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'Unwritten rules' define Williams' minority owned cleaning business

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Jim Fair

"Twenty years ago I worked while others did drugs. Now those people who did drugs want to work for me."

William Grady, owner of Grady Cleaning Services



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Kinneil Coltman, Chief Diversity Officer at Greenville Health System, presented a list of unwritten rules to guide small business owners.
 

Jim Fair

Kinneil Coltman, Chief Diversity Officer at Greenville Health System, presented a list of unwritten rules to guide small business owners.

 



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The Minority Business Summit was sponsored by the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce.
 
 

Jim Fair

The Minority Business Summit was sponsored by the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

William Grady said in two pointed sentences what it took a panel, roundtable and keynote speaker to present Thursday at the Minority Business Summit at Greer’s Grace Hall.

“Being a minority gets you in the door,” Grady, owner of Grady’s Cleaning Services, said. “What you do, keeps you in that door.”

Kinneil Coltman, Chief Diversity Officer at Greenville Health System, presented the keynote address suggesting seven unwritten rules that would serve small business owners well growing. “Do you,” she said.

Coltman’s unwritten rules include:

• Be generous when you are told no. “Sometimes missing out on the $5,000 bid teaches you to get the $50,000 bid.”

• Figure out your core identity. Find out what you do best. “Here’s what makes me and my business special,” she said.

• Be the company you want to do business with. “Make the same commitment you want big businesses to make with you.”

• Look at non-profit boards and volunteer, or if you don’t have time, volunteer your business’ services. The members will be businesses you want to do business with. This is a very big unwritten rule,” Coltman said.

• Relationships trump everything.

• Take care of you first. “Your internal barometer will tell you when you need some TLC (tender loving care). Do all the things to take care of yourself, don’t look for other people to help,” Coltman said. “Nobody wants to work with a haggard, broken down small business owner.”

Grady, who has hired six employees since June, said Coltman’s list hit home. “It somewhat defines me,” Grady said.

John Mansure, President of Greer Memorial Hospital and former chairman of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce executive board, helped shape the cultural agenda to embrace minorities. His vision included supporting Grady to become a member of the chamber’s Board of Advisors.

“Grady has been a testimonial, not just for minority businesses, but also in championing it and the business community,” said Mark Owens, President of the Greer Chamber. “He is a leader by his actions.”

“You don’t have to be liked but you have to be smart,” Grady said. “I built great relationships with the chamber and city of Greer.”

Grady’s passion is shown in his hiring young workers. “I can do more good with young, troubled youth,” he said. “They see me and can touch me.

“Twenty years ago I worked while others did drugs. Now those people who did drugs want to work for me.”

 

 

 

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