All Articles Tagged "business consultant"
Carol Sankar is a bestselling author, wealth coach and marketing strategist. Before she started Carol Sankar Enterprises, a business consulting and real estate investment firm, she worked as a senior paralegal representing Fortune 100 corporations and various law firms. Now, she has two full-time employees and several independent contractors on staff.
Following a move to Charlotte in 2005, Sankar started investing in real estate. Success quickly followed. It was this financial success that spurred her to develop The Millionaire Mindset Entrepreneurship Program, a trademarked program Sankar started teaching to her clients in 2009. Her ability to help others build success has landed her in national magazines like Ebony, Career, Essence and Harvest.
Madame Noire: Why did you stop working as a senior paralegal and start your own legal consulting firm?
Carol Sankar: I was unhappy. I wanted a change. I’d dream about operating my own business. However, I was dependent on my income. I started my legal consulting company (it was called New Edge) as an after work project while I continued to work my regular job. After operating my consulting business on the side for about 18 months, I turned a profit. However, the thought of being a full-time entrepreneur scared me, so I held on to my regular job for security. Subsequently, the company I worked for downsized and my entire department was laid off.
Now I had to turn my side job into my full-time job. I began advertising, networking, and meeting with different organizations throughout New York City. Within months, my business was on autopilot. I was featured in newspapers, on radio shows, at events and more.
I operated my business full-time from my living room in Brooklyn, NY with clients lined up everyday looking for assistance with immigration, wills and divorces. I outsourced some work to other attorneys, and not long after, attorneys began to hire me to become their outsourced staff. It was an amazing time.
MN: Were there times when you wanted to abandon your business and go back to working for someone else?
CS: Of course! I don’t think there’s a true entrepreneur who doesn’t feel the urge to return to corporate America. You become adjusted to the security of a paycheck and benefits. When you operate your own business, there are no sick days, lunch hours, vacation time, breaks or holidays. I work when my clients need me; unlike corporate America, which gives you defined space, duties and time to work. However, when I sit back and watch how I built my company from the ground up, I feel proud. Then the feeling to return to a corporate job goes away.
MN: How much did you initially invest in Carol Sankar Enterprises?
CS: I used money (approximately $18,000) I got from the sale of New Edge to start Carol Sankar Enterprises. I saved on my upfront investment by working from home, and focusing more of my attention on marketing to get the company off the ground. I focus on commercial real estate investing (investing in properties like apartments, office complexes and shopping centers). Right now, I’m in the middle of investing in my third shopping center in North Carolina. The other two commercial properties I co-own are apartments; one is in Memphis, the other is in Gastonia, NC. You can get property from your city government or from auctions for $500 or less, renovate and restore them, then lease them for profit. We net about $5,000 a month with the apartments. Once a property pays itself off, we re-invest the money back in the business.
MN: What types of services do you offer clients?
CS: We offer coaching/consulting for startup entrepreneurs, primarily sole proprietors, who are struggling in their business. We teach entrepreneurs how to market their products/services, build a support system (e.g. workforce), manage their time and resources wisely, etc.
Career coaches and business consultants have been around for a long time, but as more people look to become more competitive in their job search or start their own company, there’s a greater demand for professionals with business savvy expertise. Of course, not everyone that calls themselves an expert in an area is truly an expert. If you’re in the market to find either a career coach or a business consultant, Forbes offers some tips for finding the right one.
First Tip: Look for Experience.
The key to expertise in an area is experience. When you’re looking for a career coach or a business consultant, you need someone who has already “been there, done that.” If you’re set on securing that high-level executive position in an international company, then find someone who has filled that role before. If you’re starting a business that needs an aggressive communications strategy, find someone who has worked on exactly that. Identifying someone with the experience in the job or business you want is crucial to your success.
Second Tip: Look at Education.
After analyzing their experience, look at their educational record. If you need someone with strong marketing skills, look for a person who has a degree in marketing. If you need someone with strong computer skills, look to see if they have training or education in that area. Analyze undergraduate, graduate and additional training experience. Degrees in a field don’t necessarily guarantee a high level of comprehension or skill, so check to see what their grade point average was in their field. This will help you observe whether they truly understood the subject or if they were just getting by.
Third Tip: Check for Certifications.
If a career coach or a business consultant has taken the time to get a certification in a certain profession, this speaks to the commitment they have to gaining expertise in a field. Different certification programs have different requirements, so make sure you check the details of what they needed to complete in order to obtain the certificate.
Fourth Tip: Google Them
After you’ve checked all of the information they’ve given you about their experience, education and certifications, it’s time to see what the world says. Type their name into several search engines and see if you can find any work they’ve published, any articles they are quoted in and other important information you need to know about them. The easier you can find information, the more-well known and qualified you can expect them to be—provided what’s you find offers positive comments and remarks on their work.
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