Defying the odds spurs entrepreneur
Last year’s advocate is today’s entrepreneur: Floriza Genautis, founder of Management Business Solutions Inc., a customized professional staffing solutions company, has been awarded Minority Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Last year, Genautis was awarded the Advocate of the Year award.
“It means a ton. It means a lot. We must be doing something right, I guess,” said Genautis. “It’s wonderful to be in a position that we could continue to advocate for what we do. It helps a lot when we’re in a position to advertise for it, support it and advocate for it. I guess sometimes you’re just speechless.”
Genautis said much of her inspiration comes from the nominations she receives: She said they are a humbling experience.
“My nomination last year came from somebody from supplier diversity at Magna Mirrors. She believed in our passion and our advocacy, and that really inspired me to continue to do what I’m doing,” she said.
“I sit on an advisory board for BLEND (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Direction). This (year) was a nomination from the whole board. They later on forwarded the nomination form over to me, and I was going, ‘Who are they talking about?’ I was truly honored with what they said and how they viewed me.”
Genautis was quick to point to her staff as an integral part of her success.
“We do a lot — the whole group here at Management Business Solutions. The entire team certainly supports what I do. I am not going to be anywhere without them,” she said. “They allow me to do what I need to do to be a big supporter of diversity and inclusion. Obviously, my husband and daughter are right behind me, continually cheering.”
Despite the tough economy, Management Business Solutions has experienced growth.
“We’ve sort of defied some odds. We’re a staffing company in this economy where unemployment is at 15 percent. Certainly, we’re not placing two to three individuals on a daily basis; we want to be, but it’s simply not there,” she said.
“Our business plan is a little different; we’ve actually just added staff internally, because we’ve been incredibly busy.”
Part of the reason for the company’s success is its emphasis on relationships, said Genautis.
“We’re now getting a lot more attention from our clients who we’ve continually, consistently serviced, as well as partnered with,” she said.
“We also didn’t delineate from what we said we were going to deliver. We want to make sure it’s all about the relationship. Just because you don’t have a job order from us right now doesn’t mean we’re not going to talk to you.
“This is actually the time we focus a lot of our efforts in making sure we support a lot of different types of opportunities to be rooted in the community. We don’t advertise — we don’t put any of our dollars there — but we make sure we are involved.”