At the eLuminate crowdfunding conference, I had the pleasure of listening to Sandi Webster, the co-founder of Consultants 2 Go. She offered some great advice for people starting their own businesses.
- Get your name out by winning awards.
- Be flexible and able to adapt (ex: have small deliverables, then analyze)
- Find your niche
- The hiring process is important. Check references, formalize training, and make sure they fit in your culture. If you’re a small company, make sure they can multitask. If people aren’t performing, get rid of them. “I don’t care how nice you are,” Sandi said. “If you’re not performing, you’ve got to go.”
- Have processes and procedures. “As you grow, processes and procedures are going to be your life blood,” she said.
- Get a Board of Advisors and meet quarterly, and interact throughout the year. Don’t pay them, just ask for a one year commitment. Identify the functions you need, then identify the people who would be great to have and are qualified. Tell them the benefits by asking for their expertise as a mentor.
- Share finances with your team. You want total transparency to foster competition. On paying yourself, Sandi said, “If I’m not working and I’m not getting paid, there is no company.”
- Lastly, Sandi said you can’t both grow the business and work in it. “You cannot work on your business if you’re working in it.”