1.Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S Source: WBENC
2. Women - led technology companies are more capital efficient Source: TechCrunch
3. Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 58%. Source: WBENC
4. According to the SCORE report, Women are slightly more likely to start a business than men. Source: WBENC
5. Local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail. Source: Advocate Printing
6. 60 to 80% of all new jobs come from small businesses. Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
7. If every family in the U.S spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy. Source: Advocate Printing
8. 22% of African-American small business owners are millennials, nearly twice as many than the 12% of millennial small business owners in the general population. Source: SCORE
9. Immigrants make up 12.5% of small business owners nationwide. Source: Business insider
10. Only 50% of businesses survive five years -- through most (70%) hit the two-year mark. Source: Business Insider
RED Development Group is a business incubator focused on building foundations, disrupting markets and creating sustainability in women-led organizations.
RED assists business leaders with generating the systems and processes necessary for explosive growth by asking the critical questions to help businesses not just survive but to create lasting legacies in their communities.
Greg “GW” Washington is RED Development Group’s new VP of Global Relationships. Greg brings many skills to the RED family, in fact, one of his passions is in his title: relationships.
His recent experience in the auto industry highlights what an amazing relationship builder and connector he is.
“I bring a lot of experience in sales and building relationships,” Greg said. “The auto industry is traditionally based on transactional sales, but I’ve turned it more into relationship building. Generation sales. I build the relationship so well that people come back generation after generation.”
Now, at RED, he is continuing to use his relationships-first approach.
“RED has a hands-on approach to everything,” Greg said. “It’s not ‘click the product and let us know what you think.’ It’s not really selling a product, either. It is the beginning of a partnership. You have to the work is equally shared between us and [the client]. We aren’t going to do the work for you, we work together. ”
Since joining the RED team, Greg has already begun to build relationships show his greatness. One thing that he attributes to his greatness and efficiency is rhythm.
“Everything I do is a rhythm,” Greg said. “Certain things have to be in certain spots. It doesn’t feel like it is work, because it is so quick. If everything is just scattered about I find myself spending more time searching for things.”
Greg said his rhythm starts when he gets up early in the morning.
“You can control how you wake up and shut down,” Greg continued. “The middle you can’t control because it’s different every day. For me, everything starts with just waking up in the morning. We are so blessed to wake up every morning.”
Greg’s optimistic outlook on life also translates to his relationships, especially with passionate and excited people.
“My favorite part is the passion of people I talk to at the chambers,” Greg said. “Their passion to want to help people and how genuine it is. You don’t see that a lot. Most people think with their wallets. They love what they do they just have to get paid for what they love. That’s what I like the most.”
Greg said one key to building strong relationships is to have confidence.
“Look for beauty within. People feed off your confidence. They look past what they see physically. Stop looking at ourself as a physical being and see the beauty inside.”
The people around Greg and the relationships he build have a deep impact in his life.
“You have to make changes to produce a different outcome so the word can see your greatness,” Greg said. “The people you are around you become. Change the group that you are in. Put yourself around people who are aspiring to get there with you. Because it’s good energy.”
So Greg surrounds himself with people who are great and who strive to make an impact on the world.
“It’s not about money. It’s about doing a service to people. Helping others. What can I do to impact somebody’s life?”
95% of small businesses fail within the first five years, many because of a lack of business knowledge.
It takes determination and skill to start a business, and even more to run one. That’s why, at RED, we promote being a lifelong learner. One of the most accessible ways to do that is to read.
There are plenty of books out there but, as business coaches and entrepreneurs, we think every CEO should read these three.
1. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie What does success mean to you? As leaders, we often focus on building relationships externally. Whether that is with clients, other entrepreneurs or potential connections. We all-too-often forget about the internal relationships you need to manage at the same time.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie takes a deep look at the influence relationships have on your success and life as a whole. This award-winning book explores multiple pragmatic topics from how to make people like you to the “secret” of success.
We recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People because it
2. Visoneering by Andy Stanley
In this book, Andy Stanley discusses, as you might have guessed, vision. But he goes far beyond the basics.
Visioneering helps you to understand the vastness, capacity, potential and greatness of vision. Because of the impact of having a vision and living with intention, vision is not just about you. In his book, Stanley discusses how other people affect your vision and how you impact theirs.
In Visioneering he says: “Think about this for a moment. What would happen if you were to begin speaking to people’s potential rather than their performance? What if you made it a habit to dispense the same type of grace to others as has been poured out on you? What would happen if you intentionally laced your conversations with notions of what could be true of the people around you?”
We recommend Visioneering because it
3. The 5 a.m. Club by Robin Sharma
“Elite producers and everyday heroes understand that what you do each day matters far more than what you do once in a while.”
― Robin Sharma, The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.
The 5 a.m. club is a fun book filled with wisdom and understanding of how to maximize your time and day without compromising your health.
One of the most famous concepts from Sharma’s book is to wake up at 5 a.m. and follow the 20/20/20 rule to optimize your morning. That’s 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of planning and 20 minutes of study. RED’s CEO, Colette Portis, uses this formula to start her day off great.
We recommend The 5 a.m. Club because it
What books have impacted your life the most? Why?
95% of small businesses fail within their first 5 years. Thomas Brown, RED Development Group’s new Director of Innovation, strives to change that.
As the Director of Innovation Tom helps RED and its clients optimize their systems.
“I serve as the question master,” Tom said. “I ask people what they are doing and figure out how to do it better. I ask “why” for everything.”
To get the best results and help your business thrive, you need to know your why, Tom said. By questioning the status-quo entrepreneurs can enhance their businesses.
“Everything that RED has ever done and will ever do, I question it,” Tom added. “I hone in on finance and find new revenue streams and how we can save. I research new services and programs to make sure we are using the best ones.”
Tom had previously served RED as the Director of Brand Development. He has been with RED since shortly after it started and has seen many changes in that time.
"I have seen RED grow for so long," Tom continued. "I am excited to see how it changes the business development landscape on a global scale."
As RED has grown, Tom has also been learning and developing himself.
"RED has given me the opportunity to explore the areas I am interested in and passionate about," Tom said. "It has taught me that there is so much out there I didn't know about beforehand. Some good and some bad, but all of it being something I have learned from and grown from."
From his studies to his business experiences, Tom is a perfect fit as RED's Director of Innovation.
Tom explained, “I studied science, policy, and innovation at Yale to Business Law. I also studied strategy, entrepreneurship, and business law at Northwestern. I've been in challenging and engaging spaces my entire life. With that, I was able to start my own business at 17, and then exit the company at age 20. I have had all roles from the bottom to the top and my experiences have taught me a lot."
His experiences have also developed Tom's passion for helping young entrepreneurs.
"When you are starting out, be a sponge," Tom said. "Learn as much as you possibly can. Take any job you can get because you have the opportunity to learn so much in every situation."
In 2021 RED Development Group is set to launch a new branch, RED Ventures. Tom is head of this thrilling new endeavor. It will be a seed startup accelerator focused on diversifying the entrepreneurial landscape. One way Ventures will do this is by connecting young startups with mentors.
"I am excited to see how RED Ventures impacts the incredible start-ups that will be in our portfolio," Tom said. "I can't wait to see how those partnerships will change the world."
How are you changing the world? To learn more about Tom’s story and how he is disrupting the status quo, check out his #REDLite.