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Leveraging Women-Owned Business Status to Your Advantage

There was a time when the status of being a woman-owned business was a challenge to business progress, but now, there are multiple opportunities to leverage this differentiator as a positive. According to the last U. S. Census Bureau survey, more than a third of Memphis businesses are women-owned, and it’s safe to say more have been established since then. The good news is there are countless ways women business owners can use their status to their advantage. The opportunities are plentiful; you just have to look for them!
Memphis Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Mondays
At the local level, getting involved with groups and organizations that celebrate and promote women leaders and their businesses is essential. The Memphis Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Monday is a valuable example of this. The event brings together influential women in the community to mentor other aspiring and successful business women in their professional fields. If you’re interested in attending the next Mentoring Monday on April 4, click here.
Memphis Office of Resources and Enterprise
MORE is another local organization whose primary goal is to help grow minority- and women-owned businesses in the Bluff City. It was created by former Mayor A C Wharton and the Memphis City Council, and is now led by Joann Massey, director of minority and women-owned business development. The group, which recently consolidated with the Office of Contract Compliance under Mayor Jim Strickland, directs minority- and women-owned businesses to resources that they need to connect and collaborate with city and community stakeholders. Furthermore, each business that seeks out MORE’s services is evaluated and presented with a tailored plan of action toward success.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
Capitalizing on your woman-owned business status can be done on a national scale, too! The WBENC is the nation’s largest third-party certifier for woman-owned operations, and its main goal is to foster business development for women. This certification process is in-depth and very much worth going for, as certification can lead to increased business for your company. Often, businesses receive grants and other government funding through programs that encourage supplier diversity, and this certification is a simple way to win their business and help in fulfilling that requirement.
National Association of Women Business Owners Memphis
While this organization is dues-based, it’s well worth the investment. NAWBO is a national organization focused on helping propel female professionals in all areas of business into economic, social and political spheres of power. The Memphis chapter is made up of women leaders from companies of all sizes and various industries. The organization hosts educational seminars as well as provides many opportunities to network and connect in intimate environments.
I can personally attest to the benefits of leveraging our status as a woman-owned business, and I credit our continued success at ServiceMaster by Stratos to our engagement in the organizations above. There are more opportunities than ever before to get involved as a woman business owner, and Memphis will be a better place for it in the long run.
Stacy McCall is the CEO and president of ServiceMaster by Stratos, a WBENC-certified contract janitorial service provider headquartered in Downtown Memphis.

Greater Memphis Chamber Resources
Looking for more resources for women? Check out the articles and links below:


Posted: 3/9/2016 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Big, Business, by, Ideas, in, McCall, Resources, SBC, Servicemaster, Small, Stacy, Stratos, Women

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.