La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Business Solutions, a small business development firm headquartered in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. La Mancha has over 15 years of experience in financial consulting and specializes in small business growth & development and commercial finance. A former Naval officer who is now an investor and entrepreneur, La Mancha holds degrees in economics and finance. La Mancha works with new and established companies throughout the U.S. and Canada, providing solutions for growth and profitability.
As a Naval communications officer, La Mancha had tours of duty on both the East and West Coast and served honorably on active duty for 8 years.
La Mancha got his start in corporate America at Penske Trucking, a subsidiary of General Electric as a Six Sigma Process and Business Development Specialist in finance. After working at Penske for a number of years, he noticed that General Electric used its internal financial business specialists to improve processes and enhance business operations. As La Mancha worked with different business units within the General Electric family, he saw that smaller companies could use this approach and these tools in order to gain the same advantages and become more profitable.
La Mancha saw an opportunity in the marketplace to help small business owners as a consultant and decided to open a firm that specializes in working with new and small business owners in business growth and development, process enhancement and raising capital.
With Triton Business Solutions, La Mancha has worked with companies in many different industries to enhance their business operations, provide guidance for growth and turnaround assistance to increase profitability.
La Mancha has been married for 20 years to his college sweetheart and has 2 wonderful daughters. He is active in the community and is currently working with a youth business development group that teaches inner city kids about the fundamentals of starting a business.
What are you working on right now?
We are beginning a marketing campaign to promote our business to a wider range of clientele. Our firm works with startup companies that are trying to develop their business models and raise capital. We also work with established businesses that are having issues with profitability, development and expansion.
Where did the idea for Triton Business Solutions come from?
My partner and I saw a market need for a true small business consulting and development firm that was affordable and could help small business owners solve financial, operational and expansion problems while positively impacting their profitability.
What does your typical day look like?
My day usually begins early. If I don’t have to travel, I arrive at the office around 7:00 AM. Other team members usually arrive around 8:00 or 8:30 AM, so I have time to review my schedule and schedule phone calls for the day. I always try to take a few moments to peruse the Wall Street Journal and Investor Business Daily before getting started.
Then I review client projects and place calls in order to ensure that the plans we have in place are yielding the desired results. Customer service is our primary focus and we pride ourselves on quickly responding to any questions or concerns our clients may have. Customer service is everything to our firm. Consequently, most of my days are spent managing clients projects and making sure targets are met.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Any idea that comes to me is followed by a plan for which I develop milestones and matrices to ensure that the intended results are achieved.
3 trends that excite you.
The import/export business model, creative financing and Asian markets opening up to new business.
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I initially thought my first assignment onboard the U.S.S. Barnstable County was the worst job I ever had, but it turned out to be the best experience. I was the communications officer and had a boss that did not have a clue about how to develop a junior officer. He did not understand what team work meant and allowed his junior officers to sink or swim on their own. After that experience, I decided I would never put anyone who works for me through that. I learned to develop a team approach, coaching the people who worked for me to make them a part of the process whenever possible. It seemed to have been forgotten that good ideas can come from a number of places if an environment is created that encourages thinking outside the box.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would seek out people who worked in the field to better understand what it really took for them to succeed. It seems that everyone looks at people after they become successful and think “I can do that,” but no one really appreciates what it took for that person to get where they are. So, getting a better understanding before jumping in the deep end first is what I would do differently.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
Maintain an open mind and seek out new ideas. Always remember that your competitors are trying to figure out a way to bring the same product or service to the market cheaper, faster and in a more effective way.
Tell us a secret…
Fear of failure is a good thing. It keeps our minds keen and motivated!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The exporting industry is a business opportunity that cannot be passed up because of the emerging market opportunities in countries such as China, Brazil, India, etc. Those countries have growing populations ready to move into the middle class lifestyle.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book helps in the process of showing you how your thoughts, words and action are the 3 pillars to success in business and life.
If you weren’t working on developing small businesses, what would you be doing?
Teaching because I love showing others how to uplift themselves and having a positive impact on their lives. I would love to have a school where I could teach people how to start their own small businesses and the ins-and-outs of doing it in a cost effective way.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why.
Robert Kiyosaki: the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Carl M. Bishop: he leads enterprise project management at Advanstar
Rich McCourt: the technology and innovation leader at Oswald Companies
I enjoy reading about the insight that they have on business, life and how to improve one’s situation. Life is not only about making money, it is also about living and growing and these gentlemen provide insights into creating that balance.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I had a client that sent me a Twitter message that said “Mr. Sims, I need you to look at this picture I found of you on the web.” I was apprehensive at first, knowing how Photoshop can be used to manipulate images.
What he sent over was worse than I thought and my wife was in my office when I opened the file. It was a picture that he found of me (I later learned my brother had posted it on his Facebook wall), dressed to go to a school dance wearing a suit that looked like the suit John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever and wearing red shoes! I could not help but laugh and my wife is still laughing!
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
I would love to see Robert Kiyosaki interviewed.
How do I come up with a business idea that will make money in these economically depressed times?
I would start by reading to better understand what you enjoy doing and match that with a business idea.
What is the one thing you enjoy when you get downtime?
That’s simple: listening to some nice jazz, watching football with friends and family and reflecting on just how much I have been blessed.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.