Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Feind Reeves, CEO & Founder of JobCoachAmy, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
To start, I am a career coach and author based in Boston, working with Millennials and Gen Z to help them find and keep careers they enjoy. I also help clients identify their strengths, interests, and values and then help them explore career options that align with their goals and aspirations while offering job search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, networking, and negotiating job offers. Additionally, I help clients develop their leadership skills, improve their communication and interpersonal skills, and identify areas for personal and professional growth.
Tell us about yourself
I created my business to provide a service I know from personal experience is not out there in the marketplace. When I graduated from college, I did not have a particularly marketable major or any connections to the Wall Street jobs that I wanted. I floundered, trying to find my way. So, I spent a year as an admin, learning about the jobs I wanted and teaching myself how to get one. I did, and I quickly learned that I was good at the role and liked it. So why had I failed so miserably the year before trying to get the same jobs? I just did not know how to do it. And my passion was born to help others do the same. It's a strange passion, but it is also gratifying. The perspective I offer now is that of a hiring manager, and that is how what I offer is unique.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Definitely, the impact I have been able to have on the lives of my clients. Helping people find the information, resources, and insights they need to make informed decisions about their career paths is gratifying. It's crazy to think that all of this comes from a passion I developed over 40 years ago and nurtured throughout my career. I've done many enjoyable things in my career, and this is not the first company I've started. But nothing comes close to knowing I've helped someone find a job they like and will be good at.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, I am responsible for every aspect of the business, including the financials, operations, marketing, customer service, etc. This means that I need to have a broad range of skills and be able to manage and delegate effectively to ensure that everything runs smoothly. There is a lot of risk and uncertainty to manage as well. There are risks, and success is not guaranteed. So I have learned that I need to be comfortable with uncertainty and be able to adapt to changing circumstances and market conditions. Pivoting in the exact nature of how and where I market my services is a near constant.
Another challenge of being a business owner is managing time effectively. Running a business can be incredibly demanding, and it's important to balance time between managing the business's day-to-day operations and focusing on long-term growth and strategic planning. This requires discipline, focus, and strong time management skills, which I have learned. Mostly!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start with a clear vision and plan: Before starting a business, it's essential to understand what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. This involves developing a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategy, operations, and financial projections. A well-thought-out plan can help you stay focused, prioritize tasks, and make informed decisions as you grow your business.
- Focus on customer satisfaction: Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and their satisfaction should be your top priority. This involves understanding their needs, providing high-quality products or services, delivering exceptional customer service, and seeking feedback to improve. Happy customers are more likely to become loyal and refer others to your business, which can help you grow.
- Embrace innovation and adaptability: In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, being innovative and adaptable is essential. This means being open to new ideas, experimenting with fresh approaches, continuously learning, and evolving. It's also vital to pivot quickly if market conditions or customer needs change. Embracing innovation and adaptability can help you stay ahead of the competition and grow your business over time.
- Of course, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg, and many other factors can contribute to a business's success. However, focusing on these three areas can help lay a strong foundation for starting, running, and growing a successful business.
- Most importantly, love what you are doing. You may be doing 18 hours a day for many days in a row. If you are not consumed with passion for it, you may become consumed by hatred for it. And there is no fun at all in that.
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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