As a business owner and hair stylist focusing on chemical-free, ethic hair care, Keisha Adams has found a sought-after niche in Charles County but is facing common growing pains while trying to expand her business. Those include workforce hiring, training, and building a good foundation. Adams is a part of our 8-week Business Growth Advantage Program (BGAP) to learn more about business topics that will help her grow her business.
BGAP is a free training program developed by the Charles County Economic Development Department to meet the needs of growing businesses in Charles County and to address business impacts due to COVID. BGAP teaches business owners effective and proven methods to run their companies, including strategic planning, consultation with subject matter experts, an evaluation of business operating concepts, and much more. Successfully graduating businesses receive a $10,000 grant. Adams is a part of the first cohort, which has already finished seven of the eight weeks.
ABOUT NATURAL BLESSINGS SALON
Natural Blessings Salon offers a novel approach to hair treatments, avoiding chemicals or heat elements that can potentially damage hair. Adams, a stylist and braider, established the business in 2006 as the first natural hair care salon in Waldorf, MD offering chemical-free services. She continues to service an elite clientele of professional women and men who have or are contemplating wearing their hair in its natural state without chemical alteration.
BGAP Lessons Learned
Adams says her business has grown beyond her wildest dreams, but her growing pains include trying to recruit and retain staff. “There’s just not enough of me,” she said. “I feel like I’ve built the brand, and everyone wants a piece of it, but there’s not enough of me to go around.” Like many entrepreneurs, she explained, “We know what we do, but there are other things attached to it that you have to figure out as you go along. It’s kind of ironic that I’ve been out here this long and wasn’t aware of the Chamber of Commerce or even that the Charles County Economic Development Department offered any provisions for businesses such as mine.”
She is also learning a more efficient way to grow her business. “Right now,” she said, “I’m pretty much a self-employed entrepreneur. I want to raise the bar where I’m not hands on with everything and can pass tasks on to employees to make my life easier.” The BGAP program is helping her put a structure in place to hire qualified candidates and attract those who can see the vision and perform well.
Views On BGAP
“This program [BGAP] has been amazing in terms of what they offer,” Adams said. “The insights that they give us are great. I’m really excited about what they’re offering.” The program forces business owners to look at their numbers and where the money is going. “I’m pretty good at that,” she said, “but to see them on the spreadsheet, it made me think ‘oh my goodness’. It definitely puts things into perspective in terms of what my goals are and how I’ll reach them.”
To learn more about how BGAP could help your business grow, visit our Business Advantage Growth Program page. The next cohort starts May 19.