Welcome to another brand new small business chat. Jennifer Martin contacted me after reading and enjoying this series, to ask if she could be featured. Jennifer, who’s in California, runs Zest Business Consulting, which aims to help small business owners and solopreneurs to make sensible business decisions and achieve or maintain a good work-life balance. Well, we all want that, don’t we! Jennifer is quite unusual among my interviewees for the way in which she launched her business – OK, she had previous experience in the business area, and in running her own businesses, but then she just went for it, cold, straight into it, no preparation. That’s a bit brave, isn’t it – but she’s been going for 18 months now, so something must be going right. Let’s see how she did it …
Hi, Jennifer. What’s your business called?
It’s called Zest Business Consulting.
When did you set it up?
I set up the business in March of 2013.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
I am passionate about helping small business owners get out of overwhelm. I wanted to help people learn how to reinvent the way they do business so they can make money and live a fun, interesting, balanced life.
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
I have been a Business Consultant on and off for many years. This time around I named my company Zest because I wanted to help bring more zest to the lives of my clients.
Had you run your own business before?
Yes. This is the 6th business I’ve owned.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going?
I started Zest in an unusual fashion. I had taken a full time job after being a Business Coach. One day after an argument with a supervisor I was clear that this new job wasn’t a good match. So I quit. With no job, no health insurance and no idea what was next I sat down to think about what I would do if money were no object. In about 5 minutes it was pretty clear to me that I would be returning to the work I love and opening my own business (again).
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
Don’t be afraid to turn away clients who aren’t a perfect match.
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
You are enough.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
Planned to start a new business. Had money set aside to cover my expenses for 6 months.
What are you glad you did?
Every day I feel blessed to see my clients make such amazing changes in their lives. So, yes, starting Zest Business Consulting was a great decision
What’s your top business tip?
Create Strategic Partnerships. You’ll get a team of salespeople and you’ll only pay them when they deliver clients.
How has it gone since you started?
Like any new business, there are always a few bumps, and stops and starts but overall it’s gone incredibly well both financially and in the fun and rewarding department.
Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
I feel like I’ve grown personally. Recently I’ve gotten really clear about my niche.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
I see myself working with groups of people from all over the world through webinars, seminars, and in-person retreats. I can see myself giving in-person presentations to large groups of people and having a big smile on my face.
So, although Jennifer jumped into this round of running her own business, it’s interesting to see that looking back, she wishes she’d planned it and saved up some money first! I love her answer to the question “Have you grown?” – I usually receive replies about business growth, but this one’s about personal growth. As this is something Jennifer seeks to encourage in her clients, it’s great to see that she’s experiencing it, too!
Jennifer’s website is at www.businessconsultingsanfranscisco.com and you can pop over to pick up a free guidebook to learn 10 Fast & Easy Ways to GET OUT OF OVERWHELM & FEEL MORE BALANCED AT WORK [Note: I've checked this out - you are asked to sign up to Jennifer's newsletter to access the guidebook, but that's done legitimately and reputably with an opt-in screen and the ability to unsubscribe; the guide itself has some really useful points put in a clear and accessible way, and comes in PDF format.] You can email Jennifer or call her on (USA) 805-669-7160
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.