It has been said that most start-ups fail within the first five years. Whether it is the lack of market need for their product, lack of sufficient capital or the assembly of the wrong team for their project, if companies aren’t prepared, they may sink all too soon. Understanding this trend, Regina Jones, founder and president of Accurate C&S Services, was determined that this was not going to be her story. With plenty of research behind her belt and financial preparedness, Jones set herself up to successfully ride the wave for the long haul.
Jones’s company creates safer and healthier workplaces. Owned and operated by clinicians, they designed a suite of services scalable to meet their clients’ needs and customizable to meet their goals. Their services are provided at over 5,000 lab locations, at the job site or via their mobile testing units. They also provide nationwide background checks, drug and alcohol testing and employee wellness services.
Jones has always had a passion for helping others. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Rockhurst University, she went back to her hometown of St. Louis and worked in a hospital. This was followed by a position as a traveling nurse and then on to a job with Abbott Laboratories doing clinical research. She continued to explore other bio-tech and medical device pharmaceutical companies where she performed clinical trials.
Jones had her moment of clarity when she was planning a move to Charlotte, North Carolina. The company she was applying for requested a background screening, finger printing and drug testing. Jones recalls saying to herself, “I can do this.” That’s when she began researching the industry. At that time, she had saved an adequate amount of money from her day job and consulting. “I knew that most businesses fail within the first two to three years. It all has to do with not having enough money to survive. I knew the first several years were going to be lean. I’d have to live lean and plan not to frivolously spend,” said Jones. Six months later, she was in business.
Jones opened up a small office in Oakland, California and started doing drug and alcohol testing. Her first contracts were with the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Municipal Railway. After receiving 8a certification, Accurate C&S Services began marketing their certification and capabilities, which resulted in a $3.4 million, five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
“We did so well, with so little time, and were able to meet the requirements starting the contract on time with less than eight weeks,” said Jones. Local employees were hired and a new office building and mobile units were purchased.
Not only has Accurate C&S Services received exceptional ratings for the last three years of their contract, but their federal contract was extended for another five years. “They had so much confidence in us because we had proven our ability to provide an exceptional service beyond the requirements,” said Jones.
Coming from humble beginnings, Jones acknowledged that she is tremendously blessed to be in her position and wants to pay it forward. “I’m motivated to share part of my blessings with the youth, particularly young African- American males who seem to really lack mentors. I see myself doing trainings around government contracts because I really think that’s going to be the easiest avenue to starting a business,” said Jones. Her goal is to continue thriving in the world of business and she believes by educating others they can avoid the pitfalls as well.
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