“When I think about the impact that I can make in the community, there are very few things that have impacted me more than a little Black girl coming up to my counter and saying, ‘She's the owner? Mommy, Daddy, I want to own a business one day!’, Tha...
“When I think about the impact that I can make in the community, there are very few things that have impacted me more than a little Black girl coming up to my counter and saying, ‘She's the owner? Mommy, Daddy, I want to own a business one day!’, That is what I do it for. It shows that representation is possible,” shares Brittany Willis, MBA. Brittany is an accomplished franchise entrepreneur and franchise owner of PJ’s Coffee in Dallas, TX with over a decade of business development experience. In the first half of today’s episode host D-Rich talks with Brittany Willis about franchising and the importance of being a Black entrepreneur in your community. Next, they are joined by Dr. Beverly A. Browning, known as The Grant Doctor, to talk about how to get started in grant writing. Dr. Beverly has authored 47 grant writing applications, including 7 editions of Grant Writing For Dummies and she has used her expertise to help clients win over 750 million dollars in grant awards.
It is so important to invest in yourself. If you have been considering starting a business whether that be something entirely new or buying into a franchise, don’t wait. In terms of franchising, be very thorough with your research and very particular about what industry you choose to go into. Brittany explains that even though she opened her franchise location right when Covid hit, she knew she could still be successful because the coffee industry is resilient and there was a need for a coffee shop in the location she chose. When it comes to needing money for your business, looking into grants could be the leg up you need. Be sure to consider your network and reach out to anyone you think could be interested in investing in your company.
Dr. Beverly did not have experience in grant writing when she was told to try to get a grant to help keep the suicide hotline open at her nonprofit. However, with a lot of determination and the courage to ask for help, she was able to succeed and go on to make grant writing a more accessible process for all.
It has been historically difficult for the Black community to create generational wealth. One way to not only create lasting wealth, but also impact local legislation is to become a small business owner. Being a Black business owner, especially a Black woman business owner, provides much needed representation and visibility within the community. Join Brittany Willis, Dr. Beverly A. Browning, and host D-Rich on this week’s episode of Southern Soul Live Stream - Podshow to learn more about how to get started in grant writing and franchising.
• “People are told to invest all the time, invest in yourself as well.” (8:41-8:45 | Brittany)
• “For anyone considering franchising, the industry matters. I think even outside of franchising, with a wave of macro events, inflation, recession, pandemics, the list goes on, there are going to be industries that succeed and those that don't. And one of the reasons I chose coffee was because of how resilient it was.” (17:03-17:23 | Brittany)
• “As a business person, especially as a business woman, and especially as a black business woman, you are going to have to be assertive and stand up for yourself.” (20:20-20:28 | Brittany)
• “My biggest advice is, you don't have to like it, you don't really have to know it. You should get to know the industry, but a business opportunity is a business opportunity.” (27:41-27:49 | Brittany)
• “Understand how much money you're going to be making. Just because the business is generating revenue and it's open does not mean that it's making enough profit for you to either quit your job or maybe to stop ingesting capital into it.” (28:53-29:04 | Brittany)
• “Lesson two: if you don't ask, you don't get.” (57:20-57:24 | Dr. Bev)
• “The trends that I see in the nonprofit community are more and more people are realizing after coming through COVID, even though now we have other things hitting us, that this is a time to realize their dream before their life is snuffed out by some next random, unknown, unreliable source, virus, or pandemic. Don't wait forever.” (1:03:09-1:03:31 | Dr. Bev)
Understanding & Getting Started in Franchising
Connect with Brittany Willis, MBA, Franchise Entrepreneur:
Book Brittany: https://www.eight28enterprises.com/book-brittany
Getting Started in Franchising and Nonprofit Grant Writing
Connect with Dr. Beverly A. Browning, The Grant Doctor:
Grant Writing Suite Course: https://www.ed2go.com/courses/business/operations/ilc/how-to-write-a-grant
Grant Writing for Dummies: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Dummies-Business-Personal-Finance/dp/1119868076
Nonprofit Kit For Dummies: https://www.amazon.com/Nonprofit-Kit-Dummies-Beverly-Browning/dp/1119835720/
About Southern Soul Thursdays - @SoulThursdays
Witty, thought-provoking, and uplifting, Southern Soul Livestream - Podshow is the program that you’ll invite friends over to watch every week, where you’ll learn about fascinating speakers and get to share in exciting experiences. Tune in each Thursday at 8 pm eastern at SoulThursdays.com to connect with guests from across the generations and to laugh with our "cast of characters," hosts who are as charming as they are talented!
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