Meet Takisha Clark, the first African-American woman to franchise a postal and shipping business, Capital Postal & Mailbox Service. Offering a one-stop-shop for postal and shipping services. Her company has already increased sales 30% this year and has plans to open more locations. While her life today is one many would aspire to have, it is a far cry from where she began. Brought up by her grandmother due to her mom’s affliction for drug use, she was determined to forge a different path for herself.
In her early twenties, she owned a flourishing daycare business and was able to purchase homes for herself and family members. After several successful years in business, her sister suddenly passed away resulting in her falling into a cycle of deep depression. Given her personal plights, it was increasingly difficult for her to successfully run her business so she closed it temporarily. Shortly after, the great recession came and as a result she had to close down her business permanently and give up her homes rendering her homeless.
Having worked diligently for everything she acquired, to lose nearly everything felt like an extreme defeat. Clark shares her tips bounced back from homelessness to becoming the first black woman to franchise a postal and shipping business but how did she do it? Here are some tips on how she overcame her pitfalls and turned them into victories.
1.Do not take failure personally. Everyone experiences some form of failure in their life yet it is often taken personally when experienced. When Clark had to close her daycare center, she took that loss very personally and regularly beat herself up about it. It was difficult not to do so, when her business was something she devoted so much of her life building.
“It can feel as if you are losing a part of yourself. The business failed therefore you are a failure is a troubling mentaly to have when striving to continue as an entrepreneur. Failing is not a permanent state of being if you dont allow it to be, it can be an opportunity to reflect on the best steps forward.”
2.Keep moving forward. Coming back after a failure can be hard, it can take an emotional toll but if you are willing to try it can be very rewarding. Opening another business was daunting at first. When you endure such loss, moving forward is much easier said than done. You can be reluctant to take such risks again. What helped Takisha Clark get past this fear was taking stock of everything she still had to offer.
Consider what skills or assets you have from your last venture that can be used for your next. Do you have existing or former clients that would be interested in your next venture? Even if you have no assets left, you still have your skillset. Do not give up on yourself, there is always a path forward.
3.Remember your motivation for starting your business and stay true to your passion.
Takisha Clark had the desire to offer excellent necessary services in her community. Clark’s first business was a daycare center offering extended services to serve the needs of local parents. Clark knew she still wanted to offer essential services so her second business was a tax service franchise. The desire to help by providing quality services they need is a passion of hers. Revisit what inspired you and let it drive your motivation to continue.
What motivated you to start your business? What is your passion? How can you ensure you are fulfilling that passion?
4.Do your research! Research, research, reach and then research some more.
In order to start her new business Clark had to explore a variety of funding options. Based on her intense research she found franchising to be the best way forward and it offered financial freedom with limited financial risk. Research the industry you want to enter then reflect on ways you can make it your own. Put your own spin on the business while making sure it meets consumer demand.
What type of business do you intend on creating? Are there other companies in this area offering similar services? How did they become successful? What are they doing that works or does not work? What can offer this sector that will set you apart from your potential competitors?
5.Have a plan.
Before reentering the world of entrepenurialship, Takisha Clark had to establish a concernate business plan which took into heavy consideration her sources of funding, possible issues and the risks vs rewards. Take into account the best strategy for your business and then implement it.
Given what you have learned from your previous missteps, what type of business do you want to have moving forward? Create a business plan taking everything you experienced into consideration. Your business plan should include a solid business strategy forward along with a clear funding source. Will you be using investors? Using capital? Will you choose to enter the franchise industry?
Bouncing back from hardship takes honesty, belief in yourself, the ability to take another leap of faith, hard work and consistency. You must stay focused and at times that requires sacrifices. You may have to miss a few parties or events to fine-tune your craft. As you continue to strive for your goals, you will eventually see things fall into place and your vision come to fruition. There are few greater feelings in this world and I am to have been able to bounce back.
To find out more about Takisha Clark and her company Capital Postal & Mailbox Service see here.