As a young child, Sundra L. Ryce was exposed to the world of construction by her father. But instead of joining the family construction business after she graduated from college, she established her own firm in 1996. As founder, president and CEO of SLR Contracting & Service Co. Inc., Ryce has established herself as a formidable force in a male-dominated industry. SLR is a growing company specializing in commercial construction, design-build and safety & risk management services. The 38-year-old Ryce has organically grown the firm to become one of the largest black-owned businesses in the nation. SLR ranked No. 98 on the BE 100s Industrial/Service Companies 2011 list with $19.7 million in revenues and went on to generate around $30 million in revenues in 2012.
Ryce is one of the featured panelists on the session, “How To Create Your Own Million Dollar Baby,â€ at the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo (BEEC2013) in Columbus, Ohio (May 15-18). Ryce will be joined by multimillionaire tech founder Amos Winbush III, CEO of CyberLynchs LLC, and independent film producer, distributor and CEO of Codeblack films Jeff Clanagan.
Ryce knows what it takes to grow a multimillion dollar business. She oversees all functions of SLR including construction operations, strategic planning, sales and marketing, human resources, customer service, finance and negotiations.
Under her namesake company, Sundra Rynce Inc.,Â the savvy businesswoman is also a sought after public speaker and the author of Confessions Of An Incredible Life, a motivational CD and an upcoming leadership book designed to empower individuals to achieve greater success in life. Her motto is “Leadership, Inspiration, Impact.” An ordained minister, she draws inspiration from the question, “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?â€
Ryce will share the following and other success tips at EC:
Vision for growth is important. That is how you have a multimillion dollar company by having a clear vision for growth. “But we made sure that we grew organically. Starting out, there were a lot of opportunities presented to us but we really had to look at what opportunities would be the best for us, for the company; what would take us to the next level. I have a seen a lot of companies over the years grow too fast and then they are out of business.”
Discipline goes a long way. “We have been disciplined with our opportunities and the customers we work with and those we love and who appreciate what we bring to the table. Personally as a leader, one thing is that I had a lot of faith in the team I put together; the action plan I put in place,Â and the right business model to build the company. I am a really structured person.”
Financial prudence is a must. “I know every penny that flows in and out of my company. You have to watch your money and control your cost, so that you can fund your business through profits. Your mindset should be ‘what do I need to do to reinvest in my company.’ When you know the numbers, what it takes, what it costs to run the company, then you will know where your profitability needs to be. You can’t spend up all of your profits. I’m proud that our company has no debt. Â That carries over into my personal life.Â I personally don’t have any debt either.”
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