Have you ever thought about starting your own business and making a living from your expertise? It’s something many people think about yet few actually do.
Here is my story which explains why I’m planning to create a package to help launch a successful services business on a shoestring budget.
I left my corporate job 2 years ago this week.
I’d spent 10 years selling my time and skills to other people on behalf of a Big Four Professional Services Firm.
That decade had been quite a ride and I learned a huge amount. Yet somewhere inside me, I felt the desire to see if I could hang up my own shingle and do it all for myself.
There was a feeling of giddy exhiliaration when I handed in my corporate pass for the last time and walked out into the brave new (entrepreneur) world. Yet this was tinged with some serious concerns.
Psyching myself up to make this leap had been a serious process. I’d always had my resignation letter on “stand-by” yet never pushed the button.
Leaving the cocoon of a regular salary, a full support system and all my lovely colleagues was a huge – not to mention a decade of memories. A great leap into the beyond.
I also had a very limited budget to get things rolling and a desire to bootstrap my way to success.
All by myself
From a business standpoint I felt naïve in the extreme. I was confident as a coach having spent quite some time in the corporate world developing my skills.
Yet I had never had any experience setting up the infrastructure of a business, figuring out where to find my clients, knowing how to persuade them to buy from me (without that giant behemoth behind me).
Most scarily I was going to a place where I had NO income coming in each month, and there was no-one else to help me change that (or to blame).
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Sitting here today, I can’t imagine a better decision to make. I have a thriving coaching practice, work with amazing partners and enjoy the flexibility and freedom that being an entrepreneur brings.
However I know that my journey from that triumphant day 2 years ago to today hasn’t always been smooth. I hit most of the challenges that a new entrepreneur faces head on.
I’ve learned many lessons about how to create a professional services business and find the clients I want to serve along the way.
In retrospect, some of these lessons were very costly in terms of time and money.
I chose a stupid name to start my business (Colosseum Consulting – people can’t even spell that), which put people off visiting my website.
I spent ages using manual processes I should have used technology to automate which wasted countless hours.
I spent too much time hiding under a rock because I had no idea how to find prospects and create a pipline.
I blew golden opportunities to sign up new clients because I had no idea how to conduct a sales call.
I don’t believe in regrets, but if I had my time over I would have wanted three things:
- Better information to stop me from wasting some of this time and money
- The dedicated support of someone who had trodden this path before to guide me past these pitfalls
- Access to others in the same situation at the outset of their businesses to share ideas and support each other
Make it so
For this reason, the idea of creating a package to support professionals who are thinking about or ready to set up their own business really excited me.
I know how valuable the lessons I’ve learned are and I wish I’d known them when I was starting out. They would have saved me loads of money and more importantly a lot of precious time.
So over the last few months together with my friend and fellow entrepreneur Catherine Morgan of Point A to Point B Transitions, we’ve been beavering away to build just such a package.
I’m certain that what we’re creating would be of huge value to anyone setting up in business. And we’re aiming to keep the price affordable, as every penny counts for an entrepreneur.
I’m not going to launch into a huge marketing letter about this, so let’s just leave it there. If this sounds of interest, just watch this space.
Over to you
This product will be designed for anyone interested in setting up their own business selling their time and services. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
What excites you about starting your own business?
What are the biggest barriers you feel when thinking about setting up on your own?
What kind of information would you like to see in this product?
What support would be most helpful for you?
Please do leave a comment and get in touch and we can make sure that Launching a Successful Service Business on Shoestring Budget helps turn lots of brilliant ideas into real businesses.
Photo credit: asvensson (Flickr Creative Commons)