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!