People often ask me about the process involved in starting a consulting business. In my case, an HR consulting business. Fifteen years of experience in Corporate America prompted me to take the gigantic leap of faith to start my own business. However, nothing could have prepared me for day-to-day trials and tribulations of being a full-fledged, independent business owner.
To follow are some tips I would like to share for anyone thinking of jumping on this roller coaster;
1) Be Prepared – Have a business plan. Decide how you will finance your business. Are you prepared to get a loan or do you have savings that will finance your first few years when you may not have a client? Visit www.SBA.org for more tips on a business plan. During this journey, I have had to work full-time to fund my dream. I learned along the way that I had to treat my business and my dream like a baby. Brenee Brown once said, “you wouldn’t have your baby pay for its own diapers?” In the same way, like Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank and finance guru shared, you may have to work full-time to afford your business.
2) Create a brand – Creating a brand makes your business easy for others to recognize and you will be more comfortable as you present your business to others. When creating your brand, hire a professional logo creator. A professional logo creator can ensure that your logo unique. If you can not afford that luxury, stick to something simple and unique as your own picture and the name of your company.
3) Develop a Dream Team – Some call them Masterminds but I call them a group of people that have your back. For example, my book editor is actually one of my best friends that happens to have had a former career as a speechwriter. I would have not have known this if I did not share my dreams with her. Now she is an extremely valuable member of my team.
2) Network, network, network – This is crucial. Your business will not grow unless you get out there and tell someone about it. Phone calls and emails are nice, however face-to-face contact is priceless. Most of my clients have been obtained through networking. My goal was to send out a mass mailing introducing my business, instead, I have been busy servicing the new clients that I have obtained through networking.
3) Never give up – Quitting is not an option. Stay focused on your mission and goals for your business. Post your goals on a board if you must. Take a part-time job or have a garage sale if funds are tight. Remember you are not alone. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a little encouragement.
Until next time, keep soaring!