Latoya Skinner

Laci Ollison | March 22nd, 2021
Latoya Skinner (Photos by Seawards Dawson II)

Latoya Skinner (Photos by Seawards Dawson II)

Many people grow up with dreams of becoming successful. Some wish to be a successful doctor, some hope to be a successful lawyer, and others aspire to build their own business, create an opportunity for themselves, and become a successful entrepreneur. For the few that are lucky enough to build their own business, the road can be long, hard, and tough. Most, unfortunately, quit under pressure. But there are some entrepreneurs, like Latoya Skinner, who have thrived in multiple industries, dominating, and establishing multiple businesses while creating jobs and opportunities for their communities.

Born and raised in Belzoni, MS, Latoya Skinner is the definition of a serial entrepreneur. Now residing in Powder Springs, GA, this mother of three, Keydarius, Jamarius Jr., and Jakilah is a mover and shaker, and business mogul. She credits her parents, Brian and Caruthia for instilling in her the courage to push through many adversities. Additionally, Latoya prides herself at being someone who other individuals can look up to for inspiration. Her life she hopes represents what can be possible when you visualize, manifest, and strategize.

Latoya may be focused on making moves; however, she hasn’t lost her southern charm or residence. Owning almost ten different businesses, Latoya has built an empire for herself and hopes to inspire others to go after their dreams as well. “Growing up, I always stated that I wanted to own my own businesses,” said Latoya. “When I was nine years old, I wrote a book and one of the topics talked about my dream of becoming an entreprenuer when I grow up.”

She also admits, however, that she wanted to build her businesses for financial stability. Growing up in a poverty-stricken environment and watching her family struggle financially is what motivated her to start her businesses. That motivation led to something else, and before she knew it, Latoya was well on her way and leaving no doubt in the minds of those around her.

So, what has she accomplished? Today, Latoya is the owner of Tax Genie LLC. Her firm has three different locations. She also owns Platinum Freight LLC, which operates four over the road trucks and has provided stable employment opportunities to qualified candidates. Additionally, there is Shifting Gears which operates two trucks. She also owns 1st Choice Auto Brokers of Georgia, a used car auto brokerage, Prime Time Investments, which is an all ethnic based real estate invest firm with over fourteen properties in its portfolio, Sheltered Arms Inc. (a group home facility under development), and A Luxury Limo Ride LLC which provides luxury vehicle rentals for parties and events.

Although many entrepreneurs who have multiple businesses are tasked with hiring individuals to help them manage and operate their businesses, Latoya prides herself in being very hands on with all her entities. “Other than Tax Genie, I solely run the other business by myself. With Tax Genie, I have entrusted operations to others who I am confident in their abilities to manage it. Sheltered Arms will have multiple people running it once it is fully operational,” she says.

One of the primary reasons she relies on assistance with her tax firm is the influx of business during the tax season, which is usually at full speed from December to April. Her investment firm is located in Belzoni, so there’s typically a lot of back and forth traveling involved with building, remodeling, and getting properties ready to go, all year round. Fortunately, Latoya can work from anywhere with this segment of her empire. “A lot of it is internet based, so that provides me with the flexibility of being offsite and still being able to meet the needs of my clients,” she says.

One might ask where she gets the drive to do so much. Latoya says it all begins with family. Her family is her biggest motivation and inspiration, and the reason why she desires to be successful. She also has a fear of not being as financially stable as she has always dreamed about. “It is imperative that I leave a legacy for my children, and that is enough to keep me motivated,” she said.

What Latoya loves most about being an entrepreneur she says is being able to impact the lives of others. “I do a lot of building and helping other people get set up in the right way. Seeing my clients win and grow, and be proud of their accomplishments is the best reward this journey has offered thus far,” she says. Additionally, Latoya shares that her two biggest inspirations are Oprah Winfrey and a home healthcare mogul from her hometown of Belzoni, Clara Reed. “Mrs. Reed has had a significant impact on my journey as an entrepreneur,” Latoya says.

Like most sound businesspeople, Latoya has a five-year plan in place. During this period, she is focused on expansion that will involve all her businesses. She also hopes to continue her entrepreneurial journey and remain an asset-based business.

Latoya has some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs that she feels is extremely important to know before starting a business. “I am big on legalization. Get all of the necessary things set in place for your company to be a brand,” she says. “Although the process can be daunting, I am confident if individuals set up their businesses the right way, it will be worthwhile and spare them a lot of unnecessary stress down the road. These are tips that I emphasize to up and coming entrepreneurs, which helped me to become more organized and successful as a business owner.”

She also adds that aspiring entrepreneurs should have good marketing strategies in place, including reserving domains and reserving social media handles, logos, and getting necessary paperwork and operating agreements in place to ensure their business can be protected. She states it is also wise to consult with a business lawyer or business advisor to assist with filing the correct paperwork to establish your business. “Entrepreneurs should invest in gaining knowledge they may not already have. There are free resources available on the internet and in local libraries. Yet, if you are still needing further assistance, it may be wise to hire a consultant or marketing firm to assist with their business, and to help with reaching the goals they have set,” Latoya says.

While the future appears to be very bright for Latoya, she doesn’t appear to be taking any time off. Remember, her children are depending on her. Their legacy is depending on her. To learn more about Latoya and any of her brands, contact her directly.

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