National Small Business Week at The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse joins in the national effort to help America’s small businesses do what they do best – grow their business, create jobs, and ensure that our communities remain as vibrant tomorrow as they are today.
Meet Todd Reed with Reed Roofing Company
GH: Tell us a little about yourself and your business!
TR: My name is Todd Reed, and I’m married with three children. I spent 34 years (1985- 2019) with Honeywell International. In my last role as Space Systems Executive and Director of Operations, I managed the Guidance Electronic and Navigation Systems (G&ES) Organization, part of the Honeywell Aerospace Business Unit. My responsibilities included qualifying numerous designs, fabrication, and delivery of products, supporting multiple programs, customers, and product applications for human space, missile defense, and satellites application, representing some of the world’s most complex Defense and Space Engineering Computing and Inertial Control Systems.
In addition to managing the Space System Business Unit, I supported critical internal/external business acquisitions. My corporate business experiences have reinforced the belief that the sum is greater than its parts. Life is a series of building blocks and knowledge (experience) is an additive, with unlimited boundaries.
GH: What inspired you to start your business?
TR: With the passing of my father, Rudolph Reed in 2008, I was honored with the responsibility to continue the journey of a third-generation business, Reed Roofing Company, established in 1929 by my grandfather, Sylvester Reed Sr. In fact, the journey represents a commitment (promise) to my late father to get the business to 100 years. We’re six years from the goal. Although I became the business leader in 2008, I committed to full-time duties in 2019. Running two businesses with different complexities/demands interrupts the ability to get 6 hours of sleep. Hence, I decided to immerse myself full-time in Reed Roofing Company to keep my promise and support the family legacy.
GH: What was it like starting your business?
TR: My journey represents building and enhancing the legacy cultivated by my forefathers. However, I’ve learned with a small business, the buck begins and starts with the owner. All decisions are critical and must take into consideration the team supporting you and their families. The key is to learn the benefits of service to customers and employees. This lesson was inherited from my father and his father, “Be grateful for the opportunity to serve.” This lesson has provided great returns on investment (ROI). I have years of business experience, and matriculation of study but the service lesson is the “crown jewel” every small business owner needs to apply.
GH: What advice would you give to others who are looking to grow their business?
TR: Never discount your value, trust your instincts, and prioritize integrity and consistency from yourself and others. Dreaming big is okay, but I always encourage entrepreneurs to be realistic. Before entering and/or starting a business, take time to work in the field and obtain hands-on experience to better understand the risk and opportunities.
We must always choose the positive to overcome the negative. The wise learn from all of life’s challenges – good or bad. Good teachers are those who speak from a place of experience. Not all experience is positive, but they are the ingredients that enable us to help the “community.” The greatest challenge/question for me, experienced across many industries in American society, do you belong? This is not an uncommon experience. Women and minorities must work to build a bridge to overcome this challenge, if not for themselves, do it with others in mind – future generations. Utilize your mind and ingenuity and take deliberate actions to demonstrate you matter. Never check your mind in at the door, be willing to be heard and seen, contribute positively, and be the “difference”.
GH: Why do you think National Small Business Week is important?
TR: The 2022 statistical data from the U.S. Chamber speaks volumes as to why small businesses are important to the US Economy. National Small Business Week provides a great opportunity to recognize and broadcast the importance of Entrepreneurs and the impact small businesses have on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These statistics provide a powerful testimony:
- There are 33.2 million small businesses in America, which account for 99.9% of all U.S. firms.
- Small businesses are credited with 63% of new jobs created from 1995-2021 or 17.3 million new jobs.
- Small businesses represent 97.3% of all exporters and 32.6% of known export value ($413.3 billion).
- Lastly, small businesses employ 46% of America’s private sector workforce and 43.5% of the Gross Domestic Product.
GH: What are your future goals/plans for your business?
TR: In 2022, we decided to expand the Commercial Segment of our Business. The St. Petersburg Greenhouse Small Business Resource Division has been a valuable resource in supporting this initiative. With the assistance of the Greenhouse Team, our plans are being realized. By the third Quarter of 2023, we expect to have a larger Office/Warehouse footprint to support the business’s commercial growth objectives. The Greenhouse Team demonstrates the value highlighted earlier, the lesson I’ve learned as a small business owner, “people are the greatest asset/resource both internal and external… adding tremendous value”.
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