Idaho Next Steps Coaching (INSC) has been in business for a year and it has been an interesting venture. I started having business ideas in the last half of 2017 when my family and I returned to Idaho. I knew I wanted to get back into the nonprofit world and wanted to help people succeed. But how? I started putting together a Business Plan and I spent a number of months filling out the sections and outlining what I wanted to do. While I've gone back and made edits and changes repeatedly, it has been my foundation ever since.
In June of 2018, I started filing paperwork to get the business setup. I was due to graduate from Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in December with my MBA so I wanted to make sure I had things up and running before I finished school. I'm glad I did as the paperwork became fairly confusing and it took time to figure that piece out. I worked with the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho State Tax Commission, Idaho State Insurance Fund, and the list goes on. This wasn't the best time for trial-and-error and thankfully, I had Dan Leavitt CPA, to answer my million questions.
After the initial paperwork, I started networking and since I haven't lived in Idaho for 5 years, it was slow going. But I made some traction and hosted a number of workshops at a variety of locations. The Trial-and-Error experience had begun! I learned quickly what was working for attendees and, just as importantly, what wasn't. I saw which facilities worked and which didn't (space, technology, etc.). I learned which organizations I enjoyed working with and those that I didn't. My plans didn't have many of the outcomes I hoped for but it still helped me to solidify what I was doing, how I was doing it, and why it was worth the time and effort.
When January 2019 rolled around, I was busy helping clients with resumes, job searching, and interviewing. By March, I knew I needed help and I decided to invest in part-time help. I hired Hayley, my assistant. She owned the social media marketing and we began playing with new marketing ideas and designs (I need to give her a new title soon). In the beginning, some posts were okay while others were stunning. It took a couple of weeks but Hayley has found a design and pattern that is working and it looks amazing on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn).
I quickly learned it was well worth the employment expense as I was much more productive with a partner in the office. We collaborate and enjoy trying new things to learn what works and what doesn't work. Trial-and-error is everything in this adventure. Knowing what doesn't work is just as imperative to operating a successful business as knowing what does.
Going into my second year, I am still solidifying a few things and also on how to grow. I'm thinking about new workshop topics to offer, how to better my services, and who to hire and when. It's exciting and scary but I do know one thing is certain: trial-and-error will be my constant companion!