Something we get asked often by potential new consultants is about best times to launch their business. Does it even matter?
The answer is yes it does matter, it makes a difference when you choose to launch your business. There’s a ‘moment’ at launch, when you’re announcing your presence to the world at large and, importantly, to your local community. That can bring attention so you want it to happen at the best time.
It’s best to pick a time when potential clients and business contacts will be receptive to what you have to offer, and, whilst of course you can never specifically predict when a businesses owner will be looking for HR support, or when a business contact will be open to hearing about a new HR consultancy in the area, there are some key factors to take into account.
At launch time, new consultants will be spending a lot of their time attending local networking events. They’ll be trying out different groups to see what will work, and generally trying to build contacts as quickly as possible, because that’s where a large proportion of their work comes from.
But many networking groups either slow down during the summer, or even stop altogether, and those that continue may have a lower attendance as members disappear on holiday or have other commitments. The ‘noise’ benefit of a launch will be diluted if key contacts are missing.
Similarly, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, networking events can often take the form of ‘Christmas dos’, which, while enjoyable, are not necessarily conducive to solid business networking and telling people about your business.
Business owners’ attention
In a similar way, a small business owner is less likely to be paying attention in the time leading up to Christmas and over the summer, just as we often all are. There’s a lot on everyone’s plate so many people limit new initiatives or just have limited headspace to focus on new things.
If a busy business owner is responsible for school aged children over the summer period, for example, and/or is going away on holiday, the time they do have available for work is likely to be extremely focused on the most urgent things.
The buying mindset
It has to be said that many of our clients do come to us because there’s something urgent happened, and of course that can be at any time of the year. So it’s not necessarily a problem launching at any time. But the point of making the most of launch is to maximise your opportunities, which means not only capturing those business owners who have a desperately urgent need for help, but also capturing those who have a niggle that they need some help, or need to deal with a developing situation, and prompt them to take action to get it sorted.
So when in the year is best to capture that? It’s nothing specific to HR consultancy, but is undoubtedly common to reflect on problems, concerns and changes, and take action to resolve these as part of a new year. January bring resolutions, it brings a sense of a fresh start, and distractions of Christmas are removed. Many business owners want to take that opportunity to deal with outstanding problems or issues, or put new initiatives into place. A newly-launched HR consultant might be the prompt they need!
There is a similar feeling in September. Even for those who have no involvement in the academic year, returning to work from summer holidays and the start of autumn can bring a similar ‘new start, let’s get things done’ feeling that a new consultant can capitalise on.
That doesn’t mean alternative launch times won’t work – there’s no problem launching a bit later in the autumn or spring, and of course timing your business launch might depend on many other factors such as personal circumstances and financing. However, if you are free to choose, January and September are particularly good options, whilst November/December and July/August should probably be avoided if you really want to make the most of that one-off launch period opportunity.
If you’d like to benefit from our advice, experience and support launching your own HR consultancy under our brand, do get in touch.