Conquering the balance between family and work is no challenge for the 2012 Inc. 5000 “Top African American Entrepreneurs”, Tabatha Turman, a U.S. Army Veteran who also serves as the president of the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, while overseeing her multi-million dollar revenue generating business, Integrated Finance and Accounting Solutions (IFAS) located in Woodbridge, Va. Highly regarded for generating revenue of $4.1 million in 2011 and being ranked no. 705 by the 2012 Inc. 5000, Turman’s IFAS, once a one-woman consulting “band” in 2007, has more than 60 employees and subcontractors under her leadership.
“When you are at home, be present in your family’s life,” said the reserve officer, when asked how to balance the complexity, adding, “find quality time to be there." Fulfilling her final leadership role on active duty in command in Iraq some years ago, the career officer got a clear focus on following her dreams to start her business. “My technology skills turned into the mission for my company,” Turman said, when asked questions about her choice to create a business plan and venture out on her own.
Now certified by Small Business Administration as a participant in the 8(a) program, IFAS holds additional certifications including being a Verified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and certified as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) in the Federal Government’s SDB program.
As a visionary who has developed teams and kept them on track to accomplishing a mission, Turman offers great advice through three important life lessons to those who want to grow their business.
“Get an advisory board, even if it’s informal," says Turman, stating that researching companies you admire and asking questions is a way to “get some lessons learned early.”
“Set up a banking relationship with a banker that understands your business model," a business strategy Turman believes in, stating that it’s better to establish a line of credit early on so that you don’t have to “bootstrap it” with your own personal money.
“Hire (employees) for the company you want to have tomorrow rather than the company you have today," sharing that hiring those who will not grow within two to three years of your business plan may not work for your company’s future, “you have to know when to let go of employees," declares Turman.
With goals to expand the business ventures of IFAS from 100 percent federal government contracting into commercial and international business, Turman relies upon the support of her husband, son and mother for support.
She stands on the belief that “the mission has to be done, but you have to balance when you can do it,” a quote by Turman, who deeply believes, “you still have to find a way to stay connected.”