The Ten P’s of being an entrepreneur in the image consulting industry

In the last decade that I have been a business owner and image consultant, I have come to learn the Ten P’s that will help an entrepreneur and image consultant succeed. Here it is, I hope you pick up some tips from it!

  1. Past – In the business world, products are made to: duplicate an existing service, replace an existing service, modify an existing service or create new service or product all together. A lot of times I have been asked what do you have to compete in the industry. And if I would line myself up with the pioneers of the industry, I thought I cannot duplicate nor replace. So I thought with my past work background I could offer a modified or even a new service. So what we’re saying here is look for your identity in your past. Know your story and use it!
  2. Passion – Once you know you’re story, you find a trigger that made you decide to pursue your chosen business – image consulting. What made you pursue this? Don’t answer because of the money because that’s not passion – that’s an external motivation. And according to scientists, external motivations are short lived compared to intrinsic motivation or sometimes called passion. Identify what made you really decide to pursue image consulting and use this as you build your business and deliver your programs.
  3. Purpose – Start by thinking the top three values that you cannot live without. These are values, characteristics or traits that guide you in your daily life, major decisions or even reaction mechanism when challenges arise. What purpose do you have in facilitating your program or service? What is the purpose of your program for your customer? Answer it clearly and define it in everything you do and everywhere you go.
  4. Product (Program) – What is a product/brand/company that you really love? It may not be in the same industry. Think of the products you love and list why you love them. Apply those quirks that you love about that product/brand/company and apply it to how you conduct your programs.
  5. Promotions – Promotion can come in all forms. It may be done thru personal relations, public relations, social media, networking by joining groups and clubs, advertising or a referral system. Confused which to do? Whichever your time, budget and talent can best do- then that is what you do! Don’t feel pressured adapting to all promotional tactics if you’re not comfortable. Someday, you will be
    ready to join a club. But for now if it’s a referral system then utilize it and maximize it. A promotional campaign changes together with the lifetime and maturity of the business as well. Different strokes for different folks. But make sure you have at least one kind of promotional activity. As your business matures, your promotional tactics may mix and change already.
  6. Profile – A profile not only as a business but also as a person is important. Build your personal profile by balancing work with other aspects such as community, family, and join a cause. Joining and being active in your industry association may help build your profile. Learn about your own personality in order to understand others and bring out the best in them and yourself. I like to use the Strengths Finder or DISC. Search for these tools and see how it can help you.
  7. People – Reading and applying these P’s may take a village. So do not try to do everything on your own. Get the help of experts in each field. Social media experts can do your promotions. Understand your weakness and do not be afraid to get the help of people around you. I manage 3 businesses, have 3 kids, a full household and have AICI ofcourse. I conduct atleast 3 programs in a week. And yet I get to put my kids to sleep every night, prepare them for school, study with them, have date nights with hubby, exercise even a little (yes I try), pray, and spend some relax time with employees. All of these I cannot do without the people around me who can help me. Find your people, take care of them, and love them! Worried about cost? I have discovered the power of the barter arrangement. Everyone loves to look good – even your web developer!
  8. Peso – So by this time you may be wondering where the money is at? My MBA professor once said, an opportunity only becomes an opportunity once you’re ready. You may have been invited to submit your proposal corporate program worth six figures but if you’re not ready – the program will not be awarded to you. If I were you, losses are important in order to give each of us time to improve and grow. Another thing I learned from my Dad this time – never quit! All problems are temporary. Don’t make it permanent by quitting. Wondering when the money will come in? Trust me, when you’re first 7 Ps are ready it will come.
  9. Progress – Congratulations! You’re on a roll. Clients and programs are pouring in. Don’t stop learning; don’t stop updating your P’s. Life long learning education is key. Not only in your field but also educate yourself about the industry of your customers. Do not confuse being busy from progress. So make sure you progress in the purpose and direction you want. Being busy is just doing a lot of things without a clear direction or strategy. Be strategic. Being strategic is also making sure clearly define your level of competency. And you can only do this thru the certification levels in AICI. Think about, pursue it! Stop thinking next year nalang! Download the portfolio on the website now and start fixing your files. You may not realize it, all the requirements may be in your computer or your filing cabinet already. All you need to do is take the first big step. So once your foot is on the ground. Hit the ground running!
  10. Pizzazz – And of course with all these, do not forget to do it with sparkle to inspire, to empower not only yourself in your business but of course your customers and participants. And some of the ways to keep that sparkle and shine: keep a positive attitude, stay open to new ideas, stay authentic and make sure you make a step to one of the P’s today.

Miselle is the current President-Elect and VP Education for the Philippine Chapter. She has been in the image industry the last 10 years delivering corporate programs on image branding and individual executive style coaching. She aims to unlock potential for the industry, spark industry growth and aim for success for the industry so that each person becomes successful as well.