffin is the CEO of CodeNow and is a candidate to be the next Mayor of Chicago. He discussed his experience as an entrepreneur and asked business owners to answer the question: “Who am I in the best position to serve and what can I offer right now?”
To find out more about CodeNow check out their website at https://medium.com/codenow or follow Mr. Griffin on Twitter @nealsales
Overall, the event was very well organized and encouraging emerging and existing business owners. I would like to thank the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council staff and volunteers for extending an invitation and allowing me to attend the conference.
If you would like more information about SCMSDC and the conference check out their website here.
If you like this blog post check out similar business scene posts about Small Business Interview: Brandon Walcutt, Kohsi Design Centre, and Path To Obtaining A Startup Visa In South Korea.
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