Prince William Living recently interviewed Corliss Udoema of Contract Solutions, Inc. to find out why she chose Prince William County to “work, live and play.”
What prompted you to start your business?
A dear friend of mine had a very successful business. She asked me to help her by providing contract administration support. I told her that I would help her, but there would no charge. Her response was, “NO, you will not do it for free! You are going to establish a business and invoice me for your work.” I had no thoughts of starting a business and was not even sure how to go about it. However, if you knew my friend, you would understand that she is not an easy person to say no to! So, with less than fifty dollars, I officially started my business in February 2006 about a month after I retired from the federal government.
How would you describe your business in three sentences?
- A blessing from God that has allowed me to bless others.
- A walk that has expanded my horizons and caused immeasurable growth in my faith.
- A pathway of miracles that has been both challenging and humbling.
Why did you choose to locate your business in Prince William County?
I came to Prince William County to live near Danielle, my youngest grandchild, who was just entering elementary school. I had planned to return to North Carolina when my granddaughter was older, but then Annelise, my great-granddaughter, was born. I held her in my arms and knew that my plan to leave Prince William County was not going to happen. A baby truly does change everything!
What has your experience been?
Doing business in Prince William County has been a great experience. Our company has employees in Prince William County, Virginia and various parts of the United States. We are appreciative that as a small business in Prince William County, we have had the opportunity to partner with our county, the City of Manassas, nonprofit organizations, and churches to positively impact our community.
What have been some major accomplishments/milestones in your business?
- Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing US Companies 2017 and 2018. We were recently notified that we are being honored in 2019.
- Fantastic 50 – Virginia’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies
- Virginia Small Business Person of the Year
- National Small Business Person of the Year 3rd Runner Up-
- Top 30 Staffing Companies Book of Lists *WBJ
- Congressional Record
- Prince William Living’s Influential Woman Award
- Corporate Philanthropy Award for volunteer hours Book of Lists
- Corporate Philanthropy Donations Made *WBJ Book of Lists
- USDA Department of Agriculture Small Business of the Year
- USDA Department of Agriculture Woman Owned Small Business of the Year
- Proclamation from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors
- Commendation from the Commonwealth of Virginia Senate
If you have advice to give businesses, what would you tell them and why?
Hold on to three keys – Prayer, planning, and patience! Prayer because before you start, you need divine direction. Planning because a plan is needed to ensure that your labor is not in vain and that your work will yield positive results. Patience because after you have planted and watered, you must patiently wait to reap the harvest of your labor.