Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business consulting and services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Greg Priode, Managing Partner of GANI Consulting, located in Franklin, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
GANI Consulting is a people-first growth consulting team committed to serving all businesses, with a promise that at least 50% of our clients will be women or minority-led businesses. We believe that companies of all sizes and backgrounds should have access to the expertise they need to see growth. Using technology, data, and a real-world experienced team, we work with small business owners, start-ups, and growth-focused companies up to $30 million, adding knowledge to scale their business with a tangible ROI. We have clients across multiple segments, including B2B and B2C SaaS solutions, healthcare, consumer services, manufactured display products, and entertainment.
Tell us about yourself
My passion for using creative problem-solving to provide for those ignored by larger companies started back in college. I spent the next 15 years managing projects, building departments, and leading divisions, trying to change things from the inside out. In 2017 while working with several small business owners on our other company, UpFocused, my business partner and I realized a large need to support businesses in non-essential disciplines (Marketing, Product Management, Product Development, Revenue Operations, Data Visualization & Analytics, etc.) as most other consulting and agency firms we under serving women or minority-led businesses. We felt this was a major injustice as more than 55% of businesses in America are women and minority-led, and millions had great ideas and services to help the greater good.
We immediately got to work developing a business model that would allow us to provide scalable services to companies worldwide, capitalizing on a diverse full-remote team and unique partnership methods. The vision of being a team that focuses on putting people first while capitalizing on technology, data, and each GANI team members proven experience drives me. Continuing to find new methods to create access to this expertise gets me excited daily while also seeing our diverse client base continue to grow and excel in measurable ways.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am most proud of the team we have started to build here at GANI. Finding team members who believe in your company's mission can be the biggest challenge for growing a small business. I am humbled at the chance to lead the group we have found throughout the United States. I believe that the team's continued success will be the best way to measure GANI's biggest long-term accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In our "rise and grind" culture in America, I believe the hardest thing to do is to show your team the importance of balance and self-care. The impact of leading a company that helps provide for families can be a daunting task and drives many business owners to burn out. Early on, we focused on ensuring everyone cared for themselves, Mind, Body, and Spirit, no matter the role. We set boundaries for ourselves and the team, but the hardest part has been living them out every week. Showing the team that putting your full self is more important than any deadline or deal. Fighting against the desire to "push through" is a constant battle for me and something I ask my team, family, and friends to hold me accountable to so I model exactly how we want our team to think about work-life balance.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take Care of Yourself First – Remember that you are counting on yourself, so you must take care of yourself. But it is never a solo endeavor; build a close group of trusted people who can help hold you accountable to ensure you don't lose yourself in the "rat race." Be intentional about building regular times of reflection and rest (this looks different for everyone, it may be a sport) to your calendar. Often stepping away is exactly what your mind needs to reset and lock back in to keep moving the dream forward.
- Focus on Sustainable Growth – Any growth is still growth, and in the early years, that is what you must focus on. We work with many businesses that see a huge market opportunity and think if they haven't landed 10-30% of the market in the first three years, they will fail. My best advice is to focus on growing in a way that allows you to scale out the work to experts you add to your team to measure success in growing cash flow and EBITDA.
- Invest In Areas You Aren't An Expert – The early years of success in a new business are typically due to passion and offering what makes you different. Knowing where you thrive is critical, but it also helps identify your blind spots giving you a chance to find creative resources to supplement your business. In the last two years, I have learned the hard way it is always faster and better for the whole team to honestly identify your gaps, hire experts and trust them to align with your vision, and build something that is sustainable and scalable.
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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