June 17, 2014, Houston, Texas During last week’s East End Chamber of Commerce Port of Houston Appreciation Luncheon and Business Expo, Roger Guenther announced exciting news for businesses in our region. He and experts stated that Houston is on a trajectory of growth that will send shock waves across the region as we prepare for massive expansion. Guenther delivered a compelling presentation on how the area is expanding to prepare for 2015 and the Post Panamex Ships. Starting now and for the next 3-5 years, $200 Billion in industrial and manufacturing projects will hit our region from Corpus Christi, TX to Pensacola, FL. Over $70B of that will be in Houston alone. Guenther stated that every industry will be affected by this growth; specifically, distribution, construction, manufacturing, maritime, maintenance, environmental, legal, service companies and even auto dealers.
Guenther stated, “The Eagle Ford Shale didn’t exist 5 years ago” as he demonstrated the stream of lights across the Southern Texas Coastal Region from a satellite photo. He stated that our area will continue to be impacted for many years to come and it is happening very quickly. In fact, our energy sector is thriving, The Medical Center has an exciting new leader, new focus and new partners, and our economy is on the brink of a boom.
As the Houston market is flooded with these new project opportunities, small and minority firms in particular will find it difficult to keep up with the demand to expand rapidly. Out of the 4,000+ minority firms in Houston, very few will be awarded these projects even though they are designated to participate. Most firms are not ready for expansion and aren't sure how to position their company for profitability and growth so they can take on more projects.
In addition, after interviewing several small business owners, they are especially finding it difficult to get the funding they need from banks. One businessman stated, “After 22 years in business, the banks treat me like this is my first year of business. They are not working with me and they are giving me the run around. In fact, I had to turn down two new projects just last week because I don’t have the funds to support them.” Another prominent Houston business man of 30 years had a similar story. He said, “I have always self-funded my businesses over the last 30 years. For the first time in my company history, I faced a unique challenge. We won 10 out of 12 proposals but none of them actually started because of bureaucratic delays and I found myself in a position that I could not have predicted. I needed cash. The banks gave me the run around for months, I gave them everything they asked for and there was no reason they shouldn’t have funded us until these projects started. It’s shameful what banks are doing to small businesses when they need them most. We provide jobs, support our community and we are the heart of the Houston economy.”
Unfortunately, getting access to working capital is just one of the key issues facing small business owners. There are 8 major impact areas for companies in all industries today. They are:
- No sustainability and scalable plans in place
- Poor leadership and communication strategies to build a strong company
- No strategy to find and keep talent during labor shortages
- Lack of profitability, capital and/or cash flow for growth and expansion
- Little to no differentiating factors that set them apart from competitors
- Have not changed their marketing, sales and brand strategy to address new market challenges
- Lacks vision and strategic planning capabilities
- Non-existent or poor implementation and accountability plans
Fortunately, for those who are seeking solutions, there are people that are working hard to help these businesses and the challenges they face right here in the Houston and Dallas area. GrowthSmart Consulting and Leadership Gold partnered recently to create a 2-day Small Business Strategic Retreat. The course is called ProfitGOLD™. It’s going to be held on July 10th-11th at Crowne Plaza, NW Brookhollow, Hwy 290. Business Strategists, Trisha Ahlman and Jerel Benjamin are known for designing business training that helps organizations overcome a variety of business issues. They have been working in Houston for over 10 years to help business owners and executives prepare for profitability, sustainability and growth. During this 2-day event participants will take a step back to work ON their business - something most small businesses rarely do if at all. They will prepare a one-page strategic plan then they are assigned a coach for one year to make sure they work the plan and are able to make course corrections as needed. This event couldn't have come at a better time to make a huge impact for serious businesses that choose to actively manage their business results.
If you would like to learn more about this event, you can go to www.ProfitGoldEvents.com or call Megan Jones to inquire at: 877-891-2176.