As a part of The Startup Journal’s Female Founder Interview series, we interviewed Martha Razo, writer of the guide, Business Diva: Stories of Women Leading in Business. Ms. Razo, CEO of Guero Pallets, Inc. and proprietor of Solix Enterprise Companies, each Chicago companies, created this guide to share the tales of girls taking their futures and lives into their very own palms.
As an skilled enterprise analyst and CEO, Martha can also be very captivated with numbers and what they’ll inform a enterprise proprietor – particularly if she or he is making an attempt to develop or hold the doorways open. She does this by her consulting agency known as Solix.
We interviewed Martha to get extra perception into her different enterprise and consulting experience, her newest guide, and extra depth into her her personal thrilling entrepreneurial journey…
TSM: Are you able to inform us, in 10 phrases or much less, what’s the central message of your guide, Enterprise Diva: Tales of Girls Main in Enterprise?
Martha: To encourage all girls to reside their function and obtain their goals.
TSM: With a bit extra element, what are the primary takeaways from the guide?
Martha: The primary takeaways are, at first, to share private tales to encourage girls to realize success. Secondly, I need different entrepreneurs and girls to be taught from the authors’ successes and failures of their enterprise journeys. Additionally, to offer ideas and recommendation to budding girls in enterprise. Lastly, to encourage girls to reside their function.
TSM: Are you able to cite a specific success story that exemplifies the Enterprise Diva function and success, one which evokes you?
Martha: I want to share this quote from “Enterprise Diva” writer Laura Alcantar Leon, CEO of S & L Pallets, LLC:
“Don’t really feel discouraged should you would not have a level. Life occurs, and generally, even should you needed it, it doesn’t occur. That doesn’t imply you’re a loser or that you’re destined to fail. It solely means you’ll have to work twice as laborious to make it occur. I began my enterprise and not using a diploma, expertise, or data of the business, with out loans from banks, household, or pals. The one factor I did have was an abundance of dedication and laborious work. Being my personal boss is quite a lot of stress and laborious work, but in addition it’s the finest determination I might have made.”
TSM: As a numbers individual, what do you assume is the significance of using enterprise numbers when main a company?
Martha: Enterprise homeowners measure their development by their numbers; revenues, income, variety of workers, the variety of places they personal, and so on. Enterprise homeowners have a purpose for his or her firm. Attaining the purpose requires understanding enterprise numbers, and it’s important for them to know these necessary figures. Numbers and knowledge permit enterprise homeowners to grasp the place their firm is presently, the place it could actually proceed, and to develop a strategic plan to realize enterprise objectives.
Moreover, knowledge and numbers give enterprise homeowners perception into fixing issues and posting the suitable inquiries to develop methods to be aggressive, increase, and forecasts to forestall even losses and attainable errors. Each enterprise proprietor, even when they’ve somebody assigned, ought to overview their revenue and loss and stability sheet on a month-to-month foundation. The metrics in these studies ought to be monitored periodically. I’ve even used them to forestall theft.
TSM: Going again to your early profession choices, inform us what components influenced your determination to be an entrepreneur your self?
Martha: Once I was a sophomore in highschool, I began a scholarship known as College students for College students Scholarship for undocumented college students. Since I used to be 14, I had a imaginative and prescient, and I took that imaginative and prescient and took step one and simply began to work on making it occur. It occurred that I shared my imaginative and prescient with others who then joined and believed in it. Then, the magic occurred after I was capable of construct a crew.
The identical components appeared to naturally happen after I collaborated with 22 girls entrepreneurs in creating my guide known as “Enterprise Diva.” For instance, within the male-dominated pallet business, I’m seen as an business chief. Lots of my pallet colleagues ask me for recommendation. I’m all the time comfortable to assist others develop with any small tip I may need. The important thing actually is that if they observe the recommendation I give them.
Entrepreneurship has been a difficult path. In my expertise, any great point doesn’t come simple. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to personal and management my very own schedule. If I select to work at home, I can work there at my leisure and luxury. I also can meet purchasers anytime and be extra versatile than the 9a.m.-5 p.m. schedule. As a mother, I can spend extra time with my son and journey. I’ve all the time been disciplined and self-motivated, so I by no means had a difficulty with not having a particular construction. When I’ve a piece undertaking with a deadline, it will get carried out in an expert method.
TSM: Utilizing your personal profession journey from mathematician to enterprise chief, why are we seeing extra profession strikes from technical positions to Administration positions?
Martha: Within the subsequent 5 years and even much less, the success fee of a enterprise might be decided by how properly homeowners use their enterprise knowledge for determination making.
I’m pursuing my Ph.D. in Industrial engineering. I selected to focus my analysis and research in course of and knowledge mining. I’ve discovered to develop my very own algorithms, program, analyze massive knowledge and processes.
I need to have the ability to take all types of knowledge, and rapidly analyze the info and be capable to make conclusions to find out the subsequent transfer I’ll make in my enterprise technique. As an illustration, what number of workers ought to I rent this yr? What number of salespeople do I want? What costs will I promote my wooden pallets within the subsequent six months. Can I get a one-year contract? Ought to I purchase an additional lot of property, or ought to I construct on my present pallet plant? All these choices, I exploit the info to information my solutions.
TSM: And what traits do you have got that notably contributed to your means to excel out of your humble beginnings to search out success as chief of a number of companies and now an writer?
Martha: I’ve three major traits. The primary one is my persistence. If it wasn’t for persistence, then I’d not haven’t completed my grasp’s in utilized arithmetic. I set a purpose, and I cannot cease till I attain that purpose, regardless of how tough. As an illustration, my new mission is ending my doctorate in industrial engineering.
Second, is my continuation in studying about arithmetic and knowledge analytics. The training I’ve obtained has not come simple, however it’s in excessive demand and priceless. I’ve been capable of make fast choices backed by knowledge throughout tough instances, such because the pandemic. Selections reminiscent of preserving or promoting stock could be the turning web page for a enterprise. I’ve the blessing to make these choices quick as a result of energy of my analytics abilities in massive knowledge.
Lastly, my crew at Guero’s Pallets is the perfect. We’re a household that imagine in the identical mission; you’re employed laborious and don’t take any alternative as a right. Irrespective of how massive or small, our purchasers love working with us, they usually all get the identical top quality service. My household and I take into account daily a blessing that we get up and are capable of work. Additionally, we’re all specialists in our respective areas. Each member of the family is in the suitable seat of the corporate. Understanding this example means the corporate is driving in the suitable route, even throughout a storm.
TSM: As you’re employed on rising and scaling up your companies, what are your major challenges? Hiring others? High quality management? Capital?
Martha: As we proceed to develop, the first problem is discovering the suitable leaders we are able to belief. It has been tough discovering individuals with the identical work ethic and rules. We are going to discover the suitable individuals, however the search will take time.
TSM: What are crucial belongings you inform girls to assist them on their journey as leaders and profitable entrepreneurs?
Martha: My phrase in “Enterprise Diva” is limitless. I need girls to know that we’re limitless in what we are able to do in life, and there’s a galaxy of potentialities. When you’ve got an thought, a dream or enterprise you need to begin, take step one NOW! Rise up and do it. All the pieces else will observe.
TSM: What’s one fascinating truth about you that folks might not know?
Martha: I really like performing and dancing. I wrote my very own one-hour play known as “My Dream Act.” I’m trying to publish it in 2023.