Entrepreneurs know the challenges that come with bringing a product or service to the marketplace. Whether it is unique or new-and-improved, building a brand and then convincing people to buy-in is no easy task. While small businesses contribute to over 65% of new jobs, according to the Small Business Administration, many are vulnerable to the fragility of the economy.
For the small business owner, “stepping out on faith” is not for the faint of heart.
LaTangela Hyman had been working in corporate sales before jumping with both feet into the proverbial waters of running her Christian-based company – with her bible in hand. She attributes her courage for taking a leap of faith to God. Hyman has been in operation for six years now, and continues to diversify and grow her products and services. “I really didn’t choose the business, I believe I was lead to it,” she asserted with confidence.
While volunteering at a Christian bookstore, she met a business owner who was closing her doors for good. Hyman was then introduced to those clients, and before long began selling Sunday school teaching material from her home-based office. During the economic downturn in 2009, she began to expand her product line. She called on church furniture manufacturers, who would provide her with sales leads, which gave her company, “A Peace of My Passion” wings.
Today, A Peace of My Passion not only provides church furnishings from steeple-to-carpet, Hyman also offers Sunday school and conference materials, clergy, usher and choir apparel, administrative supplies, and leadership training in evangelism and stewardship for what she considers “growing the Kingdom”.
“I believe this is where our peace and joy comes from as we obey the commandment to go and make disciples”, she said. “As an independent contractor, we do not have all the resources in-house so we build alliances. We know where to go to provide solutions to our customers,” said Hyman.
A Peace of My Passion has established relationships with builders, realtors, and finance companies that share her vision. Hyman features her product line at conferences too. She’s currently developing an idea for a business roundtable discussion with her partners, and most recently launched the company’s e-commerce website, A Peace of my Passion, where customers from around the world can order her products online.
Her advice to anyone considering starting a business is to “write down your vision, and write attainable goals”. “Constantly evaluate your goals”, says Hyman. “Tweak your processes. One of the areas that caused me some challenges was that I was a sole owner. You will be busy working your business, so when you write your processes down, when the time comes for expansion, you have a model that works, and it can be replicated and passed along on to someone else.”
With enthusiasm Hyman exclaims, “I am excited about going global. I expect our website to be as big as Amazon.”