Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Bill Howatt, Founder and CEO of Howatt HR Consulting, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a human resources firm that specializes in psychological health and safety. We provide consulting support as well as education to employers who want to reduce mental harm and promote mental health in their workplace.

Tell us about yourself

I have been practicing in mental health for over 25 years. I made the transition to HR in early 2000 to help organizations develop their leaders and influence their work cultures. The combination of my mental health experience and HR brought me to focus on workplace mental health.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

For me is our contribution to evidence as to what is working and not working to support workers. My focus is not just on selling programs. It is on working with clients to provide evidence-based solutions where we evaluate and measure if what we are doing is working. It is important to me that programs are inclusive and provide the desired impact.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Balancing the demands of clients and employees in a pandemic. As well, in a remote workplace, doing what we can to help all workers feel connected and valued in a challenge that is not going anywhere. It is really challenging at times to stay focused on what we want to be doing and walk that path without being distracted by other opportunities.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be clear on why you are doing what you do (e.g., North Star).
  2. Setting realistic expectations cannot be all things to all people – stick to your plan and focus on achieving your vision.
  3. Be flexible and accept the best plans may need to change. Being agile and intentional is a fine balance, and one many small businesses must learn how to do to be successful.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

When running a business, be clear about what your motivation and incentives are for why you are doing it. Money is seldom enough to push through all the challenges that will come. Tapping into purpose is what I have learned to help me move through speed bumps, setbacks, and failure. Learning and focus are critical for short-term and long-term success.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.