Ken Starts His Business After 50 - Step By Step

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How Ken Turned Thirty Years In The Corporate World Into a Business Earning Six Figures

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The Client: Ken Proskie, Evanston, Illinois Award-winning corporate health and safety director for several of the largest manufacturers in the U.S. Active leader in health and safety directors professional association Downsized very unexpectedly at age 52 After six months of intense job search, realized that his corporate function was being outsourced by many companies, few were hiring Decided that he would become a consultant to take advantage of outsource contracts We met Ken at a workshop we gave at the outplacement company is former employer had provided to him In less than three months, we coached and guided Ken to go from a strong resume to a fully functioning consulting business Learn how we did it…

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The Planning Tools The Start-Up Planning Guide Weekly Telecoaching Sessions Expert Service Providers

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Each week for ten weeks, we spoke for one-hour on the phone to discuss one of the planning modules presented in the Start-Up Guide. Thanks to the workbook presentation, Ken already understood the importance of each planning decision, and using the step-by-step directions he worked on fitting each decision to his particular business. Because of Ken's preparation, our weekly coaching sessions were very productive. In some cases, all Ken needed was a bit of encouragement. Other times his progress was expedited by access to a resource I provided. And, I acted as the "traffic cop" to assure that Ken stuck to the planning schedule and never had to guess what to do next. Our Business Planning Process

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Ken Created His Marketing Plan First Our first coaching session reviewed the Marketing Plan Summary document we sent along with the Start-Up Guide This document breaks the marketing plan strategy into seven planning steps After the coaching session, Ken worked on writing his marketing plan on his own. When he completed a draft of his marketing plan, he sent the file to us for review and comment

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Next We Worked On Creating an Identity For Ken’s Business Step 1: Ken already had a name in mind – Compass Health and Safety. We checked on to see if the name was available as a domain name. It was and we registered it for Ken’s business. Step 2: With input from Ken on colors and style, our logo design team created the logo you see to the left. Step 3: Ken decided to locate his office at home and so we used his home address as his business address. Some clients use an outside mailbox location. Step 4: Using contact information Ken gave us plus the logo design we had full-color business cards printed for Ken’s business.

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The Third Step Was To Create a Selling Website For Ken’s Business Step 1: We asked Ken to look for some appropriate photos for his website at He found several and bought them (around $2 each) Step 2: Ken used the tutorial in the Start-Up Guide to write content for his website. Step 3: Ken gave our website design team input on how he wanted to organize the website, what is known as the “navigation”. Step 4: Our website design team combined his photos, logo and navigation into the website design you see to the left. Step 5: Our website team tested the site and launched it on (about $8 per month for hosting). Take a look at the site at:

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Fourth, We Helped Ken Create Selling & Customer Service Plans Step 1: We guided Ken in setting his fees and how he would go about bidding on consulting contracts. Step 2: We reviewed with Ken sales promotional materials, such as the use of a printed selling brochure. Today, more and more new business create video selling presentations which they post on their websites. Step 3: We discussed with Ken how he would use his industry contacts to network looking for new sales prospects. Step 4: We guided Ken in setting up an account with Constant Contact to store e-mail addresses of interested people and then use them to send out e-mail messages to the list. Step 5: We helped Ken develop his first press release and guided him on which media to send it. Step 6: We reviewed Ken’s customer service policies.

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Next, We Worked With Ken To Assure That All Legal Requirements Were Met Step 1: Ken used the Start-Up Guide to review the available options for legally organizing his business. We also discussed the pros and cons of incorporating and setting up a Limited Liability Company in a telecoaching session. Step 2: Ken chose to set up his company as a LLC and we directed him to to save money via online registration. Step 3: Corporations and LLCs are also required to register with the IRS via a FEIN registration. This is free and we guided Ken through the IRS website to complete this step. Step 4: We directed Ken to consider if his type of business would be subject to any state or local regulations, such as health codes, and determined that as long as he didn’t have outside employees he could legally work from a home office. Step 5: We helped Ken find a local business attorney to assist him in drafting a consulting contract.

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The Next Requirement: Helping Ken Organize His Business Financially Step 1: We had already helped Ken set his consulting fees, so his basis for earning income was set up. We did suggest that Ken consider a fee schedule rather than just a flat hourly fee, to allow for charging different amounts for different levels of work, e.g. reading test results would be priced at $150/hour but onsite consulting would be priced at $400/hour. This way Ken would maximize his profit. Step 2: We had Ken create a spreadsheet showing estimated monthly expenses for all costs he expected to incur. Step 3: We had Ken set a dollar sales goal for the first year and then to use the expense spreadsheet to project dollar sales by month. When the monthly expenses were deducted from the sales projection, the spreadsheet showed whether he had a profit or loss for each month for his first year. This helps in cash flow planning. Step 4: We had Ken buy and install QuickBooks. Our QuickBooks tutor went over how to set up the accounts with Ken. Step 5: We directed Ken to set up his business banking relationship. Step 6: We had Ken review necessary insurance and contract for it. Step 7: We gave Ken an overview of his tax obligations.

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The Last Step: Helping Ken Set Up A Business Operations System It is one thing to make one sale per month and be able to maintain good customer service and on-time delivery of what you promised. But, you need a solid operations system in place to maintain these as your business grows, particularly if you enjoy rapid growth. Here’s what we guided Ken to examine in setting up his operations system: Factor 1: Ken needed to physically set up his office for maximum comfort while he worked. He also needed to obtain all the telephone and computer power he needed before he officially launched his business. Factor 2: Even though Ken’s strategy was to operate as a solo business owner using outside service providers as needed, we cautioned him to set up relationships with other support providers, such as a graphic designer and computer repair person. Factor 3: Every product or service sold has a multi-step process for “producing and delivering” it. We had Ken sketch out the steps he would need to understand to go from hearing about a prospective consulting opportunity all the way to completing a consulting assignment with a very satisfied client.

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