Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with April Eldridge, Founder of April Eldridge Consulting LLC, located in Wake Forest, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a newly minted business consultant who offers business management, operations, and overall executive support to business leaders, SMBs, and/or solopreneurs/entrepreneurs. My mission is to ensure that ALL clients receive unparalleled strategic support while serving as their trusted and dedicated thought partner while providing their businesses with scalable solutions and services.
Tell us about yourself
I've worked in corporate America for nearly 20 years in various industries, from legal, non-profits, large international companies, retail, and start-ups. I've always been drawn to start-ups as I find the fluidity exciting, and this is where I gained most of my experience and grew as a professional. Being in administrative/operational roles for the last seven (7) years, I've been unfortunately affected by quite a few lay-offs, five (5) to be exact. Each time was unexpected, of course, and each lay-off was a gut punch that knocked me down just ever so slightly to the point where I questioned my career path—every time. But, I always landed somewhere new and settled in, just to become another lay-off statistic. This last time, in early August of 2022, I said, "Enough is enough. I'm going into business for myself!". And that's precisely what I did. I filed for my LLC on August 12th, 2022, a mere four days after being laid off. I felt that I had no time to waste, and if I was going to do it, I better do it before I lost my nerve - This was a BIG move for me as it was so foreign to me. Could I do this? Would I attract any clients? It was all so unknown, but so was being unemployed. You don't know where your next paycheck will come from. Honestly, it's not even known if you will get that next paycheck, so I figured, what did I have to lose?
My husband and two children mean everything to me, and everything I do is for them, so I owe them this. I owed them a real-life example of what to do when faced with adversity and fear. Perseverance is a constant word used in our household for a good reason. I had to show my family that what Mommy says isn't just lip service.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While I've only been a business owner for about two (2) months, I was thrilled to have my first client signed in my second week of business. While this client was referred to me by a mutual source, I still had to connect with this client to see if it was a match. And it was. My first client and I hit it off like peanut butter and jelly, and I knew right then that I had made the right decision. She'll always be remembered as the client who gave me my wings.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The unknown, for sure. The constant feeling of knowing it could all go sideways at any moment that's torture on one's soul. I try not to let the "unknown" affect me, but it's hard not to think about it constantly, being new to this. Networking comes easy to me as a natural extrovert. Still, in this line of work, it's critical to keep your pipeline active and healthy, which means you're constantly marketing yourself, which can be in various ways. I've yet to do any real marketing or spend significant money on advertising, as I'm relying on referrals and word of mouth. So far, it's been paying off. I can only hope that stays true. This isn't, however, a once size fits all solution.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a plan and plan to follow it. Plan to plan. And then plan some more.
- Believe in yourself at all times, even when you're starting to doubt yourself. Use your support network as much as possible.
- Keep it moving. All of it - your referrals, your network, meetings, phone calls, and always being responsive. Perseverance, responsiveness, and integrity go a long way!
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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