Developing a viable business

A business development project for a new consultant

Background:  The client specialises in a very specific form of coaching aimed at helping people deal with differences in culture.  Despite having considerable personal experience of living and working with the differing attitudes, values and thinking in different environments to your own background, she was struggling to get her own business established in a new environment.

Our objective:  Our objective was to explore the type of services she was offering, identify any new areas she wanted to get into and to define her marketing messages so that she could launch her services in a new market.

What we did: We started with a straightforward consulting session to establish the direction she wanted to go in and the strategy she wanted to use to build the business.  It emerged that she had some very specific mental "blocks" that were preventing her getting up and running. We switched to using coaching methods for a deeper look at why she was finding it so difficult. 

We identified the assumptions she was operating under and established that many of them were not true for her and her business.  After quite a bit of exploring the causes of these false assumptions, the client made some rather startling discoveries about the way she was thinking that she had not previously been aware of.  These epiphanies allowed her to shift her mindset and change to a new approach to marketing her business.

After some reflection and adjustment, we continued on with developing her marketing message.  We tested a couple of ideas on how she might market her business and discovered the client had so many techniques and so much content that it was difficult to summarise coherently in text.  We switched to creating visuals as a better way of telling the story on what she could do, giving potential clients the opportunity to see the difference she could make in their lives at a glance.  The client was then able to pull together her message in a fun but very practical manner, suitable for sharing in particular on digital media.

The outcome:  The client now has a plan she is fully committed to for how she is going to market and deliver her business.

The benefit:  The client moved from a distinct lack of confidence in how to establish her business to a position of being sure of both the need for her skills and her ability to deliver tools and techniques that would help her clients overcome many of the difficulties they experience in their lives in dealing with different cultures.  She has overcome many of the barriers created by having some false and misleading assumptions picked up throughout her life and career and established a new way of thinking about her business.  She also has a new way of communicating with clients that makes it easier to explain the benefits of her work and that can be adapted to a range of scenarios in future as her business grows.

The sessions were 90 minutes every week for 4 weeks in a mixture of in-person and online sessions.