The Business…

I have gone and done it now!…

I finally decided on a name for my business.. and now I have applied for and gotten the paper work I need to move forward! So, what am I doing?.. Consulting. Sorta. Let me walk through it a bit…

I love talking to and helping new and small businesses. I really enjoy talking to business owners and hearing about the things they are doing, that they are passionate about, and the various aspects of their livelihood. However, more than that, I love helping them. The idea that a person can start a business and make it successful or know everything they need in order to make a profit is just silly.. Especially when it comes to marketing, advertising, communications, social media, and even sometimes basic business things. Yet, at the same time, more often than not they just cannot afford to hire people to fill these roles, and subsequently they end up wasting a whole lot of time and money trying to make their business succeed…

aka… They work longer and harder instead of smarter.

So, the business I am starting is a consulting business.. but a little bit more intricate and involved than that. There are three components essentially, but there is established flexibility to accommodate anyone.

The first component is the business that needs help.. I want to get to know them, get a feel for their company, their goals, products, services, mission, values, market, culture.. all of it. I want to start with getting a real feel for who they are and what they are doing. Once I feel I have done that, I will be able to start putting together suggestions and priorities for them.. Whether that is a marketing plan, a business plan, a photographer, web designer, graphic designer etc.. But, because I will be working with new or small businesses the key will be their budget and me figuring out a way to fit what they need within their budget… Which means it will likely turn into a monthly plan of what priorities should get done with the budget they have for each month. The thing that I would actually like to do at this stage is be as involved as I can in this process, including the executing portion.. For two reasons… The first being, just handing someone a plan to follow is fine, but the chances of it getting done and getting done well are slim. And second, while I can give them all the coaching possible on how to do this, it is not what they went to school for, nor are passionate and excited about. So, I will be as involved or uninvolved as they would like me to be… Or that they can afford.

The Second component actually is to include the network of business contacts and friends I have or will make in my life. You see, I know hundreds of people across the country (and some around the world) that have amazing talents, education, skills, passions etc.. And, a lot of them are running their own small businesses.. Some in photography, graphic design, web design, copy writing, videography, accounting, consulting etc.. My goal will be to create a network with these friends and colleagues, get the best possible deals from them that I can, and then use them to provide the services the original client needs. However, the cool thing with this will be that the client will be able to choose the ones that match their style instead of just choosing from one that may not be a perfect fit for their style or business. Then, what will be happening in this stage is that the businesses of my friends and colleagues will be gaining additional business (and while it will be at a reduced price, it will still be business), so I will be able to help them as well.

The third and final component is that I will create a list of recommended charities, and the first 10% of the income (not profit) will go to the charity of the original business’ choice. They can certainly choose their own charity if they have one they support or like in particular, but I will also work to create my own list of recommended charities that they can choose from. So, while the money will be donated by my business, it will be in honor of the business I am consulting for.

You see, my goal is not really to get rich so much as, this is a way for me to do what I love.. I will be able to grow as I am able (especially seeing as I have a full time job and have a year left of my double masters program), but I will be able to eventually grow this into whatever I want or am able, from anywhere in the world, AND I will be able to do what I love.. helping others succeed. I will be able to help them attain their goals and passions instead of struggle with things they know little about or cannot afford full time. Plus, it will be fantastic experience for me!

More to come as I begin to put all of the pieces together!

Starting Something That Matters…

This is essentially my “Part 2” of the review for Blake Mycoskie‘s Start Something That Matters book I just finished reading. The first review was my thoughts on the book itself (which I loved, and seriously I recommend you get it and read it!) , this is going to focus more on the impact the book has had on me, and the way in which I plan on working towards starting my own something that matters.

But first, a little background…

I have been in my career field for around 7-8 years now, I have known that I want to be doing exactly what I have been doing since I was 15 and my uncle painted a gloriously magnificent picture in my mind of what Communications/PR/Advertising (and business) looks like… exciting, energetic, fast paced, hard, challenging.. and mostly just different and adventurous all the time. So, almost 13 years ago I settled on this as my path. All throughout college I knew what I wanted to do, I got a degree and worked in my field throughout college, graduated and jumped right into my field and have been in this field of study ever since… A little over a year ago I felt like I was supposed to go back to school (*tears*), so I have been pursuing a double masters in Business Administration and MS in Leadership.

I have worked in jobs that I loved, hated, was apathetic about, or incredibly passionate about. However, I have always loved helping those who have small businesses or new businesses understand things about communications, marketing, PR, advertising etc.. It has always struck me as sad and frustrating because they typically do the best they can, but there is no way new and small businesses can afford graphic designers, communications people, web designers, etc.. So, I love helping them where I can with whatever I can or at the very least directing them to the friends I have in the particular area they need help in. Essentially I have been doing some form of consulting for five or so years now.

So, while reading Start Something That Matters, I began thinking, why am I not actually pursuing consulting?.. I love it. I love everything about consulting… It is different every day, I get to help people with my skills, I get to network, I get to learn, I get to give business to my friends who are in various different fields.. but mostly, I love the fact that I get to help new or small businesses succeed, which makes a huge difference in the lives of the employees and their families.. The trickle down effect is astronomical!

One of the things that struck me the most about Blake and his approach to business and the philosophy’s behind TOMS is how much he truly mixed profit and social responsibility. However, the social responsibility is really what sets the business side apart and makes it successful. The loyalty that is built when a business makes social responsibility one of the main goals is amazing to read in his book, and confirmed for me that everyone wants both of those things, to do something that has a greater purpose and provides/pays the bills. So, due to this, and the fact that I 100% agree with this in my own life and my own desires, the first 10% of income will go to organizations of the “clients” choosing (even before bills are paid).

So, my new business will look something like this… You are a new/small business, you are struggling, need help with a website, advertising, etc.. but you’re working on an extremely tight budget. You would hire me to create a package that works for your needs.. after we have spent a decent amount of time building our relationship, my understanding of the needs and goals, I would coordinate with the various professionals (who all have businesses of their own) to help with the specifics needs of your package (web design, graphic design, photographer, videographer etc..) and you would then pick the ones with the styles that match your own tastes… We would work out the payment plan/options, and you would pick which charity you want your 10% going to (everyone has favorites)… but I would of course have a list of my favorites to choose from just in case (because I know so many people who work for amazing charity’s as well). Then, I would commence to working to help your business succeed.

My something that matters is helping new and small businesses succeed whether by consulting for them or with them, while also supporting charities that make a difference.

This is a slow process to get this started and going, but I am pumped… Especially since I can start and grow this slowly while I am still working full time and getting my double masters (oye vey.. clearly I don’t have enough to do). But, I now have a purpose behind the double masters and the things I am learning working for a national organization, all of these skills will be vitally important later.

Currently I am working on finding a name that captures my idea (feel free to send me any ideas you have), then getting the business squared away both legally, identity wise, and the look and feel of what I am doing (I cannot start a business claiming to help others without first following my own advice and getting websites and things)… Then (and until then) I will also be working on building my network of experts and professionals to partner with me (let me know if you’re interested in partnering with me and joining my network). And of course, lots of prayer will be taking place in the next while for this whole thing.

Should be exciting!