As part of The Startup Magazine’s Female Founder Interviews series, we interviewed the author of this book, Martha Razo. Business Diva: Stories of Women Leading Businesses Razo, CEO of Guero Pallets, Inc. and owner of Solix Business Services, both Chicago businesses, shares stories of women who take their futures and lives into their own hands. As a seasoned business analyst and CEO, Martha is also very passionate about numbers and what they can tell business owners. She does this through a consulting firm. We interviewed Martha for a deeper dive into her various business and consulting expertise, her latest book, and her own exciting entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us the central message of your book in 10 words or less. Business Diva: Stories of Women Leading Businesses?
Martha: We encourage all women to live their purpose and realize their dreams.
To elaborate a little more, what is the main point of this book?
Martha: The main takeaway is, first and foremost, to share personal stories to inspire women to achieve success. I want them to learn from their mistakes. I also offer tips and advice to budding women in business.
Can you name a specific success story that demonstrates the purpose and success of Business Diva?
Martha: I would like to share this quote from Laura Alcantar Leon, CEO of S & L Pallets, LLC, author of “Business Diva”.
“Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a degree. Life happens, and sometimes it doesn’t happen even if you want it to. , it just means that I have to work twice as hard to make it happen. The only thing I had was an abundance of dedication and hard work. It’s also the best decision.”
As a numbers expert, what do you see as the importance of using business numbers to lead your organization?
Martha: Business owners measure their growth in numbers. Revenue, profit, number of employees, number of locations owned, etc. Business owners have company goals. To reach your goals, you need to understand the numbers in your business, and knowing the numbers that matter is essential. Numbers and data help business owners understand where their company is now, and where it can continue, and develop strategic plans to achieve business goals.
In addition, data and numbers provide insights to solve problems, formulate strategies to improve competitiveness by asking the right questions and develop forecasts to prevent losses and possible errors in business. provided to the owner. All business owners are required to review their profit and loss and balance sheet monthly, even if someone is assigned to them. The metrics in these reports should be monitored regularly. It is also used for theft prevention.
Going back to your early career decisions, what factors influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?
Martha: When I was a sophomore in high school, I started a scholarship for non-regular students called Student Scholarships for Students. I have had visions since she was 14 years old. We put that vision into action, took the first step, and started working toward its realization. It just so happened that I shared my vision with others, joined in and believed in it. And when we were able to build the team, magic happened.
The same formula seemed to occur naturally when I worked with 22 female entrepreneurs to create the book Business Diva. For example, in the male-dominated pallet industry, I am considered an industry leader. Many of my Palette colleagues ask me for advice. I am always happy to help others grow with any little tips I may have. What really matters is if they follow the advice I give them.
Entrepreneurship has been a challenging road. In my experience, great things don’t come easy. Being an entrepreneur allowed me to own and manage my own schedule. If you choose to work from home, you can work there at your leisure and comfort. It also allows me to see my clients at any time, giving me more flexibility than my 9 am – 5 pm schedule. As a mother, I can travel and spend more time with my son. I’ve always been disciplined and self-motivated, so I’ve never had a problem with not having a specific structure. When you have a work project with a deadline, it gets done in a professional manner.
Taking the career journey from mathematician to business leader as an example, why are more and more people moving from technical to managerial positions?
Martha: Within the next five years, business success will depend on how well owners can leverage business data for decision-making.
I’m trying to get my Ph.D. in industrial engineering. I decided to focus my studies and research on processes and data mining. I developed and programmed my own algorithms and learned to analyze big data and processes.
I want to be able to take data in any form, quickly analyze the data, and draw conclusions to determine the next move in my business strategy. For example, how many employees do I need to hire this year? Sales How many reps do you need? How much will you sell your wooden pallets for in the next 6 months? Can you do a 1 year contract? Should I buy extra land or build on top of an existing pallet plant? In all these decisions, I use data to guide my answers.
And what traits of you have particularly contributed to your ability to go from humble beginnings to being a successful leader in several businesses and now as an author?
Martha: I have three main characteristics. The first is my tenacity. Without my persistence, I would not have completed my master’s degree in applied mathematics. I set goals and never stop until I reach them, no matter how difficult it may be. For example, my new mission is to complete my PhD in industrial engineering.
Second, I’m continuing to learn about math and data analysis. The education I got was not easy, but it is in demand and well worth it. We were able to make quick, data-backed decisions during difficult times, such as the pandemic. Choices such as keeping inventory or selling can be the turning page for your business. The power of big data analytical skills allows us to make these decisions quickly.
Finally, my team at Guero’s Pallets is the best. We are a family that believes in the same mission. You work hard and understandably don’t take advantage of opportunities. Clients, big and small, love to work with us and they all receive the same high-quality of service. My family and I are happy every day to be able to wake up in the morning and go to work. We are also experts in our respective fields. All family members are seated in their correct seats in the company. Knowing this situation means the company is on the right track even during the storm.
What is your main challenge when trying to grow and expand your business? Hire others? quality management? capital?
Martha: As we continue to grow, our most important challenge is finding the right leaders we can trust. Finding people with the same work ethic and principles was difficult. Find the right people, but the search takes time.
What’s the most important thing you’re communicating to help women on their journeys as leaders and successful entrepreneurs?
Martha: My words on “Business Diva” are endless. If you have an idea, a dream, or a business you want to start, take the first step today. please wake up Everything else follows.
TSMs: What are some interesting facts about you that people may not know?
Martha: I love acting and dancing. I wrote myself an hour-long play for her called “My Dream Act.” We aim to release it in 2023.