Charles Broom had worked 15 years as a consultant, helping small and large businesses hire specialized professionals, create strategic plans and negotiate contracts.
By 2017, he was ready to be his own boss.
“Eventually, I got to a place where I wanted to do the ultimate challenge; start and sustain a business,” he said.
He set up offices for his project management and staffing support service, the RieLes Group, at a Peachtree Center high-rise in downtown Atlanta. He soon realized he needed someone to help him and reached out to Paul Wilson of the UGA Small Business Development Center, run out of Georgia State University.
“Charles was a terrific resource for growing other companies. He’d ask them the hard questions and help them develop strategic plans,” Wilson said. “He contacted us and asked for assistance in developing strategies to pursue his own contracts. He wanted our help getting the knowledge in his head onto paper so he could develop his own road map for his company.”
Wilson helped Broom brainstorm Broom’s vision, mission, company values, goals and objectives. He then helped Broom create a strategy mapping tool that focused on four key areas: personnel, finance, marketing and growth. Broom also sought his assistance in putting in place the multiple operational processes he needed to run his company: accounting, human resources and recruiting to fill the staffing needs of his contracts.
“Before, he had consulted on these areas,” Wilson said. “Now, he had to operate in them.”
For each mapping section, they worked together to focus on where the business was and what Broom wanted it to look like.
“Paul imposed timelines and challenged me to make the most of our time together,” Broom said. “We drilled down to specific action items. He then held me accountable about taking the time to visualize the business prior to acting on these items. This step was difficult, but necessary.”
Broom learned his messaging wasn’t clear, so he invested in a consultant who redesigned and refreshed his branding and website.
“Charles took the initiative to get help and invest in his business,” said Wilson, “then he started to see results.”
Revenues for the RieLes Group were in the six figures in 2018, and the company had been awarded a federal contract for more than $1 million. The company now manages several professionals in six states, the numbers ebbing and flowing given ongoing contract needs.
The RieLes Group is well-positioned for the additional contracts Broom expects to hold soon.
“Thanks to the work and time put in with Paul and the SBDC, I’ve learned the importance of forecasting and having systems and processes in place. They have prepared us to meet all new opportunities.”