December 7, 2011

By: 
Rachel Strella

The Risk and Reward of Starting a Business

The following is a guest post by Beverly Reider, of Medical Revenue Solutions.

Nine months ago, I was laid off.  I saw it coming.  My employer was more worried about how I was going to move on than I was; after all…I am a survivor and I welcome change into my life.

I took the first two months off from everything!  I slowed down, read books, took road trips and reflected on what was important to me: my faith, my family and my friends – in one small word “relationships.”   Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the next chapter in my career.  After all, I still needed a paycheck!  An “ah-ha” moment came as I constantly searched Monster.com and Dice.com and a few other “sign up here, create a login there” employment sites. The realization was that I really, really, didn’t want to go back to that rat-race again!  I was ready for a BIG change in my career!

Fast forward to May. I was about nearly the end of my first few months of unemployment, but ready to make my “ah-ha” moment come to fruition! I decided to open a small business.  What did I want? Could I really do this? Would it be a brick-and-mortar business, in –home, ohhh… the possibilities are plentiful! There were many questions to answer. I was excited! I finally decided to focus my business on the same thing I focused on while unemployed: relationships!

Well, we did it!  Yes, I said “we”…as in Steve, my hubby, and myself.  After extensive research, we decided to open a Medical Software Consulting business.  We went to Dallas for training (darn it, we had to go to Dallas! I’m the BIGGEST DALLAS COWBOY FAN – EVER!!!), filed the necessary legal paperwork and completed all the other tasks to open a business.  On June 1st, Medical Revenue Solutions, LLC. officially became a small business entity!

Remember the saying, “You’re never too old to learn?”  Well, that’s me.  My next few months were spent putting what I learned from training, into practice.  I was cold-calling, door-to-door knocking, reading sales/referral books, networking, purchasing marketing materials and making promotional items. I was also tracking receipts and mileage, deciding what Chamber to belong to, schedule to have a booth in trade shows, overseeing the creation of a new website, and, of course – focusing on those relationships!  By the end of August, it was confirmed:  cold-calling and door-to-door knocking were just not my thing.  But I learned networking groups were more my speed.  Because of networking groups, my relationship building was gaining momentum. I was learning and growing fast!

By November, the fruits of my labor were becoming visible.   My relationships were solid.  My appointment calendar was filled with client meetings and demos.   I knew where to focus my time to have those quality conversations with clients and partners instead of being reactionary.  I learned to say “no” when the opportunity just didn’t make good business sense.  The past few months have, by far, have been the most exciting. Because…drum roll please, I signed my first client!!  This business is my baby.  I’ve nurtured it, fed it and now I’m watching it grow into a successful small business.

Have you accomplished something big this year?

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6 comments on “The Risk and Reward of Starting a Business”

  1. Wow! I know exactly where you are coming from! I'm entering my second year of my Media, Social Marketing and E-Commerce business and love it! The first two years are a tough economic climb - particularly if you left a high paying corporate job - but the rewards and learning experiences are worth it. Great post, thanks!

    1. Hi Julie!
      Thanks for the reply and kudos on the article! It's nice to know someone else has "been there done that" too! You're right...stepping out, or in my case being laid off, from a high paying corporate job, into the abyss of the unknown entrepreneurial world is risky - but, as you mentioned...the rewards and learning experience is WORTH IT!

      -Beverly

  2. Started out wondering how the words got there on the screen. Now I have travelled through different marketing avenues, confused myself often, but gradually setting on brining all these focuses under one roof. Slow going. But hay while I now have time for this I am doing it to its full. Being 50 plus does not help as there are always younger cheaper or more qualified people out there. Hence why here I am enjoying myself while things sort themselves out.

    Loved your post it hits home

    1. Thank you Susan for your reply and insight. It's great to read that you're going full speed ahead and not letting age or generations hold you back! Experience has a lot of clout!!! You're a real trooper...keep on enjoying life's learning experience...they make a great repertoire!

      -Beverly

  3. Kudos to you, Beverly!

    If only we had crossed paths before you did all that "cold calling and door-to-door knocking". I would have said, "Forget it, Beverly! You're not going to enjoy the experience and there won't be many fruits of your labor." Both of those means of marketing your expertise are labor-intensive, uncomfortable and challenging for the majority of entrepreneurs, and let's face it ... UN-fun!

    Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? 🙂

    Sounds like you've found the right niche for you and things are looking up!

    One definite "plus and perk" you have is the support of your husband. Many of us don't have anyone to "be there" for us on a daily basis. Count your lucky stars! You have a built-in mastermind partner, accountability partner, and cheer leader.

    Wishing you tremendous success and many congrats on saying goodbye to the corporate world!

    I'm getting there slow but sure ...

    1. Hey Melanie,

      Thanks for all your re-tweets and support today! Yes, you gotta pound-the-pavement, but fortunately, it works out well if you work it!

      SUPER happy to have Pete. Would not be able to do it without him!

      Rachel

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