Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Oates, Principal of PR Security Service, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Crisis Communications services for various corporate, non-profit, and government organizations.
Tell us about yourself
I started out as a US Navy Public Affairs Officer nearly 30 years ago, where I cut my teeth in Crisis PR in forward-deployed operations. I had the opportunity to do this at a very early age. I then moved to the corporate sector more than 20 years ago in various marketing and PR roles. I hung up my own consulting shingle about 16 years ago and have focused exclusively on Crisis Communications Services for a little more than four years. I wish I had shifted to this a decade ago. I love helping organizations find a way to communicate effectively with customers, employees, investors, donors, and other stakeholders in times of crisis. I enjoy helping good people and great organizations out of bad situations. It's a true labor of love.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Well, I'd say it's staying in business (lol). In truth, I'm blessed to receive referrals and clients from all over the US. I think I've done a pretty good job in showing my skill sets nationwide and helping organizations and their trusted advisors get through a wide array of situations. I'm grateful for their trust.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I wouldn't call it hard, but the most intense element of my work is staying top of mind. I do a lot of networking and business development. It's an investment that many solo practitioners don't want to make. I feel that it's essential. But I love it, so it's not hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, identify what you do better than anyone. Make it specific - a niche - and own it! Second, figure out who you need to connect with to generate referrals and business leads. Make sure your relationships are mutually beneficial. It's a "Give to Get" mentality. Lastly, watch your money. Build up a war chest for a rainy day. I'll also add one more. Even when you're swamped with work, keep your business development efforts up to avoid dips in revenue.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be sure whatever you do that you love it! It will never seem like work, even for all the hours you put into it. If you're not having fun, go do something else!
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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