It's every entrepreneur's dream to grow their small business and gain an international base of customers as well as a prominent media profile, wouldn't you say? ....... But what about achieving that dream within your first year of starting-up?
Well, here's the story of a woman who worked in the corporate arena for many years and found a way to successfully commercialise her passion through establishing a career counselling business, Career Oracle.
Based in Queensland, Australia , Kate Middleton (no, not Prince William's wife) is the founder of a business that helps people to identify their skills, interests and strengths - and then go on to locate and land the role that is in alignment with these.
Kate has achieved a remarkable rate of business growth in a short period of time and therefore I was confident would be able to share some useful tips with us .....
- Kate, what was the motivation behind starting your own business earlier this year?
- How would you describe your experience during your first year of business – and how does it compare to what you’d anticipated when doing your business plan?
I am currently at the 8 month mark and there have been so many wonderful surprises. In terms of all of the traditional elements of my business plan related to launching my website and social media channels and building an audience, this has all gone to plan. My expansion strategy based on marketing, PR and building strategic partnerships have also thankfully been executed to plan.
The other element is, if the market opens up new opportunities for you and customers from a new demographic present themselves – seriously consider adapting some of your model to cater for them. This is what I have done for my international clients and it is definitely paying dividends.
- In a relatively short period of time you’ve succeeded in gaining quite a profile in the media – what have you found to be some of the keys to doing PR effectively?
It really pays to sit down and have a think about which online, print and radio publications best represent your target audience. From there, review the articles they publish to understand some of the angles they prefer. PR does not just need to be about a direct grab on your business.
You could contribute tips around your area of expertise, pen an inspirational story about your entrepreneurial journey or participate as a business in magazine offers and giveaways. Do remember to request a direct mention of your business name and provide a live link to your website for inclusion in any online articles. Another great approach is to subscribe to media “Call Out” sites such as Source bottle. This will alert you to opportunities to contribute to, or be featured in various media stories and articles related to your product or service.
- So far, what have you found to be the most cost-effective marketing strategies for your consulting business?
- What advice would you offer to budding entrepreneurs, the ones who are still undecided about whether the potential rewards are worth the risks of starting their own business?
- Any final tips for our readers?