Black Business Month Spotlight: Evans St. Fort
MIAMI – State Representative Barbara Watson(District 107) recognized Evans St. Fort, Licensed Funeral Director and CEO of St. Fort’s Funeral Home & Cremation for his company’s compassionate guidance offered during the often trying and emotional experience of finalizing funeral arrangements for a loved one.
St. Fort’s Funeral Home & Cremation continuously strives to exceed the expectations of the families they serve.
Watson presented the Evans with a proclamation, stating that small and minority-owned businesses are key to local North Dade County economic growth and to the area’s livability.
Watson also praised Evans St. Fort, noting that as a former small business owner, she understood the level of commitment it takes to work toward entrepreneurial goals.
Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amounts to approximately two million companies owned by African Americans.
Q&A With Evans St. Fort
Q: What do you think is the best way to build business relationships?
A: Build the relationship in terms of a friendship. If someone finds something in common with you. That’s an easy way to connect with them and continue to continue to grow the relationship.
Q: What are the things you do to avoid self-doubt?
A: Keep God first. At the end of the day, I am doing his work. First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to talk to him. I always ask him to lead me. Whatever direction he leads me in, I don’t doubt. Fortunately for me, God has led me in the right direction. I know that he will continue to make sure I am pointed in the right direction. What helps me with self-doubt is keeping my faith strong.
Q: What do you think about the entrepreneurial landscape in South Florida?
A: The entrepreneurial landscape in South Florida is very competitive. If you want to start in the entrepreneurial world, Miami is a place that unfortunately requires a lot of capital. When you are looking to invest in a business or real estate or a physical location. My advice is to look further north. South Florida is saturated with individuals that have money. Most people that come to Miami come here with money. The landscape here is not easy, but I believe if you can make it in Miami, you can make it anywhere.
Q: What keeps you in Miami?
A: I’ve established myself here. My client based is also established here. We serve a lot of people from the Caribbean, and we have funeral homes overseas in Haiti. We have been doing well here, and that’s what has kept me so far.
We are currently working on another project in Fort Pierce. It will be ready by the end of the year.
Sharing about failure
Like anything you just start doing it, there is always that learning curve. I’ve made mistakes here and there, but I can’t pinpoint a huge mistake because I have been very strategic. Usually, before I get into anything, I do my due diligence to make sure I am getting into the right thing. Most of my mistakes have been things I did not do right the first time, but I got it right the second time. I haven’t had any catastrophic mistakes.
Explaining, “Hire the right person, your team will determine your business success.” If you ever paid attention to Lebron James and what made him one of the biggest names in the NBA, he always surrounds himself with good players. He aspires to win a championship, and just like business, one person cannot drive the business. One person can be talented, but they can’t drive the whole business to massive success. If you want to put your company in a position for it to do really well, don’t be afraid to hire someone who knows more than you. Recruiting that person will only make you and your team better.
Q: What is a book that you read that has helped you?
A: I am more into financial literacy books, Rich Dad Poor Dad. A book that really helped me become who I am in the business world is The Richest Man in Babylon. It has biblical principles that I applied in my life.
Q: What do you want to be remembered for?
A: For me, it is about being the most valuable to people while I am here on this earth. Whether that means being the best husband to my wife, being the best sibling to my brother and just to make sure when an individual sees me they feel God’s presence because my goal here on planet earth is to serve you. Whatever God wants me to do in someone’s life is that is precisely what I am going to do. When that last day comes, I have given everything I can to help someone else.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: My father has been an excellent mentor in my life, and I am really fortunate that he is still here. My brother and I are really competitive. He would always push me to be my best. He opened a furniture store in midtown and did very well. Between my father and my brother, I had an excellent dynamic to the point I did not have to draw from anyone else. Besides them, there really isn’t anyone that I can say I wanted to be. I always tell myself I wanted to be the best of me.
For more information about St. Fort’s Funeral Home & Cremation, CLICK HERE or call Evans St. Forts at (305) 940-1428