Create Work Where There Is None
Albert Black has watched God “break into the midst” of his work. He started a business in the neighborhood he grew up because there were too many people who did not have a job. He believes people need to work. Just like the shepherds did the work that needed to be done, Albert’s company does work that needs to be done. It is humble and basic. His company, On Target Supplies & Logistics, delivers to people what they need when they need it.
HATTIE: Hi, I'm HATTIE Bryant. Today's program it is an example of the innovative human resource strategies that are deployed by the great small business owners in every community in this county. None of us are big enough to hire an expert human resource person so we have to do it ourselves.
The great business owners understand that people can't be shoved into cubicles and forgotten about. People's lives can't be cut into work and personal sections with the owner ignoring the personal part. In our hundreds of in-depth case studies, we have come to know business owners who see their role, not as a CEO but as a coach, mentor, teacher, parent and guide to the people they employ.
Want to grow your business? Learn now from a genius. A man who truly understands how to bring out the best in the people who join him on his path.
HATTIE (Voiceover): Albert Black is a self-proclaimed capitalist. The baby of seven children, Albert grew up in government-subsidized housing. He started his first business when he was just eight years old, and today, he's making his dreams come true.
ALBERT BLACK: Well, you know, for me, the roots of capitalism took place right here in Frasier Courts. I remember going up to the office and renting a push mower and knocking on doors--knocking on doors and cutting yards for 50 cents. The things that I do today my father talked about when I was just eight years old. My father worked at a hotel, and he was the gentleman that used to help people. He was the doorman. And being the doorman, he really came to know some of Dallas' business leaders. And he would come home--and later on in life, when he wasn't doing that job anymore, he would talk to me about being a businessman and being a business leader.
HATTIE: (Voiceover) Albert founded On Target Supplies and Logistics in 1982 and he now employs 114 people generating $10.2 million in sales. The company supplies its customers with copy and computer paper and is now selling virtual warehousing services. His customer list includes the Who's Who of Dallas: EDS, Texas Instruments, Southwestern Bell, Texas Utilities, American Airlines and Verizon.
HATTIE: How did you get your first customer?
ALBERT: I think we roamed--obviously, we roamed the streets of Dallas looking for customers under highways, rocks, byways, anywhere we could find them. The reason I went into business is the same reason I'm in business today. We wanted to create jobs and to hire people. We think that's God's work, and that's what we wanted to be involved in. We also wanted to improve the infrastructure of inner cities in communities that we were doing business in. We pay people well.
ALBERT: The average income of On Target people--now understand we're in the warehousing and distribution business. And the average income is $29,800. So we have actually come into a neighborhood and taken tax users and make them tax producers. You know, that's--that's the idea. This was an abandoned building in the ghetto that looked much like the building across there. And we--we took a crack center and made it a commerce center. I told you I was corny, and I am.
HATTIE: Hey, it works. It rhymes. I remember it.
ALBERT: It works for me.
HATTIE (Voiceover): Albert started On Target soon after college graduation, but poor cash flow forced both him and his wife, Gwyneith, to get jobs to support the business.
ALBERT: I had to get a second job. I worked at night, but I had a goal. Not only would I earn income, but I would pick up a skill set, a management ability, a competency that I could bring into my company and make it work. Texas Utilities permitted me to work in their computer operations. I managed information systems. I managed technology development. I managed customer satisfaction on a technology piece.
HATTIE: This was at night?
ALBERT: This was at night. It was from 5:00 every night until 1:00 in the morning.
HATTIE: So you were here...
ALBERT: And I still had to be at work at 7:00 in the morning.
HATTIE: You were here at 7 to 5 then went to your job to get some dollars--some cash flow. How many months or years did you do that?
ALBERT: Ten years.