Welcome to another interview of the “Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur” series on Busy Bee Kate. This week are featuring Lesa Adeboye and her small business, Alliance Group Inc. Lesa started her business in 2010 and is so supportive of other women in business as well.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am an Atlanta native. Im a mother of three boys in which I raised to be spectacular young men. I was a single mother after my sons father passed away. Im now happily remarried, a business owner and entrepreneur.
What does your business do?
Alliance Group Inc. is a professional services and consulting firm working in the government and commercial space. We do contracts under some of the largest government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Who is your target audience or market?
We target the Federal Government mostly; However, many of our clients are other small businesses needing guidance when going after government contracts. We provide them with services such as Project management, proposal management, and business development. Aside from AGI, I am known for my entrepreneurship and mentoring abilities. I love to mentor other women that are looking to pursue being an entrepreneur and starting their own business. I actually have an organization called N-Spir-Her (pronounced inspire), which is a women’s entrepreneur empowerment organization. We just did our first event, Teabiz, this past May. It was a collaboration event with another organization called Center for Self Awareness. It’s something i am very passionate about and can’t wait to expand further.
What year did you start your business?
Alliance Group Inc. (AGI) was founded in 2010.
What were you doing before starting your business?
Before founding the Alliance Group, Inc. (AGI) I was the Director of Contracts and Procurement for a company that provided services – IT support, Public Health Expertise, Professional Services and Project Management – to Federal Government Agencies.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
AGI is located in Atlanta, GA; Yes we have dedicated workspace.
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
My key success has been remaining in business for 8 years and growing the business.
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
I have not had a great failure. All of my experiences in business have been learning opportunities.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
The biggest challenges as a small business owner has been identifying partner firms who are sincere about true teaming, collaboration, and sharing.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
I have self-funded my business. I was profitable in the 5th year of business.
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
I always saw myself owning a business, but I thought it would be an art gallery.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
My goal for 3 – 5 years is be completely removed from the day to day operation and focus on philanthropy and mentor-ship. I also expect to exceed $10 M in revenue in the next three years.
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
I am a big proponent of entrepreneurship! I would encourage women to not be afraid. This about what you would want to do if there were no restrictions then do it. Start by researching the field of interest, then formally establish your company by registering with the State. Know that your company may change directions numerous times – mine did – and that’s ok. See yourself as a business owner and spread the word of your companies offering to everyone you meet – you never know who can help you and people love to help!
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
Microsoft office suites, my laptop and my phone.
What does your day to day in your business look like?
I wake up early, and enjoy it because I’m waking up for me. I pray/meditate, try to exercise, have some tea, then make a list of all of the things I need to accomplish for the day. I then answer emails and begin tackling my task list.
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
I always find time for myself. My mantra is “Where there is a will, there is a way”. Being a woman is not about suffering – we need to shed that narrative. I work hard and play hard. My husband and I go out weekly and enjoy the company of our friends and family. We also travel regularly. What you feel you deserve, you will have!
Thank you so much to Lesa for taking the time to share her story and more about Alliance Group Inc. You can connect with Alliance Group Inc. online and on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you a small business owner? Do you have a story to share? Help others discover, learn, and support your business too! Contact Katie at: kate (at) busybeekate.com for details or through our contact page.
Be sure to stop back next week for another interview and don’t forget to check out our past interviews here.