Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Corinne Murray, Founder of Agate, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Agate is a future work consulting studio that - in our early days - supports two types of clients:
- Companies are beginning to build systems and processes that enable employees to work effectively and contribute to a business's profitability and success. For Agate clients, this means balancing the old with the new. What practices have we learned in the past 2.5 years that help us work better, which practices that predate the pandemic still serve us best, and how do we use these things to co-create the future with employees?
- Startups (primarily, but not exclusively, PropTech and Experience Tech startups) that are establishing company foundations - mission, purpose, values, operating principles - to help founders and their teams identify what problem(s) they're looking to solve, how to articulate and operationalize them ahead of designing their go-to-market strategies
Tell us about yourself
The thought of having my own consulting studio has floated in and around my mind for over three years, and when there was no time like the present this past spring, I finally decided to take the plunge into building my own business. Through this past year, there's been so much idea sharing around the idea of how we design the future of work, rather than it being this amorphous phrase we use to talk about the undefinable things looming in our future.
Societally, we're in such a unique position. The past 2.5 years have presented us with a dizzying amount of change, and our systems and processes have yet to catch up to our standards (and demands). Agate was founded on the principle of bridging that gap. We want to help create and lay the bricks that will be the foundation of how, when, and where we work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's still early days, but in the past six months, I can say that my biggest accomplishment is perseverance. It's common knowledge that running a business isn't easy, but it isn't until you experience it for yourself do you realize just how intense and pressurized the experience is.
Keeping your wits about you is no easy thing when there isn't a clear and predictable path laid out in front of you, so I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm still standing and continuously working to identify new ways that I can work with clients, build products, and share thought leadership that can connect me to other innovators and companies in need of help.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are plenty of sayings that mock planning. "Best laid plans oft go awry," "We plan, God, laughs," etc. Knowing that whatever you create might not look anything like the plans you drew up takes a lot of strength to endure, agility to navigate, and inventiveness to come up with the next iteration.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know the problem(s) you're seeking to solve and brainstorm all the practical ways that you can solve them - don't be a one-trick pony.
- Know your audience and stress test your ideas with them; collaborating can often lead to business development.
- Know the channels that will best get your message and your ideas out into the world, and don't just rely on one platform or one method - people consume information in uncountable ways. A LinkedIn post only will reach so many people, but a newsletter or video promotion might capture a completely different demographic.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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