Not everyone needs ongoing business support and advice. Sometimes people just want some help with a particular issue they’re facing, or they need help to make a big decision for their business. So I’ve invented what I call decision making sessions for people who want a couple of hours of intensive Julia time, either to really understand how to do something, or to talk through a big decision they have to make. Sometimes, this can be a review of the whole business and where it’s going – those ones can be very powerful indeed.
Here are some of the issues I’ve been helping with
Shall I carry on?
- One person got me in to ask if she should carry on with a business which wasn’t making much money and wasn’t a lot of fun. I think she knew already that she had to give it up and do something different, but wanted to be totally sure this was the right thing. Although the business was dead in the water, I did manage to come up with a way for her to sell the mailing list to a competitor, which at least paid for my session and a wee holiday after winding up.
Shall I start this business?
- Someone I’ve known for ages with one business got in touch because they had an idea for a new venture. Although it looked very exciting (much more interesting than her current freelancing role), we had to carefully think through whether it had any potential. In just 2 hours, we couldn’t possibly make a final decision, but she left the session with a long list of things to research, test and ideas to steal, plus introductions to a couple of my clients from years ago who had previously sold to big supermarkets, so she could pick their brains. I reckon she’ll be back in about a year with a very solid business plan, and wanting some support at that stage.
Should I go into partnership with this person?
- A client from about 6 years ago got in touch as he’d been offered the chance to go into partnership with someone who worked in the same field. It looked good on paper, combining forces for something bigger and better together, but should he do it? After me asking lots of nosy questions, it actually got down to a very emotional decision that he didn’t really trust the other guy, so he shouldn’t do it. About 5 minutes before he left, he mentioned something else that he’d been thinking about, but hadn’t got round to yet. This was a ridiculously good idea (one of those where I wish that I’d had the idea myself) and we’re meeting up again to make an action list for getting this one on the road.
I’ve been offered investment, but I don’t know understand the implications of giving away equity in my business.
- I do quite a lot of work in this area, where people with growing companies want to understand
- either to investors or to staff. With this one, we spent three hours going over pie charts and potential investment levels, and by the end of it, my client knew how to negotiate a really good deal.
Would you like some help?
If you’d like some help with a big issue in your business, then book yourself in for a session. I work in Brighton, Sussex and London, or if you’re further afield then the decision making sessions work well on the phone or by Skype. Drop me an email with what you’d like to talk about, and we’ll set up a time to get together and really crack it.
Photo credit – Martin Fisch from Flickr on a creative commons licence