Tips To Effectively Delegate To Your Team Members

Delegation, what does it mean to you as a business owner or processional? Do you feel like you are an expert or can you always improve how you delegate to your team members? The synonyms for delegation are entrusting, giving, and transference. There is both an art and science to proper delegation. Of course, not all employees will have the same passion for the business as an entrepreneur might but the entrepreneur must trust those on their team working toward company mission statements, visions, and goals.

First start delegating in a S.M.A.R.T. way.

S : Specific

M : Measurable

A : Agreed

R : Realistic

T : Time bound

If you take the time to go through each step as the person doing the delegation, the outcome should be what you expect versus a vision of what you thought you should expect from assigning the task. An entrepreneur is limited on time. But think about it, would you rather explain properly upfront or repeat yourself multiple times only to become frustrated and stressed in the end? The common sense answer should be no but everyone is different. However, if growth and making life a bit easier is the aim, delegate and do it well.

While using the SMART way, be sure to include the following checklist to cross check for any missing information.

  1. Define your task
  2. Decide who you will delegate to (based on availability and skill set)
  3. Make sure they have tools, materials, skills
  4. Explain Task Well
  5. State Expected Results
  6. Agree on Deadline or Actionable Items Timeline

If you already do something like this with your team, great! But if your process could use room for improvement, try them, you might notice a difference. If you do have tips that work for you whether it be about delegation, contractor management, employees, and general business growth, we’d love to hear from you. Your feedback and featured input is valuable to our small business and vendor community.

By Nadia Alcide of Simply Sociable

Simply Sociable is a boutique administrative consulting firm that understands the importance of leveraging the internet and technology. Simply Sociable specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of in it. Nadia Alcide is the founder and a University of Florida alumni.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Alvin J. Cowans, CCUE, serving as President/CEO since November 1985 of McCoy Federal Credit Union in Orlando, Florida and has been in the financial industry since 1978. McCoy Federal is a large community credit union with over $549 million in assets as of February 2017. The Credit Union’s field of membership is the Orlando MSA serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake Counties.

Alvin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida in 1977. He was a four-year letter winner for the Fighting Gator Football Team 1973 to 1976 and was Co-Captain in 1976. Was selected as All-Southeastern Conference Defensive Back, and to the Senior Bowl in 1976. A 10th Round Draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1977 and a Free Agent pick for the Washington Redskins in 1978. He was inducted into the University of Florida Gator Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. His involvement with UF has included serving on the Presidency of the Letterman’s Association, Director of Gator Boosters and as a Director for two terms for the University of Florida Foundation, Inc.

He is a Graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Orlando Program. He furthered his professional Credit Union education by graduating from the Florida Credit Union League Management Institute, CUNA’s Advanced Management Institute, and obtaining the designation of Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE).

Alvin was named to the Official Registry of the “Outstanding Young Men of America” and the Who’s Who of American Business Leaders. He was selected into the Who’s Who In America’s Credit Unions.

He served the maximum nine years as Region III Director for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) a trade association in Washington, DC.

In 2015 Alvin was appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to serve on their Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council for a three-year term. In 2013 Alvin was appointed to a second four-year term as a Director for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and has served as various Board Officers as well as currently serving as Chairman. He served on the Board and as a Chairman of the Board of Directors of CU24 Inc. (Credit Union ATM Network). Alvin was appointed by the Mayor City of Orlando to the City’s Finance Committee and has been serving since 2009.

Alvin was appointed by the President of the United States William J. Clinton, to a three (3) year term on the Federal Reserves’, Consumer Advisory Council (CAC). He was appointed by Florida Governor Bob Graham to the Valencia Community College Board of Trustee and served two years.

Alvin is serving and has served with various community organizations in a multitude of capacities over his 40 years in the Orlando area.

He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha, the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities and the 100 Blackmen of Orlando.  April 2011 he was inducted as an honorary member of the Florida Blue Key.

Alvin Cowans is married to UF Graduate Shirley S. Cowans. They have two sons, Dr. Alvin Jeffrey Cowans, II and Marcus A. Cowans and one grandson, Marcus A. Cowans, II.

Tips for Business Success: Women’s History Month Edition

As we come toward the end of Women’s History month, we are taking the opportunity to share a few tips to help small businesses and women entrepreneurs as they navigate their way to success. Owning a small business carries it’s perks but running one successfully has its challenges too. Here are a few tips you can use to support the success and growth of your business.

Build A Supportive Network
“Your network is your net worth”. Use your network as a reliable support system. Seek the advice of fellow business owners or mentors who can understand what you are going through. They’ve more than likely been through the same situation or they’re willing to help you navigate.So how do you start or build your network? Get out there and join business/professional groups. These groups intentionally create programming to get likeminded people together to exchange ideas, businesses, and provide a listening ear for business owners. An example of something like this would be your area university and chamber of commerce events.

Never Stop Learning
Don’t rest on your laurels as an entrepreneur. With the internet and new technologies introduced everyday, embrace change. The best way to stay ahead of trends is through seeking constant education. By education, we aren’t talking about something formal, it could just be an industry specific report and article. Challenge yourself to depart from your comfort zone to stay ahead of trends in your industry. Attend workshops, conferences and seminars to get the full download on a recurring basis. Remaining abreast of changes will differentiate you and your competition by leaps and bounds.

Learn to Delegate
While running a business it is so easy to take on too much. Yes, you are the most passionate person in your business, but it is within the best interest to give it the opportunity to grow. Many entrepreneurs are guilty of superwom(an) syndrome where they think they can do it all. Having this syndrome robs the entrepreneur of balance, time, and creativity. Business owners must delegate work to an outsourced vendor or an employee. In a sense, like duplicating themselves. Before you delegate, you must go through the proper steps to find a trustworthy employee or vendor partner, like a virtual assistant or project manager to lighten the load. Remember, it is important to give more important responsibilities gradually, it will make them feel more loyal to the business and its wins.

Know Your Business Identity
Branding is such an important buzz word these days with the heightened use of “always in your face” social media platforms. Define your business and brand from the start, be consistent with your messaging and what services or products you offer. At the beginning, it is very tempting to sway with the wind and go outside of your scope of work to bring in extra money. Do your best to remain focused. Stretching yourself and business too thin or providing mediocre work can carry negative effects on the business you worked so hard to build. Your business is not for all and that’s ok, define your niche as early as you can. If you found these tips useful for your business, share them with other entrepreneurs. UF Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations provides an array of useful workshops and resources with continuous support along the way. We’d love to know if you have more tips you could share with our community.

Feel free to email Nadia at Simply Sociable or the UF SBVDR.

Women Trailblazers !

“A Timeline Of Women And Wealth: The First Female Millionaires, Billionaires & CEOs And The Policies That Paved The Way For Them”


If you had to write a resume for Isabel Benham (1909-2013), it would contain some notable “firsts.” In the 1930s, she was the the first woman on Wall Street to study the male-dominated railroad industry. In 1964, she became the first female partner at a Wall Street bond firm, according to the Museum of American Finance. But early in her career, she’d sign her name as “I. Hamilton Benham” to avoid discrimination.While generations of women before and after took risks to achieve wealth in their respective industries, many like Benham also had to navigate a culture of inequity to get there. Here is a brief history of women in finance, business, politics and entrepreneurship — and the policies that paved the way for them:

FIRST IN FINANCE: Victoria Woodhull may be considered the First Lady of Finance. In 1870, she and her sister Tennessee Claflin opened Woodhull, Claflin & Co., becoming the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street. They, however, never gained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, something no woman would achieve until 1967. Woodhull would also be the first woman to run for U.S. president.

Ellen Swallow Richards was the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (which made her the first woman to be accepted into a science and technology school). She graduated from there in 1873 then became its first female teacher as an instructor in sanitary chemistry. In 1876 she established the Women’s Laboratory, a facility at MIT.

Sarah Breedlove was celebrated as the country’s first female self-made millionaire, according to her New York Times obituary. The orphan was born to freed slaves; she later invented and sold homemade hair-care products to black women through the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Breedlove built a factory, a laboratory and a beauty school to train sales agents.

Lettie Pate Whitehead was appointed to the board of The Coca-Cola Company in 1934 and one of the first women to serve on the board of a major corporation. She held the position for nearly two decades. Her husband founded the first Coca-Cola bottling facilities. After his death, she took over the business and expanded her family’s wealth by founding the Whitehead Holding Company and the Whitehead Realty Company. Before her death, she established a foundation and gave to numerous charities in Virginia and Georgia.FIRST CEOs: Katharine Graham becomes president of The Washington Post, then a small family-owned newspaper. By the early ‘70s she would become CEO and the first woman to lead a major U.S. corporation. She supported investigations into the Watergate scandal which would lead to the resignation of President Nixon. By the time Graham stepped down as CEO in 1991, The Washington Post would grow into a media conglomerate with newspaper, magazine, television and cable businesses. The following decades would usher in more first-female CEOs of major companies, including Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard and Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo. Carly Fiorina would become the first woman to lead a company listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average when she became CEO and president of HP in 1999, according to the Washington Post.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963
passes, requiring that men and women receive equal pay for equal work in the same company. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission specifies: “It is job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Specifically, the EPA provides that employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.”

FINANCE: On December 28, 1967 Muriel Siebert became the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, the only woman among 1,365 men on the trading floor, according to the Museum of American Finance. Until then, women were only permitted on the NYSE trading floor as clerks and pages to fill shortages during World War II and the Korean War. She donated millions of dollars from her brokerage and securities underwriting business to help other women get their start in business and finance. In 1977, Siebert became the first female Superintendant of Banks for New York, overseeing all of the state’s banks, which had about $500 billion of assets under management, according to the MoAF. Not a single bank failed during her tenure.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 served as an update to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

The Family and Medical Leave Act. Passed in 1994, this law requires certain employers to grant up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12 month period to eligible employees who need time off from work because of a “serious health condition” that they or someone in their family is experiencing. This sometimes overlaps with Title VII requirements concerning leave for pregnancy.

FIRST IN MUSIC: Aretha Franklin is first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With a background in gospel music, The Queen of Soul was signed to recording companies like Columbia, Arista and Atlantic Records. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Franklin’s greatest triumph –and an enduring milestone in popular music – was her hit song “Respect.”

Executive Order 13157 was signed by President Clinton in 2000 to increase opportunities for women-owned small businesses. It charged the Small Business Administration to work with each federal agency to identify contracting opportunities for businesses owned by female entrepreneurs.

FIRST BILLIONAIRE: In 2000, Martha Stewart became America’s first self-made female billionaire. She first hit billionaire status in 2000 after taking her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, public a year earlier. She made her way back to the Forbes Rich List in 2005, during her infamous five-month jail term.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was an update to The Equal Pay Act. The amendment states that “Wages can include more than just hourly or annual pay. Wages includes bonuses, company cars, expense accounts, insurance etc.”According to the EEOC: “This law overturned the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc.,(2007), which severely restricted the time period for filing complaints of employment discrimination concerning compensation.”

A HOLLYWOOD-FIRST: Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first female to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. The Iraq war film also won six academy awards that night, including best picture and best original screenplay. The independent movie beat Avatar and other major-motion productions for best film. Bigelow also became the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing.

GOING GLOBAL: In 2007 Christine LaGarde of France became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country. On July 5, 2011, Lagarde would shatter another glass-ceiling when she became the eleventh Managing Director of the IMF, the first woman to take that title.

THE BIG 3 And THE BIG 4: In 2013, Mary Barra is appointed to CEO of General Motors, making her the first female to lead a Big 3 Automaker.

In February 2015, Cathy Engelbert becomes CEO of Deloitte.

The following April, KPMG names Lynne Doughtie as CEO, meaning women now lead half of the Big Four accounting firms.

CENTRAL BANK: The Senate confirms President Obama’s nomination for Janet Yellen as chairperson of the Federal Reserve — the first woman to take over the top spot in the 100-year history of the U.S. central bank, or any major central bank. Yellen is also the first Democratic nominee to run the Fed since Paul Volcker became chairman in 1979 (under Jimmy Carter).

ERA OF ENTREPRENEURS: Oprah becomes the first African-American female billionaire. The former television host turned media mogul founded OWN cable network and has a 10% stake in Weight Watchers.She is currently America’s highest-paid female celebrity, worth roughly $3 billion.

TODAY IN ASIA: Four decades ago, Yoshiko Shinohara – armed with a high school degree and secretarial experience – started a temp-staffing company in her one-bedroom Tokyo apartment. Now, at age 82, she’s become Japan’s first self-made woman billionaire. She recently retired as chairman of staffing company Temp Holdings, which had revenues of $4.5 billion last year.

TODAY IN AFRICA: Forbes counts only two female billionaires in Africa, including Folorunsho Alakija, the continent’s first self-made woman to make the list. She is the vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company that partners with Chevron and Petrobras. Her first company was a fashion label that catered to Nigeria’s elite women.


Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Reitz Union Grand Ballroom
Non-UF Attendee: $75 (Early-Bird $55)


 The UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center proudly invites students, staff, faculty, and members of the community to attend the 2017 Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium. Come learn, network & celebrate the empowering potential of women’s entrepreneurship. This event will feature speakers and panels, with a keynote presentation by Barbara Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley.

“Women changing the world one venture at a time”


For Additional Information, please contact Susana Santos or call 352.273.0328.

Be sure to Register Today!


Parrish McCall Open House

Parrish McCall Constructors, Inc.
Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: 3455 SW 42nd Avenue  Gainesville, FL 32608


Parrish McCall Constructors will be hosting an open house for Small, HUB Zone, Minority, Small Disadvantaged, Veteran, Service-Disabled Veteran and Women-owned businesses at the Parrish McCall officeThe meeting will provide an opportunity to meet the Parrish McCall team, review upcoming projects and discuss future opportunities.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Please RSVP to info@parrish-mccall.com.  


SBA Boots to Business

Are you a Veteran interested in starting or growing your business?
If so, you don’t want to miss out on this “Boots to Business Reboot Training“.

This is a 2 part training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

For additional information, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902 or natalie.hall@sba.gov.  You must register in order to attend.
Click HERE to register.



In Commemoration of Women’s History Month

Women Entrepreneurs Making An Impact: Just Look At The Numbers!

Every day a net average of over 1,000 US business are started by women. In the last decade, the number and economic strides of women-owned firms continues to steadily rise at rates rivaling the national average. As of 2016, there were approximately 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the US who generate about $1.6 trillion in revenues. These significant increases could be the result of the recession. Despite historically more challenges than others, women businesses have seen an increase of 45% in comparison to a much smaller number nine years ago.

Geographically speaking, the greatest amount of growth from women-owned firms has occurred in the South. Currently, the states with the greatest numbers in the south include: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina & Texas. Florida is currently leading the pack, up by 67%, when it comes to growth in the number of women-owned firms within the last ten years.

Women-owned firms are spread across pretty much every single sector. However, on average, trends show most businesses are lumped into the following types: Other services (nail and hair salons, home and pet care) about 22%, Health and social assistance (childcare, home health services) about 15%, Professional, Scientific, Technical Services (attorneys, architects, accountants, management consultants) about 13%, and Admin, Support, and Waste Management (janitorial, landscaping, office admin, and travel agencies) about 11%. Just a few of the sectors lagging behind in popularity include businesses focused on construction, transportation, and warehousing. While not as common for women to forerun the business mentioned, they stand head-to-head with other firms in reference to their revenues of $500,000 or more.

March commemorates Women’s History Month. Let’s continue to acknowledge the huge accomplishments of women from the past, present, and future. The statistics in this piece showcase women as the driving force to an improved economy and increased job opportunities. For those interested in recognition of their women-owned business, many organizations specialize in women entrepreneurial advocacy. One for example is, the Women Owned Business Certification in Florida (WBE). You can check out the eligibility requirements and application here. If you have any questions while completing the application process, you can send an email to OSDhel@dms.myflorida.com. As a reference, here are a few more women-centered organizations dedicated to women entrepreneurs: ASTIA, Savor The Success, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Reference: https://goo.gl/EWkBoE

By Nadia Alcide of Simply Sociable

Simply Sociable is a boutique administrative consulting firm that understands the importance of leveraging the internet and technology. Simply Sociable specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of in it. Nadia Alcide is the founder and a University of Florida alumni.


A Glimpse into Gainesville’s Black History

Gainesville in general is rooted deep in rich history. As we reach the end of Black History month, its fitting to discuss the important part black entrepreneurs, artists, establishments and business owners played in enhancing the flavor of Gainesville culture. Locals established well known hotels, clubs, schools, publications and stores for the community. These businesses and people may no longer be here but the impact and recorded memories still stand strong.

The Dunbar Hotel: Pleasant Place
Prior to desegregation of the area, the Dunbar Hotel served minority patrons. It was established in 1938 by Joseph and Sophronia Dunbar. The hotel was graced by notable business persons, educators, and musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, and Duke Ellington. After the original hotel started deteriorating in the 1980s, the City of Gainesville restored it and Pleasant Place was established to care for teen moms in need of assistance. In addition to the main house, the small house in the back was converted into a haven for the homeless looking for a transition back to dignity.

 The Union Academy
Established in 1886, it was the premier educational setting for most blacks in the area at the time. It was one of the first state-funded grade school for blacks at that time. The academy sat at the southwest corners of NW 1st Street and NW 6th Avenue. The school initially served about 179 students ranging in ages and quickly grew in popularity to over 500. Before the school closed and changed names to what would be known as Lincoln High School. A. Quinn Jones, who the former Lincoln High School building is named, was the last principle at the academy. At the Union Academy’s original location now stands the Rosa Williams Center for recreation.

Josiah Walls
A teacher, politician, lumberman, and entrepreneur all describe Josiah Walls. Mr. Walls was the first black U.S. Congressman from Florida. He served on his post for a total of six years. After leaving congress, it wasn’t until 1992 when another black state representative would serve. In 1873, Wells bought the New Era, the first newspaper owned by a black person. Although he only had it for a year, he merged his business with another local publication, The Farmer’s Journal. Walls was involved in a lot during his time in Gainesville, he even served as mayor. After ending his tenure in politics, Wells went back to farming where he owned a large farm on Paynes Prairie.


Wabash Hall & The Cotton Club
Two great staples in Gainesville back in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Wabash Hall, which is still standing, has a dancehall on the top floor and a grocery store on the bottom floor owned by the Gills and Glovers. Many Lincoln High Proms and Football victory dances were once held there. Gainesville was a huge tour stop for well known artist at the time such as B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown. The Old Cotton Club welcomed these artist to wow the locals for a night of fun and entertainment. Food was served and was always a hopping spot on the tour circuit.


Positive to know all that was happening just a few short years ago here in our backyard of Gainesville. Looking to the past in commemoration of Black History month we can imagine the diverse community that created the robust Lincoln, Pleasant Street, and Seminary communities. As Gainesville continues to grow, we all hope to work together to remain inclusive and diverse for years to come.

By Nadia Alcide of Simply Sociable

Simply Sociable is a boutique administrative consulting firm that understands the importance of leveraging the internet and technology. Simply Sociable specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of in it. Nadia Alcide is the founder and a University of Florida alumni.



Source: https://goo.gl/3SDY4N