Posted in Business Management, Consulting

A leadership style that guarantees a winning team

Before going any further, it’s absolutely necessary that all readers of this post understand the difference between leadership excellence and managerial acumen. A good manager is someone that shows good judgments, thorough knowledge, and expertise when supervising other employees. Managerial acumen also implies having a keen sense of other employees’ capabilities, who can get the job done, and how to assign workers to tasks. Lastly, a good manager always accepts responsibility for the overall performance of his/her team. However, this high level of professional competence does not necessarily make a manager a leader. A leader is someone who truly cares about those entrusted in his care. A premise indicative of the type of leadership that I embrace. Based on the findings of countless studies on leadership, most human beings are genetically predisposed to trust and cooperate with others that are in their immediate surroundings. A leader or team builder that keeps these human traits in mind when working with people and caring for them has a great chance of attaining leadership excellence. Many argue, this type of leadership is in direct opposition to capitalism; a position that resonates with a lot of conservatives. The conservative brand of leadership takes hold especially in an environment where numbers on a spreadsheet are more important than employees. As a result, corporate decisions are solely based on data, market conditions, and financial opportunities. Corporations are elevated to “people status” while people are stripped of their humanities.
Let’s go back to my style of leadership where getting to know employees on a personal level, listening to them, and taking care of them are a priority. This noble position gives leaders the ability to empathize and subsequently embrace what Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies refer to as people-centric leadership. Where exactly should this type of leader start? A leader should definitely start by explaining to subordinates that his acceptance of a leadership role is closely tied to providing team players with a new circle of safety and job security. Moreover, he should also express a willingness to extend that circle of safety to every employee. This is always a good starting point because it is the prerequisite to setting a positive work culture where employees can trust one another. In fact, the goal of leadership is to set a culture in which employees are free of danger from each other. Whether you are seeking new talents for your leadership team or are a new promoted leader to an existing team, it is imperative that you provide a strong sense of belonging to every member of the team. According to Simon Sinek, Author of Start With Why, “this feeling of belonging, of shared values, and a deep sense of empathy, dramatically enhances trust, cooperation, and problem solving.” Without a leader providing that circle of safety and a sense of belonging, employees will be forced to spend too much of their time and energy protecting themselves from each other.
Do I have your attention yet? I made sure and double checked that all employees know there is a new leader at work who cares about how they feel. Consequently, their stress levels about “the unknown” begin to decrease. With the stress and anxiety greatly diminished, a CEO should go straight into the next level of leadership, which entails sharing his/her vision for the company with every member of the team. There are still unknown dangers outside to worry about – e.g., competitors, a fluctuating market, rapidly changing technology … etc – but when employees are in that circle of safety, they convince themselves that those external dangers are more perilous than the dangers inside. Employees will gladly substitute individual goals for team goals when they know the more they give of themselves to see others succeed, the greater their value to the group and the more respect and compensation they will receive from the company. In this work environment, it is unequivocal that the more others want to help you, the more you can achieve.
Team building, the next component worth exploring, is an invaluable tool to leadership excellence. It is a process that should always include a new leader’s close observations of how people work together, preferably with minimal or no oversight, and how they talk to each other and behave in staff meetings . Theoretically, if everyone in a given team is completely on the same page and working in lockstep toward the same goals, as their new leader, you are half way there. With some degree of varying confidence, you can focus your time and attention making sure that every member of the team buys into the same plan of getting results, shared accountability, group motivation, and knowing how bad each member of the team really wants to win. Your pep talk to members of your team can go as follows: “you have to decide right now, what is more important: helping the team win or advancing your own career.” We all should be aware of the ultimate test of a great team: RESULTS. And, it is ‘teamwork’ not just good management that remains the ultimate competitive advantage in any given industry.

It is my sincere hope that this blog post gives its readers a glimpse into the type of leadership that I embrace. If you (individual reader, government employee, or a representative of a private company) were to order our management consulting services, Centuria Express Consulting would make it a point to address with you the first signs of a team in trouble.

Posted in Consulting

Centuria Management Consulting. Need more info, send us an email 📧 centexcargo@gmail.com

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via As a valued customer, we will assist you with gaining insight into the five dysfunctions of a team before exploring and addressing why some teams pull together

Our winning team has extensive experience in team building, temporary staffing, and a proven track record in leadership excellence. Moreover, the Centuria Express (CentEx) management consultants have a long history of turning small businesses that are struggling, around. We care deeply about people that have ordered our services. The emphasis of our working relationship with YOU is placed on ‘supply and demand,’ good management, and using ‘information technology’ correctly, to attract lots of customers to your business.

Posted in Consulting

Being self-employed without the support of your better half or significant other

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As a consultant, when someone comes to me with the interest and a business plan to go into business for himself or herself, before even checking the quality of the business plan, the next question I usually ask of this eager client is: do you have the support and the blessing of your entire family?
I am taking this opportunity to share with some of you readers, a discussion that some LinkedIn members were having about self-employment. A 53 year old Black male really got some attention. Although going into business for himself this time around was the third business venture of his life thus far, he still felt that he was being setup to fail for not having the support of the woman he loves. His first business venture entailed a home health care agency and temporary staffing in Southern California. He had the full support of his woman at the time. She and two other members of her family not only helped around the office and sometimes pitched in as Home Health Aides but helped this man secure $25,000 in private investments. His second business venture was with a sibling and a third partner. This business venture was about Information Technology temporary staffing & services and introducing the One-Stop Shop concept to the African and Caribbean communities in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC. Once again, he had the blessing and the support of the woman he loved. His woman poured $20,000 of her own money into this venture and got back $60,000 when the group dissolved in 2008. However, three years ago, the table has turned drastically when he met this passionate woman from East Africa. Her emphasis, like most American women, was on financial security and the fact that this man does not make enough money to support her and her children. It also came to my attention, which may be relevant to this blog entry that African immigrants from her country of origin have the lowest self-employment rate among all other African immigrants in the United States (i.e., with Liberia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya listed as the top countries of origin). This 53 year old Black male also shared with the group on LinkedIn that, it was like pulling teeth getting his woman to invest $300 in his new business venture. She complains about not getting any return on her investment ignoring the fact that her man spent that same amount on a designer bag he bought her for her birthday, and spent even more on birthday gifts for her children. Moreover, he wanted to surprise her with a 3 karat diamond necklace. Unfortunately, he never got around to it because he’s always too busy putting out fires having to run a small business all by himself.
Enclosed, please find the paragraph that the man in question wrote in our LinkedIn discussion about self-employment:
“It’s nerve-wracking when you don’t have the full support of the woman you love when you have your own business. Her full support is so critical because self-employment is for the most part based on a shared vision that derives directly from good business ideas or a concept that promises to supply the high demand of many potential customers. Self-employment does NOT offer “financial security” right off the bat but the on-going process of putting the right team together with the appropriate expertise in any growing market is sure to pay off great returns and profits to its stakeholders.”

Posted in Consulting

The profile of a Haitian customer in the retail international shipping business from the U.S. to Haiti

In 2004, I made the conscious decision to toss my hat in the ring so to speak, by entering the “freight transport and international shipping” industry, from the United States to Haiti. Taking a crack at what appears to be just another business venture was not an easy task. I know, it sounds as though I was a politician declaring his candidacy for a political office before a primary election. Take my word for it, this was more daunting. From the perspective of an average Haitian customer, the international shipping business to Haiti is an unregulated industry where anything and everything goes. Like the primary election in the United States with a field of candidates, the international shipping business to Haiti has no shortage of individuals that ship personal effects and household goods for other people in a 40 foot container from anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. That’s not surprising, since any private citizen can book and lease a 40 foot container from a number of major US shipping lines. In the political arena, registered voters usually don’t know much about all the candidates in the initial stage of the primary election. Early on, all they know about one particular candidate, he or she is either a Democrat or a Republican, what she looks like physically, and the persona she is gradually crafting and presenting to the media. But as time goes by, each political candidate begins to craft a more specific message based on an array of issues that are hopefully important to many different voters, with the hope of separating himself or herself from the pack. Freight transport and international shipping from the US to the Caribbean continues to give me the opportunity to interact with Haitian-Americans and Haitian nationals from all walks of life: from the customer who can barely read and sign her name on a receipt, to entrepreneurs, IT specialists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, and PhD’s galore … etc. Nonetheless, one prevalent thought immediately comes to mind when dealing with the average Haitian customer of any background. When she wants to ship some types of commodity from the US to Haiti: as soon as the customer identifies the ownership or the person in charge of operations as someone who’s of Haitian descent and knows how to speak Creole, it is as though something turns (i.e., Abbott & Costello – The Niagara Falls Sketch – Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch, choking gesture, scream, and then laughter from a live studio audience… etc). Remember, as mentioned earlier, a candidate in a primary election in the United States gets to tailor his message based on pertinent issues with the hope of getting enough votes to become the nominee of his party. Well, in the international shipping business to Haiti, a shipper does not get to distance himself from the pack of retail shippers. When assessing the shipping needs of the average Haitian customer, it becomes obvious that the customer’s main objective is to resist any type of framework and structure you may have within your organization. In my case, I have the right infrastructure and the wherewithal to deliver fast and reliable service to Port-au-Prince. This average customer expects the retail shipper to abandon his efficient structure and his line of service (e.g., express port-to-port service) but to instead adopt chaos and laissez-faire, or what appears to be the norm in Haiti. “You didn’t tell me I had to pay anything” is the cliche you will hear time and time again. That’s entirely up to you whether you choose to dignify that cliche with a response or meet an unrealistic expectation. However, a good entrepreneur always keeps in mind the following premise of good customer service: those who spend the least and ask for the most before ordering your service, will do the same after the sale. But If you ignore your business model, your niche market, and the scope of services that you provide and instead accept an average customer’s unrealistic demands, you can expect nothing but complaints and chaos. In the US, the average Haitian customer will go to the back of a supermarket and get the worst looking boxes she can find, so she can ship her household goods to Haiti. It is futile trying to redirect that customer and address what is known as ‘common knowkedge’ in the industry because you are wasting your time explaining to her that you and your shipping business have access to a publicly traded warehouse that abides by the rules and regulations of international shipping. And based on one of those rules and regulations, a retail shipper must insist that all pieces of cargo be properly packed and sometimes palletized before they can be shipped overseas. All of your recommendations will fall on deaf ears. A number of freight forwarders even offer incentives to encourage customers to ship their household goods in sturdy open-head 55 gallon plastic barrels or in jumbo 75 gallon fiber barrels. A lot of retail shippers are also privy to the info that shipping household goods in barrels is much cheaper than shipping the same commodity in some flimsy boxes. It is as though going across the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea in a large commercial vessel is just a minor detail. The average customer will be insistent and proceed by telling you, she has been sending stuff in boxes to Haiti for years and besides, this is how she has done it the last time with some unnamed Haitian shipper. That’s fine and dandy! But my question to you, sir or ma’am, is: Did you get good results? Their answer is usually ambivalent at best. From my perspective, the answer is “no.” Or could it be that a majority of Haitians did learn at some point in their lives to survive in an unstructured and sometimes chaotic environment and international shipping service from the United States to Haiti is a reminder or the bridge that still connects all of us to what used to be an unregulated world where every man and woman was for himself and herself as the ship sank or went down. “We are all in the same boat” may be a well-known saying but that saying does not apply to a shipping company that’s committed to doing the right thing and generating a profit. In any given enterprise where everything is above-board, a trained company representative always welcomes questions from a potential customer and then give her the opportunity to check whether the business in question has the sustainable infrastructure capable of delivering the services, she is looking for. Whether a business is capable of providing quality service is something every customer should inquire about before placing an order. Some customers will tell you point-blank that they are not interested in your structure nor in your business model. I often reply with a question, by asking whether they are looking for customized service. In the shipping industry, or any other business for that matter, “customized service” costs much more than standard or basic service. Therefore, let’s be realistic, people! You simply cannot ask for VIP service when you are sending one piece of freight and only paying for basic service rate (e.g., $150 for shipping one barrel of household goods/personal effects) from Atlanta, GA to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which does not include any local pickup fee, Agent fee, customs’ taxes, and door-to-door delivery). When a customer tells me: “this is what I want you to do” or “this is how I would like for you to deliver the service,” and not taking into account CentEx Cargo’s line of service. It sure sounds like customized service to me. “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.” Please put your money where your mouth is when asking for customized service. In the international shipping business, customized service entails 3 separate costs: 1) the cost of express pickup of your freight from a private residence, storage unit, or commercial warehouse 2) the cost of international shipping of your freight from New York, NY to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and 3) the cost of door to door delivery to anywhere in Haiti. If you choose to negotiate with me in good faith and have an honest discussion about this profile, I’d be the first to tell you that two (2) of the main shipping Agents on the ground in Port-au-Prince, should provide more service for the amount of money they charge. And what can I say about customs in Haiti? The last time three (3) of the key players of CentEx Cargo had a meeting with Haitian Customs, some of the topics we discussed, were mind-boggling. The founders of Centuria Group are made up of an eclectic group with some impressive credentials: an engineer with a degree from M.I.T., an IT Specialist that can put together a team capable of writing any computer software for shipping, a Director of Operations with a Masters in Business Management, and a warehouse Coordinator with close to 20 years of experience in warehousing and distribution. Nonetheless, we reached the consensus that international shipping to Haiti more than likely will remain dysfunctional for the next 25 years. It is a slap in the face for a shipping Agent in Port-au-Prince to tell someone who was educated in the United States and who has extensive experience shipping freight to other Caribbean countries to go in front of a Customs building in Port-au-Prince and get a broker. We are talking here about a bunch of young men with no credentials whatsoever posing as brokers. I will tell you what it looks like to me and my American counterparts: An agent in Port-au-Prince is more than likely a fat cat who has made the initial investment in a physical location (i.e., warehouse), bought a computer server with the option to upgrade, has some type of shipping software, and then sits on his ass because it is not required of anyone and their staff to do any legwork on behalf of any individual customers. But they can charge lots of money in a system with no frameworks for accountability. The public servants, on the other hand, have found a way to add one or two more steps to the bureaucracy or paperwork, a clever and dishonest way to generate more revenue for themselves and certainly not to create a larger tax base for “Haiti Cherie” and the Haitian people. “Corruption is endemic … ”
In conclusion, it should be duly noted that “international shipping service” to Haiti works like clockwork for big US enterprises, Haitian owned businesses, and super rich that are well established in Port-au-Prince. Nonetheless, I have a few questions for the profile of the average Haitian customer. Are you part of the solution or part of the problem? You are definitely part of the problem when you flatly refuse to pay any tariffs to Haitian Customs but instead want to identify for me the Customs’ Agent in Haiti that I can bribe on your behalf. You are also part of the problem when you choose to join the high percentage of Haitian customers whose main objective is to beat any business system on a technicality, because you don’t want to pay the set rate or anything at all for services rendered. How are we supposed to tackle the culture of fraud and corruption when all we do is pointing fingers? Mahatma Gandhi once wrote, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This is where some of the solutions to Haiti’s problems lie.
When will a majority of the Haitian diaspora and Haitian voters demand customs reform in Haiti? When will a majority of Haitian-Americans and Haitian nationals and voters demand good governance based on honesty, accountability, and integrity from their elected officials. We all can start this process by asking them, for instance, to specifically identify in the form of fiscal reports where for example in ‘Haitians customs’ they have cut down fraud and corruption and concrete actions taken to eliminate theft? When will the average Haitian customer asks the private sector in Port-au-Prince to stop stifling competition and to end illegal monopolies but to instead focus their energy toward providing quality service to customers. Major companies in Haiti would make a much larger profit as a direct result of good customer service, good pricing practices, and fair competition? When will a majority of Haitian-Americans and Haitian nationals learn to negotiate with each other in good faith and subsequently learn to “put together” and “pull their resources together” after having to let go of the crooked, self-centered, and inept mentality that’s preventing so many sharp minds from using the economies of scale that would result into greater buying power for Haitians in the United States. The potential benefit of truly working together is the creation of a much larger economy for Haiti and its people. Until we do these things, the collective psyche will continually be perceived as too many underdeveloped minds in a country with so much potential. A collective psyche that is functionally illiterate with total disregard for structure and the working model of prosperity on the island, regardless of the levels of individual success and education achieved abroad.

Here’s a bonus for putting you through the ordeal of reading this blog post. Lol 😆 Info about the most reputable agent in Ayiti for ocean freight services:

AGENT IN PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI

ETS. J.B. Vital, S.A.

No. 10-A Auto Route de Delmas

P.O. Box 87

Port-au-Prince, Haiti 6110

Phone.
011-509-2940-2840
011-509-2940-2640
011-509-222-2446

Email. etsjbvital@etsjbvital.com

Posted in Consulting

My intimate thoughts about dating, sex and a long lasting relationship

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Going out on dates is an opportunity to find out more about a potential lover. In my case, it always starts with some type of physical attraction or with my fascination with a woman’s unadulterated passion for her profession before asking her out on a date. As I get older, I began to realize that most women once they are looking for a mate like any man would, always put their best foot forward. If not savvy as a man, when dating you will get no hints about some of the personality traits you don’t want to see in a woman and those that you seek, which makes her a potential partner, friend, and lover. Her acceptance of your advances to either take her out to dinner and a movie or spending time with her at some social event will more than likely clog your judgment. The possibility of having sex with her for the very first time will complicate things further and can easily be interpreted as compatibility. Lots of men may rush to judgment by telling their friends that their first date was a total success and how he and this new woman hit it off almost immediately. A man is usually overzealous by the prospect that a woman who gave him her undivided attention and showing some subtle signs that she is interested in going out with him on a second date, may in just a matter of short time sleep with him.
During my parents’ generation, most people use to date and then marry within the circle of people they grew up with. Others, during that same time period, were world travelers but took a long and enough time to get to know the other person from a faraway land, as a suitable mate. We are now living in the microwave era where everything has to happen instantly. I am aware of the current reality and have been paying close attention to the signs of the time. Therefore, how do I meet the woman I really want in a short period of time? Such an endeavor undoubtedly requires a multi-faceted approach. First of all, meeting an even-tempered woman who doesn’t have an antagonistic attitude toward the overall American system and who has some disposable income are some key factors of my search. If the past serves me as a guide, I am going to need the right kind of exposure to meet a woman of that caliber. My presence in the social media sites is well crafted and deserves a second look. My target audience has had ample opportunity to experience the Charles brand first hand and to put a face to the name so to speak; LOL. There is no doubt that a more active social life with a focus on appropriate social events will serve as a vehicle to further my search for that special woman. Hopping on a plane to go to an exotic location has always been one of my top priorities and part of my repertoire. Making a conscious effort to attend social functions and business events with women of means in attendance is an integral part of my routine. We are now living in the world of online dating and speed dating. Consequently, I need to find a fast and efficient way to get to know a potential partner. That clearly defined goal may require the postponement of sex by rerouting my energy toward finding answers to some very important questions. My topics of discussion should range from setting boundaries if any for grown children, her upbringing, past relationships, relationships with her dad, mother, and siblings to personal budget, paying for essentials, debt, investments, and ways of raising children if she has any, and her views on family structure, community psychology, and discipline for instance. As I write this paragraph, it becomes imperative to state the fact, as a man I am not intimidated by successful women. However, it should be noted that most women of that caliber always look up, marry up, and hardly take the time to look down for the sole purpose of finding a good man with potential before pulling him up to her level of success – i.e., financial, professional, and personal. It is common knowledge that a middle aged man with means is more likely to share his good fortune with a much younger woman than a rich cougar would with her boy toy. Lastly, I am afraid that I haven’t been disciplined enough and calculated enough in the past to steer away from either verbally aggressive women or miserable women. This is, however, an opportunity for me to acknowledge that everybody who’s in a serious relationship with another human being will have some type of disagreement at one point and when angry we are all capable of saying mean things to a loved one. Thus, bringing up the principle of fighting fair to the forefront of any conversation with a woman I am pursuing should not under any circumstance be avoided. We all get angry and disatisfied at one point or another in the course of a relationship but the understanding that anger itself is not a destructive emotion will sustain any relationship through thick and thin. No two people are going to view the world the same way in each instance and in every situation. In any relationship, the two partners will have differences of opinion, not accepting that fact will pull any two loving people apart but accepting that reality can be the starting point to becoming a loving couple capable of resolving any problems in a respectful manner and without anger.

Posted in Consulting

The challenge of humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations for the Caribbean?

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Here you are, working at a private logistics company that has invested in state-of-the-art technology, heavy equipment, and a fleet of commercial vehicles. And due to a proactive recruiting process and choosing the right freight forwarders, your enterprise with its supply chain and logistics wing, has a winning team and the right infrastructure to deliver customers’ expensive freight on-time, directly to authorized agents in almost every corner of the world. Your ‘Director of Operations’ has countless meetings with his/her team to discuss effective logistics operations, ETA’s, In-Transit and on-time delivery of freight to several ports of discharge. But never in 100 years, would entertain the idea of providing fast and reliable service at cost to customers, let alone for FREE. In business, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ And that expression gets thrown around a lot during difficult times and when a natural disaster happens. High paying customers and the ‘super rich’ determine how resources are allocated in this industry. Therefore, most transport and logistics companies are usually caught off guard when approached and then asked by individual customers to assist at the lowest cost possible during a natural disaster. As humanitarian organizations mobilized to provide relief during a natural disaster, most of the time in a devastating and chaotic environment, it becomes apparent that complex supply chains are needed and become paramount for effective relief in the form of food, water, medical supplies, and emergency aid. Damaged infrastructure as a direct impact of hurricanes, earthquakes, or a tornado, is accompanied with a rapidly changing environment. That new reality should drive the need to optimize those complex supply chains. The outcome would be an adequate distribution system that includes specialized vehicles and equipment to deliver goods and services under a new set of difficult circumstances. Every year, during the hurricane season, I, on behalf of CentEx Cargo, get many calls from a number of potential customers who unexpectedly find themselves in a dilemma. Right off the bat, they inform me that they don’t have much money but want desperately to provide immediate help to people, some of whom are relatives that are in ‘dire need’ of relief in some remote town. Here is the thing, according to the world economic forum on disaster management, more than 250 million people each year will be affected by natural disasters. To make matters worse, the number of natural disasters has more than doubled since 1980 and still on the rise possibly as a result of climate change, population increase, and rapid urbanization. Moreover, natural disasters and catastrophic events need immediate ‘media attention’ to get more concerned citizens like yourselves to get involved and synchronize our energy in the right direction. The only silver lining in all this, is the fact that the frequency of those disasters will compel private companies, NGO’s, and government agencies to work together by forming the necessary partnerships. The objective is a seamless network capable of generating collaborative solutions at a cost-effective rate. It is crucial, however, to distinguish between a private company and a non-profit one/NGO. CentEx Cargo is a for profit entity. Consequently, the main purpose and goal to our contributions is to transport and ship donated goods at the lowest cost possible and provide private sector expertise to established NGO’s that already have a presence in the country where the natural disaster happens. Thus, before you ask for my assistance, you should already have a list of NGO’s that has extensive experience dealing with the government of the country where a given hurricane or earthquake did wreak havoc. Those NGO’s are more than likely capable of applying major discounts and a tax break to your account. Their main mission should be to subsidize some of the crucial services you are going to need on the ground in Cayes, Haiti for instance. There are always budget constraints as an economic reality even when private citizens are lending a helping hand to people in need.

As stated previously, the number of natural disasters has more than doubled in the past decades, and will continue to rise. And for that reason, I am continually looking for feedback from concerned citizens, interested parties, CEO’s of NGO’s, and Supply Chain and Logistics Directors to create a much better ecosystem for the entire Caribbean. This way, all of us can be sure to have a better, faster, and cohesive response to natural disasters

Posted in Consulting

Become an Authorized Ship Center. Get More Customers and Make More Money. Call Today! 770-864-4871

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Are you looking to get into the shipping business to the Caribbean or Central America? Are you too busy running your store or retail location to haul clients’ freight to a warehouse near you? Are you currently a shipper who does not have the back office, warehouse space, and the needed technology to take your business to the next level? CentEx Cargo could be your answer. Although CentEx Cargo is not a franchise, ‘Acquisition’ is continually recruiting for authorized agents. There are no royalties due to our group or to anyone else for that matter! CentEx Cargo is best described as a one-stop shop for transport and international shipping service to the Caribbean. Other services that you may offer, includes barrel sales, moving and shipping supplies, money transfer, money orders, fax, copier, professional printing, notary public, and tax preparation.

The fee we charge is already part of the bulk rate we offer to an authorized agent. Our freight forwarders and freight brokers work diligently to find the most competitive shipping rates. Moreover, they use the latest shipping software to generate the lowest bulk rate, trace and track cargo. We can offer training on how to receive and process freight for any ports of discharge in the Caribbean. This is a great opportunity for a lot of ‘mom-and-pop stores.’ More responsibilities can become overwhelming. An HR Specialist can assist with the recruiting of both full-time and part-time shipping clerks if there is a need.

If you require our services with starting your first retail location or building out your existing store, we can assist with that as well. Our Management Consultants and IT Specialists charge a consulting fee upfront, which covers an initial needs assessment, local contractor costs, and everything else you need to be a “one-stop shop” for transport and international shipping service to the Caribbean or Central America. Our team will do for you a storyboard design based on the CentEx Cargo/ECU brand and simultaneously assist you with finding the right location and negotiating for a long-term lease if required to do so.

In most states/counties, you will require a business license and will be subject to local regulations. CentEx Cargo can also assist in this regard. You should have a net worth of $250,000 or more with access to at least $75,000 in cash or an adequate line of credit to cover startup expenses.

If you are ready to participate and be part of this exciting opportunity, send your inquiries and leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

Easy business to operate! We offer complete training and on-going support. This business opportunity is ideal for a storefront or a small office with an accessible loading ramp.

For more information on how to accept and process freight for international shipping service, SEND us an email 📧 centexcargo@gmail.com

Posted in Consulting

Self-employment as an employment option in the Rehabilitation field

Self-employment in the rehabilitation field should undoubtedly meet the primary goal of any vocational rehabilitation program – i.e., to help people with disabilities become productive members of society through the achievement of independence and meaningful employment. A person with a disability who has his own business, meets the three main characteristics of that primary goal: Gainful employment, self sufficiency, and independence. I am not talking about an enclave position, nor job opportunities within a sheltered workshop. I am referring to self-employment as a viable option that clearly addresses the competitive nature of employment. Starting your own business as set by state or county guidelines and adopted by any supported employment program is a giant leap in the right direction. The success or failure of that option is strictly based on the ability of each participant to attract customers, provide good management, good customer service, and having enough cash flow. This concept should, however, require careful consideration only after the applicant has undergone a thorough quality assessment that identifies interest and capabilities. This way, a vocational rehabilitation counselor can assist the eligible individual secure funding and identify community resources in order to make an informed decision and hence a clear choice about pursuing self-employment. There is no cookbook out there, nor an abundance of strategies that would increase the utilization of that option. Strategies and methods for increasing the use of self-employment in the rehabilitation field are rarely discussed but constantly evolving due to the changing nature of business, supported employment programs, and the overall economy. After a careful search, I found these three models with strategies that have been proven to work:

A) Resource Ownership – A person with a disability has a piece of equipment or decides to buy that equipment because there’s great demand. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s say, that equipment was purchased with money from either a social security plan meant for achieving self-support, vocational rehabilitation funding, affluent family members, and lastly, from a community-based rehabilitation agency with a history of securing funds for qualified applicants. Subsequently, a vocational rehabilitation counselor looks for established businesses that have a definite need for that particular equipment but don’t want to spend a lump sum upfront to buy it. The interested party with a disability retains ownership of the equipment but gets paid every month or as designated by a binding contract between him/her and the business for the use of that equipment.

B) Partnership – People with disabilities can become partners in existing businesses in need of new cash flow. But each of those businesses, has a business plan, marketing plan, and established methods of attracting customers. A cash investment from the United States Social Security Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation Funding and from other capital resources, allows many interested people with disabilities to jumpstart this viable employment option and participate in this process. The partners in this model get returns on their investments in the form of regular payments.

C) Sole Proprietorship – Like the two previous forms of self-employment, sole proprietorship is grounded in the competitive nature of starting a business and similar to getting a job which emphasizes the “train and place” readiness model and ‘supply and demand.’ The disabled person’s suitability for business ownership comes to play. This approach remains person-centered but can be quite challenging given the lack of both natural and rehabilitative supports in the current business climate. In this model, no ideas for a start-up company should be considered ludicrous for a business plan. For instance, starting a baby-sitting company, a staffing agency for parking attendants, grounds keeper for less, and a thrift store run by people with mental impairment disabilities are some of the ideas suggested to me by people with disabilities.

Although barriers exist for people with disabilities who wish to become self-employed. But as many entrepreneurs understand, there are a number of strategies in place that will address those barriers on an individual basis provided that the interested person or applicant with a disability has the right support system in place. Implementing any of those strategies requires the mediation of a motivated rehabilitation worker and/or employment specialist. We, the professionals and people with disabilities must continue to advocate to the government and the business community for the implementation of policies and practices that encourage rather than deter the self-employment efforts of people that are grossly underrepresented.