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Hi everyone,

 

I've just decided to take the plunge and start working for myself. I've worked in learning and development at a senior level for nearly 20 years and finally decided to try and branch out on my own. I know it will be hard work and unpredictable but if you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. I've set up a website and am trying to engage with businesses. I am also considering offering free career choices workshops in local communities. I want to have a mixture of professional business consultancy and also to be able to give back and offer community/individual support where possible. Do you think this would be of interest for people?

 

I need to try and get businesses more familiar with what I am offering but know from experience that cold calling doesn't prove very effective so any suggestions of other ways of promoting my business would be really helpful.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.Tracy

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Hi everyone,

 

I've just decided to take the plunge and start working for myself. I've worked in learning and development at a senior level for nearly 20 years and finally decided to try and branch out on my own. I know it will be hard work and unpredictable but if you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. I've set up a website and am trying to engage with businesses. I am also considering offering free career choices workshops in local communities. I want to have a mixture of professional business consultancy and also to be able to give back and offer community/individual support where possible. Do you think this would be of interest for people?

 

I need to try and get businesses more familiar with what I am offering but know from experience that cold calling doesn't prove very effective so any suggestions of other ways of promoting my business would be really helpful.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.Tracy

 

 

I've been here myself and I think the best advice I can give you is to have a very honest conversation with yourself first.

 

What is it that you are really good at? I mean, better at than most people you've worked with in this field? This is not an easy question to answer necessarily. In my case I'd worked in big multi-national organisations and held a number of senior roles, across different functions. There's lots of things I could do - but was there one, or two things, maximum, that I really stood out at, or had specialist knowledge of?

 

 

Then the next question is..."What is the gap in the market?". To put that in non-jargon, "Who are your potential customers and what is it they are looking for, that you can offer?". "Why would they be likely to choose you above others offering a similar service?". Also, "Why might they not choose you above others offering a similar service?".

 

Can you do something better, faster, cheaper? Than your potential competitors? Who are your competitors?

 

The first stage of setting up any business is to do some very thorough market research and understand your customers and the market needs.

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Hi everyone,

 

I've just decided to take the plunge and start working for myself. I've worked in learning and development at a senior level for nearly 20 years and finally decided to try and branch out on my own. I know it will be hard work and unpredictable but if you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. I've set up a website and am trying to engage with businesses. I am also considering offering free career choices workshops in local communities. I want to have a mixture of professional business consultancy and also to be able to give back and offer community/individual support where possible. Do you think this would be of interest for people?

 

I need to try and get businesses more familiar with what I am offering but know from experience that cold calling doesn't prove very effective so any suggestions of other ways of promoting my business would be really helpful.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.Tracy

 

I'm a business. Pitch to me. (For realsies).

 

Business consultancy to an awful lot of small businesses can be filed under snake oil sellers, or marketing. You don't just need to know what your business is, but mine as well. Can't speak for the big boys though.

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Good advice above.

 

It seems from your post that you have no experience of sales. You need to sell your services if you are going to work for yourself. I have a lot of experience at sales and find cold calling the best option. You need to find out where your target market 'go to' for their information. We found our target market still don't really use social media for business. They use trade specific publications which are too wide spread to make advertising in the cost effective.

 

Cold calling is the most effective option for us. It is low success rate but is inexpensive. Make sure you CTPS check any numbers before you call.

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I've been here myself and I think the best advice I can give you is to have a very honest conversation with yourself first.

 

What is it that you are really good at? I mean, better at than most people you've worked with in this field? This is not an easy question to answer necessarily. In my case I'd worked in big multi-national organisations and held a number of senior roles, across different functions. There's lots of things I could do - but was there one, or two things, maximum, that I really stood out at, or had specialist knowledge of?

 

 

Then the next question is..."What is the gap in the market?". To put that in non-jargon, "Who are your potential customers and what is it they are looking for, that you can offer?". "Why would they be likely to choose you above others offering a similar service?". Also, "Why might they not choose you above others offering a similar service?".

 

Can you do something better, faster, cheaper? Than your potential competitors? Who are your competitors?

 

The first stage of setting up any business is to do some very thorough market research and understand your customers and the market needs.

 

Excellent advice

 

---------- Post added 27-11-2017 at 14:49 ----------

 

I'm a business. Pitch to me. (For realsies).

 

Business consultancy to an awful lot of small businesses can be filed under snake oil sellers, or marketing. You don't just need to know what your business is, but mine as well. Can't speak for the big boys though.

 

You'll need to PM tinfoilhat, pitching your business on the forum is seen as advertising

 

---------- Post added 27-11-2017 at 14:52 ----------

 

Good advice above.

 

It seems from your post that you have no experience of sales. You need to sell your services if you are going to work for yourself. I have a lot of experience at sales and find cold calling the best option. You need to find out where your target market 'go to' for their information. We found our target market still don't really use social media for business. They use trade specific publications which are too wide spread to make advertising in the cost effective.

 

Cold calling is the most effective option for us. It is low success rate but is inexpensive. Make sure you CTPS check any numbers before you call.

 

Hi Cheryl, I think cold calling depends on the type of business you are running. For example, if you are selling something someone needs all of the time, then cold calling is absolutely right. However if you are selling something that someone needs very infrequently, the cold call would have to be extremely lucky to find the right person at the right time. In this scenario you should look to SEO and other social media methodologies to help the customer to find you.

 

---------- Post added 27-11-2017 at 14:58 ----------

 

Hi everyone,

 

I've just decided to take the plunge and start working for myself. I've worked in learning and development at a senior level for nearly 20 years and finally decided to try and branch out on my own. I know it will be hard work and unpredictable but if you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. I've set up a website and am trying to engage with businesses. I am also considering offering free career choices workshops in local communities. I want to have a mixture of professional business consultancy and also to be able to give back and offer community/individual support where possible. Do you think this would be of interest for people?

 

I need to try and get businesses more familiar with what I am offering but know from experience that cold calling doesn't prove very effective so any suggestions of other ways of promoting my business would be really helpful.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.Tracy

 

Have you asked Ken? :hihi: (Tracy, feel free to contact the forum and ask for this to be removed...I just could not resist!!!)

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Excellent advice

 

 

Hi Cheryl, I think cold calling depends on the type of business you are running. For example, if you are selling something someone needs all of the time, then cold calling is absolutely right. However if you are selling something that someone needs very infrequently, the cold call would have to be extremely lucky to find the right person at the right time. In this scenario you should look to SEO and other social media methodologies to help the customer to find you.

 

 

 

Hi Steve. Hmm, not sure if I agree or disagree with you here Steve, I will explain. People think we are the same as everyone else, wrong, we do have a genuine USP.

 

We contact (cold call) people who may not be unhappy with their current service provider so they are not actively looking to change. If they are looking they rarely do a general Internet search so SEO would be a waste of money. I don't want to say more otherwise it may be seen as advertising. Hopefully I have explained why I'm not inclined to 100% agree with you.

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Hi Steve. Hmm, not sure if I agree or disagree with you here Steve, I will explain. People think we are the same as everyone else, wrong, we do have a genuine USP.

 

We contact (cold call) people who may not be unhappy with their current service provider so they are not actively looking to change. If they are looking they rarely do a general Internet search so SEO would be a waste of money. I don't want to say more otherwise it may be seen as advertising. Hopefully I have explained why I'm not inclined to 100% agree with you.

 

It depends on the market you are operating in. I have to say it is very rare for me to receive a cold call these days and I suspect it is because of the type of business I run. Most purchases are 'distress' i.e. I have an issue and i need to make the purchase now. No cold calling in the world will second guess when I want to make that purchase.

 

Whereas, for example, corner shops are different. They are constantly buying consumables (till rolls/POS etc) so it makes sense to constantly cold call them as there is a high probability of making a sale (the reason I know this is I used to be the Sales Director of such a company).

 

Neither are mutually exclusive, but if you have limited resources, I would suggest the OP priorities based on the buying profile of her target customers.

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I didn't mean constantly cold call them. I meant cold call to introduce yourself and the company so they know of you should their needs change. Of course most won't save your details but I have had people contact me over a year later when they are in dire need of help and advice.

 

We always profile who we cold call. Some of mine for my employers were very specific niches. I find SIC codes unreliable as they are often incorrect for the business.

 

I have tried various methods of drumming up sales, business to business over the last thirteen years but previous to that I have done business to consumer sales.

 

I'm trying to get the point over to the OP that you can't expect customers to come flocking to you. I have found that is a popular misconception of people starting their own business, either shop, on line or a service of some sort. I know you know your stuff Steve but a lot of people don't.

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Go for it. Some great advice here.

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