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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Stephen & Sterling Carter

“Develop a business plan that will be instrumental in defining the market, defining the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, examining your niche, and figuring out your why.”

There are many businesses that begin between siblings. There are many success stories and probably many more untold failures of these types of businesses. If you'd like to learn from a sibling duo that is thriving, you'll want to listen in to today's featured guests, Stephen Carter and Sterling Carter of Sterling Staffing Solutions.

Sterling Staffing Solutions, headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, and founded in 2011, staffs more than 800 employees and contractors throughout Texas and Oklahoma including rural areas surrounding Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Twin brothers Stephen Levi Carter is CEO and partner and Dr. Sterling Carter is COO and partner. The business has twice won the Gold Stevie Award in the category of Minority Owned Business from The American Business Awards in 2017 and 2018. It also won the Gold Stevie Award in the category of Veteran Owned Business in 2018.

The business has been named to the Inc. 2017 5000 list for the second consecutive year. In addition to winning the 2018 Black Enterprise Family Business of the Year award and being a 2017 Black Enterprise Family Business of the Year Finalist, it won the Greater Houston Black Chamber’s 23rd Annual Pinnacle Award and the Greater Houston Better Business Bureau’s 2017 Pinnacle Award. It also won 2018 Greater Houston Better Business Bureau’s Awards for Excellence and 2018 Winner of Distinction Award.

The business and brothers have been featured in local to national media reaching millions. The brothers are slated to release a book through ForbesBooks – a publishing arm of the Forbes brand – this fall. For more information visit SterilingStaffingSolutions.com.

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Connect with Stephen & Sterling Carter:

Stephen & Sterling's New Book

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Key take aways from Stephen & Sterling:

Presentation is everything, and we wanted to make sure that everything we designed — from a marketing perspective — had a look and a feel of professionalism and demonstrated that we were the next level of a staffing agency and something unlike what they had seen before

  • We’re grateful for being in the healthcare field and knowing that our business touches so many people in a positive way.  We’re actually making a difference in people’s lives and getting them to a place where they can actually move around a little better and live more productive lives.  And as our business grows, we know that we’re able to touch more people and more lives in a positive way. As our business grows, we’re able to give back.
  • We’re grateful that as a staffing company, we have an opportunity to make an impact on so many lives by providing employment and providing a level of compensation which allows individuals to support their families, to be able to provide a great life for their kids.
  • Our mother is the entrepreneur that inspired us to be entrepreneurs
  • When microwaves came out our mom was at Montgomery Ward teaching everyone how to use a microwave.  Her hard work ethic has made a difference in our lives.
  • As a Physical Therapist with a small physical therapy out-patient clinic in Sugarland, I was receiving numerous amount of calls from my peers looking for employment.  They wanted to work for me, but being a small mom-and-mom shop, I just didn’t have any jobs for them.
  • I was also receiving numerous calls from health agencies that were looking for therapists to work for them because they needed patients staying in their homes, and at that time there was a significant lack of availability of therapists.
  • I realized we had a potential problem that could be solved, if we created something that could bring these therapists that I know to the home health agencies that we know are having issues and mirror those two by creating a staffing company.
  • Presentation is everything, and we wanted to make sure that everything we designed — from a marketing perspective — had a look and a feel of professionalism and demonstrated that we were the next level of a staffing agency and something unlike they had seen before.
  • We automated a lot of our tools and made it much easier for our clients to get in contact with us to staff their needs, and we did so at a rate/price that was below the competition initially, and we advertised in a way that, at that time, wasn’t being utilized.
  • Our marketing approach put us heads and shoulders above the competion.  It was a “build it and they will come” because there was a strong need and demand, and we were able to supply something that looked different and filled that need.
  • A key step that was important to the growth of Sterling Staffing Solutions was looking for opportunities in the market and being able to respond with a solution.
  • As we responded to the market opportunities, our model became the one-stop shop, providing all the healthcare staffing needs for allied healthcare professionals.
  • We started off with what we knew and what we were comfortable with, our niche.
  • If you have a healthcare business that is run by healthcare professionals that builds trust.
  • On the military mindset:  The soldier gets more done by [spp-timestamp time="8:00"] am than most people get done all day.
  • Being a staffing company, all we do is search for great candidates.
  • We use our own internal staff who know our needs and culture to find other great candidates.
  • We use the “we’re all in this together” model to help everyone feel accountable.
  • As an entrepreneur you must be able to sell your vision to your employees, your friends and clients.  You have to believe in your product so strongly and be able to speak to it eloquently.
  • We take our vision and mission statement and put it on the wall so that we can see it everyday.
  • It’s the little things that we do everyday to remind everyone of why we’re here and giving everyone a sense of purpose that is beyond just collecting a paycheck.  We’re here to make a difference in the world.  We’re here to make a difference and an impact on lives.
  • Be proactive and not reactive.  Have people and processes in place to handle the anticipated growth.
  • Stay hungry and ready.  There will always be industry change but be ready to move with the change.
  • Run whatever business that you start like a large corporation.  Make sure that you have an organization structure in place to ensure that whatever is needed in the business is being handled.
  • Put the right people in place; hire someone that is smarter than you are.
  • Don’t spend too much time working in the business, so that you’re not working on your business.
  • Create a business that is self-sustaining and able to run without you.
  • Everyone has a great idea. If you have a great idea, move on it, but plan, plan and over plan!
  • Develop a business plan that will be instrumental in defining your competition, defining the market, defining the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, examining your niche, and figuring out your why.
  • Revise your plan on an ongoing basis.

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Just do it! If you're thinking about doing your own thing, don't wait. Get started! Don't spend too much time and/or waiting for the perfect time.

 

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