Starters & Entrepreneurs

Do you want to start a new business, project or job? We can help! 


Are you a "Starter"-- someone who has a great idea for a new business or project and just needs a little help making it a reality? 

We know how to help Starters succeed by using The Balancing Act process to make their dreams come. (Read the stories below to see how some of our clients have done just that.)  

You can also take a FREE Starters' Strengths Sample AND discover if our new Starter's Services (Interactive Guidebook, Strengths Scale, or coaching) could ensure your success! 

 

Architectural Firm: “I should have done this years ago!”

Situation: A seasoned architect whose career had been spent in a major hotel chain decided to use his lay-off as opportunity to finally create the business of which he had always dreamed.  The economy was in deep recession, and in this Florida region, new construction has ground to a halt. Moreover, area architectural firms have taken a huge hit in revenues and were being forced to lay-off their own people. Timing for an architectural launch seemed to be dicey, at best.  On the other hand, finding a traditional job in the sharply downsized architectural industry was perhaps even more unlikely.

Action: To test the viability of his solo launch, we used the Balancing Act entrepreneurial planning process and laid careful tracks. This client quickly found his particular niche and professional strengths. We set a timeline and carefully checked all our assumptions. After three months of exploration, he already had clients in the pipeline.

Results: The distinctiveness of this architect’s business quickly became clear to him and potential clients!  In fact, his first clients showed up while he was still testing the waters.   By the time we completed the entire planning and evaluation process, he had secured his first three clients with many more in the pipeline. Moreover, he was already exceeding the financial targets he had set for year one.  His architectural firm is off to a great start and he is greatly enjoying his success, in sharp contrast to his colleagues in this beleaguered field.  He reports loving the new professional flexibility: he gets to accept only the projects that are best suited to his talents and values, is able to work from home and adjust his schedule to his personal and family’s needs. He says he has never been happier professionally, and wonders out loud why he didn’t do this many years ago.

 

Here are the expected outcomes and benefits for you and your project/business from following the TBA process.

 

Private Law Firm: “Doing what I love the most.”

Situation: An attorney left his corporate position to launch own private law practice.  We determined that his core talents and interests could form a viable three-pronged business with emphasis in first-amendment defense, employment law, and technology intellectual property agreements. Although this client had a strong personal network from having previously had a private practice, he had lost contact over many intervening years with former colleagues and clients. Consequently, it appeared at first that he was almost starting from scratch

Action: We developed the first draft of our entrepreneurial plan and launched immediately into informational interviews to test the viability of his three potential areas of practice. Well, that quickly exposed the fact that this man was still highly regarded and that many more people remembered him than he dared hope.

Results: Even in the informational conversations stage, where this attorney was simply trying to resume old professional acquaintances and discover the lay of the land, he was referred several high-profile first-amendment rights clients. The regional and national press coverage on these first successes garnered him enough clients so that we had to move into service delivery much sooner than we had anticipated. I even turned on the national news one night to see him talking on the steps of a federal court! As of this writing, this attorney has had so many clients in two of these practice areas that he has already exceeded his initial revenue goals. He also has secured positive press that brought old and new clients back into his pipeline. He now considers his business officially off the ground. He is enjoying his new freedom to work only with clients and cases that reflect his core values—and love the fact that this simultaneously allows him to meet all his family’s financial needs.

 

HR Consulting Firm: “My life is now my own!”

Situation: A senior Human Resources Manager wanted to leave her long-time job in a Fortune 100 company and start her own HR consulting business, for both family and professional freedom reasons. She is the primary bread-winner in her family and can afford only a year or so of start-up time before revenues must be equal to her prior high corporate compensation package.

Action: We began on The Balancing Act's entrepreneurial planning process and worked diligently toward her launch. She was an excellent client, following every recommendation I made and carefully executing every step in the TBA process (which she described as both “organic” and “rigorous”.) 

Results: Her new HR consulting firm has been successfully launched. She had her first paying clients within three months of our work together and a steady income stream that was already approaching matching her corporate compensation within only six months of our first meeting.  She is already evaluating when she might need to subcontract work to other professionals and bring on administrative assistance.

 

Read Strategies Magazine Article for Entrepreneurs: An Interview with TCI President, Sharon Seivert.

 

A Decision to Stop before Launching: “What were we thinking?”

Situation: Four MIT Sloan School-affiliated professionals decided they would like to form their own management consulting firm. Upon the suggestion of one of the group members (with whom we'd previously worked), we began the Balancing Act entrepreneurial planning process.

Action: Our first steps were to examine these potential partners’ Core Identity and Values, which turned out to be clear and cohesive. However, not long into step two of our process (clarifying Vision, beliefs and assumptions), it became clear that these people did not have a sufficiently shared vision to proceed. Upon reviewing the information revealed by the visioning exercise, the group determined that indeed they had had no idea that the four of them wanted such different things from this effort.

Results: Debriefing this information allowed this foursome the opportunity to voice their opinions, and gracefully agree to discontinue the effort. Both they and we considered this entrepreneurial planning effort a success, because had they continued in the direction they were so enthusiastically heading, they would have expended considerable effort, time and money – and most likely ruined their professional relationships – before they figured out that they were poorly suited to be partners in a consulting firm.