Building Wealth With Government Contracts
When one thinks of women and wealth, you must include this highly educated and well sought-after professional in business, Marnice Miller. This 23-year veteran of the Civil Service, served within various sectors of the government where she learned the ends and outs of processes, policies, and procedures.
Not knowing how all that knowledge and wisdom would play a major part in her current role today, Marnice would go on to receive many accolades and awards prior to venturing into her current role as President of Human Capital Resources and Concepts (HCRC), a consulting firm that specializes in resource management capabilities designed and utilized by all federal organizations. This business is unique in many ways.
It’s 100% woman owned and is considered “economically disadvantaged” because of her socio-economic category. However, this disadvantage did not prevent her firm from being certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a minority-owned business operating within a Historically Underutilized Business Zone. Having this leverage allows Marnice the opportunity to bid on the many opportunities to work with the federal government. In fact, there are not a whole lot of consulting companies in the area, let alone the state, with this competitive advantage.
Through these efforts, HCRC is also able to provide an array of other services including, analytical support, collection management, planning, human capital, training, program management, database consultants, project managers, and end-user services. Marnice also saw an opportunity to provide HR consultation and services to other small companies who do not have the luxury of being able to hire full-time HR staff. Surprisingly, so many small businesses lack the proper knowledge when it comes to HR.
Being able to offer training and outsource HR services for owners in these situations has been a game changer.
Human Capital Resources and Concepts is the “Support You Can Rely On” and takes immense pride in serving the greater community. Women Of Wealth Magazine search the nation looking for such empowering stories to share with our readers. We discovered that minority women were indeed much sought-after human capital. They always knew that they possessed the character of a successful Boss Lady. But lacked the economic resources to turn a dream into tomorrow’s reality.
Marnice worked in the government world for many years, and finally one day the light bulb came on and she knew it was time to take all that she had learned and created the multimillionaire Boss Lady. Let’s dig deeper into the essence of a Boss Lady.
AJ: You have a very extensive resume with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Tell us how easy or difficult was it for you to take your experience in the government and transform it into a successful business.
MM: Working for the government was an experience within itself. As a federal employee, your job duties rarely change, in fact, you can most times perform your duties with your eyes closed, that’s just how repetitive it can be. As I transitioned into entrepreneurship, the communication part, networking, and meeting people was easy for me. It was the business piece of it all that was difficult.
While you know the players and know the field, the competition factor was a challenge. In the entrepreneur world, you always must think about your next step. You can’t just sit back and coast. It’s driven primarily by relationships so there is a daily effort to develop and foster them.
Initially, I had to get the company name circulating within the industry and begin developing relationships with other firms. Once I obtained work, I also needed financing and the list goes on.
Learning how to maneuver in this new space has been a big learning curve for me. Deep down, I wanted something new and wanted to do it while I was still young enough to want to pursue it. Still having a passion for the work, I was doing in my previous career. The idea to start a consulting business, where the federal government was our primary client, would allow me to continue working in a familiar field, but on my own terms.
AJ: We can only imagine, coming from the government where everything is handed to you, to having to build those relationships on your own amid competition can create a heavy toll. As you navigated into entrepreneurship, what is a typical day like for you?
MM: First thing in the morning, I might have one thing in mind, however, priorities change quickly when you get in the office. It is remarkably busy, filled with employee issues and financial situations with regard to collecting on outstanding payments and other pressing business. My day is ever-changing. I can work as hard or as little as I want. A 12–14-hour day doesn’t seem long when you’re doing it for yourself. I also like the fact that I’m growing something that exudes professionalism and integrity. That’s what matters most to me. I can also employ people and positively affect their lives. It warms my heart to have a team working to achieve our core values. The work is sometimes tedious, but the payoff is greater as an entrepreneur.
AJ: With so much going on and the learning curve you spoke about, tell us what is the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
MM: Being an entrepreneur allows me to affect change in the diversity of hiring, managing my own time, and doing work that I’m enthusiastic about. As I transitioned from government into business ownership, especially as a minority woman business owner, it was important for me to ensure that I am doing what I’m enthusiastic about if I were to have longevity in this industry. There were many days, I didn’t feel up to the task. I was overwhelmed, overbooked, and overloaded but I kept going. My passion to serve people won’t allow me to give up.
“When You Are Not Feeling the Greatest, That Is When Your Biggest Opportunities Come”
AJ: With that being said, what are the biggest challenges you have faced thus far as an entrepreneur?
MM: The startup and learning the business space, it is a shark tank. I am doing business with individuals who have been in this field for a long time. Most of the time, they do not look like me, a minority woman. Therefore, finding my voice and my footing as a minority woman in this industry was my biggest challenge. I admit It was very tough. I had a lot of anxiety.
What really helped me was what I was able to do before I left my government job. I started doing the groundwork, and when I say the groundwork, I mean, I started talking to people, I started talking to a lot of companies, and started getting advice on what things I should start with. Then I took all that advice, and I tailored it for my schedule, for what was realistic for me as it related to the amount of funds I would need, would I have to expend towards travel to networking and conferences, and created a working budget. Because all that cost money, I would seek out all the free conferences, free seminars, and ways to network to help offset my budget.
Of course, when you are talking to people, they want to know that you are serious about doing business, collaborating, and partnering. You must have a website. You must have business cards because those are the things on the surface that people are going to look for right up-front in addition to operating capital.
AJ: Do you feel it necessary to stay abreast of industry trends and if so, how have you incorporated them into your business?
MM: We are in the age of social media. You don’t want your business name to avert whoever is looking at that proposal and steer them away from you because they are thinking that you are only one thing and, in our case, just simply HR.
Many do not know we have the largest contract with the Department of Army for their anti-terrorism training, which primarily has not been a woman-owned company. Therefore, a lot of times, I go for HCRC versus Human Capital Resources and Concept. I use the acronym because HCRC could mean anything, so I am not pigeonholed on social media by the algorithms. Keeping things up to date with advertising and marketing on these social platforms, going to trade shows, having a presence on and offline, and learning the algorithms have been the biggest industry trends we’ve incorporated in our business.
AJ: Speaking of social media, what are the three most important habits a woman should have if she aspires to be a successful entrepreneur?
MM: Any advice I would give would be to follow your gut primarily, always, it will never leave you astray. Next would be not to allow intimidation to overtake you; you belong here.
In a heavily male-dominated industry, it is easy to feel like you’re not deserving, or you don’t belong in this space. Don’t allow negativity or intimidation of others to defeat you. Most importantly, stay enthusiastic. That passion will keep you stable and moving forward in times of doubt and uncertainty. It was not easy for me to walk away from a six-figure job.
I would encourage anyone looking to do the same to plan. Do a lot of market research on your industry. Develop relationships before you make the leap. Don’t go into it blind. Talk to business owners that have done it before. Knock on doors. Eventually, you’ll find someone that will talk to you. Do not be afraid to take risks. It’s not a sure thing, even if you know the industry, however, it pays off if you remain consistent.
I thought I knew everything about the federal government, but it’s an entirely different world when you step out on your own. I would go to Washington DC to prospect with different companies and often left feeling defeated, but those relationships eventually paid off. You must stick with it. Those who are able should keep their day job while building their new business to help offset expenses as well as ensure to stay on top of money management which is a vital factor in being successful.
“Be The Best You Can Be At All Times”
AJ: When it comes to building wealth, what advice would you give to women of today’s society?
MM: As previously mentioned, you must do your research to make sure that you are in an industry that has the capability to build wealth. If you are trying to build wealth. Nowadays, you must look at various avenues to create wealth. It is usually not one thing that builds wealth. Ensure that your primary industry puts you in a place to build wealth. Such as real estate investments. The most important thing is to “Be On Your Game At All times”.
AJ: What is next for you?
MM: Looking ahead to five years down the road, we forecast annual revenues of about $5 million with a staff of 50 employees. We plan to expand our offices throughout Polk County. We are also working in conjunction with my brother-in-law’s non-profit charity, Filling The Lane, to implement an internship program to bring in college-level students on a quarterly basis and show them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
For more information on Marnice Miller, CEO Human Capital Resources and Concepts, Inc. please visit website: hcrconcepts.com