Don’t be like Blockbuster: Wheeler Coleman on embracing tech to grow your business

Corie Murray’s ‘Black Men Sundays’ podcast focuses on business, finance and building generational wealth

Wheeler Coleman (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The business landscape in the 1980s and ‘90s looked far different than it does today, catering to swaths of demands that society has since grown out of.

Those demands generally stemmed from a lesser dependence on technology, yet the years have long since revealed the importance that companies keep up with the latest trends in order to not only stay relevant, but to stay in business at all.

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This week on “Black Men Sundays,” host Corie Murray interviews Wheeler Coleman, founder and CEO of Executive Consultants United, a consulting firm that specializes in the technological side of growing a successful business.

In the span of just six years, Coleman’s business took him from $1 million to $10 million in total assets, yet that initial million didn’t just show up overnight.

“I spent 33 years working for large corporate. I worked my way up from an entry-level software developer all the way up to a chief technology officer and a two-time CIO, so I spent a lot of years getting groomed by corporate America to run large enterprise systems. Technology, man; writing software, and then managing people, managing budgets, $300 million budget, $756 million budget, running and working with 2,000 employees working for me,” Coleman said. “So, in 2016, we started up EC United — Executive Consultants United — with intent to work with and for large enterprise companies all the way down to our local community centers, because each entity, each set of entities and all in between, they need to elevate their technology, and so we provide organizations with technology solutions, we do projects, strategies, assessment, cyber security, you name it. We also sell technology and we also do the contingent labor.”

The skillset that Coleman accrued in those three decades enabled him to seize the moment and satisfy the tech-related needs of a modern client base. The CEO positioned himself for success, as time has seen more and more industries either rewarded for embracing technology, or punished for shunning it.

“A little organization called Netflix got a hold of that technology and they start providing services to the clients to say, ‘Hey, guess what, you no longer have to mail back your movies or request your movies, or put them in a little red box, we can stream it to your house and you can watch it like you’re in the theater.’ So they made that transition because the technology changed,” Coleman said. “There was another large company that was out there, called Blockbuster, and Blockbuster had a lot of investment in real estate, and they said ‘Nah, nah, this is never going to fly, people are going to always want to come get their movies,’ and guess what? One company adjusted to the change of technology, leapfrogged the competition and literally put them out of business.”

No matter what kind of business you may have or hope to start, Coleman said that you must take a closer look at technology so that you can leverage it to help grow your operation.

“We need to tell all of our listeners that are running businesses to keep track of the changing technology that’s out there, because one day it’s going to come to your corner and it’s going to change your industry, and you want to be on the forefront of it and not be adversely impacted, like Blockbuster,” Coleman said.

Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below.

About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.