TOP 7 With Charles Jones—Baltimore Powerhouse Commissaries
Back in August 2019, Charles Jones, President and CEO of C&S Jones Group, LLC. joined us on the GOVCON GIANTS PODCAST. With hard work and perseverance, he was able to build his business. We were honored to have Jones as a guest and give our audience some advice on how to continue to meet your HUBZone requirements while growing your business. We also touched on his win percentage to stay ahead of the curve and continue growing, his favorite books, training recommendations, and much more.
Charles Jones runs a minority-owned business based in the Baltimore Metro Area, conducting work for the U.S. government in five separate states in three different time zones. CEO of C&S Jones Group, LLC is a certified full-service government contractor dedicated to improving all areas of government and business operations, streamlining processes and cost reduction.
EVERY COLLEGE IS A HUB ZONE
As Mr. Jones stated, “This is $1 million that I’m giving you right here…College students, even ivy league colleges are considered HUBZones because the students that reside there, their income is below the threshold, to be considered a low-income area.”
Therefore, it’s a win-win. By doing this, students get experience and get prepared for their future business or career success. In turn, the company gets the benefit of maintain their size standard.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Most companies give up before the 5th year. Don’t give up! If you can stick it out and maintain to your 5th year, that becomes your turning point. At the 5th year, doors begin to open, and you begin to propel forward in new ways. As Reginald F. Lewis said and Jones quotes, “Keep going no matter what.”
HOW TO GET A MENTOR
When looking for a mentor, Jones advises looking at what you bring into the relationship as a mentee. Looking at it from these lens, evens the playing field and allows you to know what you can bring into the relationship and what you have to offer in return for their mentorship.
CONTINUE LEARNING EVERYDAY
The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and his local paper, the Baltimore Sun, are three tools Jones uses to keep his learning going. As an avid reader he loves to educate himself and states, “If you’re not looking for new ideas and seeing what’s coming down the pipeline, you may miss some harvest.”
Some of his recommendations include online classes, online magazines and the following books:
- “Soul Food: Fifty-two Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success” By Doctor Robert Wallace
- “Entrepreneurial Finance: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur” by Steven Rogers
Wait? For what? Well, Jones advises you wait until your company is ready to join the 8a program. In order to receive its full benefits, you want to assure you are prepared and ready to take full advantage. Also, wait to assure you can do what you say you’re going to do. “This is a people business,” states Jones. “They have to like you and trust you…we’re utilizing taxpayers’ dollars, so you definitely want to make sure that you’re doing what you say you’re going to do and delivering because if not you’re out of the game.”
CHECK THOSE CHECKS!
Okay, maybe most of us get direct deposits and this is a digital era so they’re not necessarily “checks,” but checking your payroll is very important as a business owner and having your own company. As Jones states, “you are responsible for its financial health and wellbeing.”
“BE CAREFUL WHO YOU GET IN BED WITH…IN BUSINESS”
An old saying that still holds true. Make sure you listen to your gut and that you can trust the people you are working with. Most importantly, Jones advises that even if you do, “you still have to get it in black and white.” Make sure you have paperwork, so everyone is protected and on the same page.
To conclude, Charles Jones ended with some great advice and encouragement, “If I can you can… Know that there’s ups and downs. It’s a cycle. It is not easy. It’s not going to be easy… Be prepared for the ups and downs and sleepless nights. Have a strategic plan but don’t let that plan become your gospel. Be fluid in everything you do. Have someone to turn to,” for Jones it’s his wife, “and also have alone time during the tough times.”
To learn more about government contracting subscribe to the GOVCON GIANTS YouTube Channel.