After a year of business development, client struggles, and big wins, it’s time for Entrepreneurial Solutions 2018 to pass the reigns to the new MBA class. But not without one last look at the most life-changing professional experience we’ve had in our lives!
Let’s start at the very beginning. Young, innocent, and boundlessly enthusiastic, three of us started a journey of a lifetime last March. After a thorough application process by our peers and mentors, Shivani Bhatt, Brandon Schaefer and I were chosen to lead Entrepreneurial Solutions into the future.
The first lesson we learned was to apply as a team, finding team members that complemented each other’s skills and fortes. Doing so meant that we had a better chance of serving a wider range of clientele while providing diverse and well-informed deliverables.
Our second lesson came only a few weeks later when the efforts to sign our first client ramped up – business development is tough! Those nervy cold calls/emails, countless handshakes, and hundreds of wasted business cards, all add up to feelings of failure and hopelessness. Did we make the right choice? Was our summer doomed? Should we have not ventured out on our own? Our team had to quickly become an unbreakable unit that solidified this second lesson – keep pushing together, supporting each other through all the ups and downs.
Many other lessons followed, mainly through trial and error, with lasting impacts from each – figuring out when to say “no” to a client; leveraging our networks and our clients’ networks; defining project scope and avoiding scope creep; developing ideal proposals just to scratch them and start all over again; negotiating price, timeline and deliverables; and managing the steep learning curve of research on the job. But the most important lesson we discovered was the importance of building relationships. Not just within our team, but with the clients themselves. Asking them what their ideal outcome looked like and how we could achieve it together. Creating a collaborative process in which the client felt as a valuable part of the project. Building trust and understanding to ensure an amicable process on both sides. We quickly realized that by developing a friendship with our clients we became immensely happier in working with them, which then positively reflected in our crucial deliverables.
The year of continuous evolution and education may have ended for Entrepreneurial Solutions 2018, but those lessons learned will be forever instilled into all of our future careers.
About Entrepreneurial Solutions
Entrepreneurial Solutions is a boutique consulting firm owned and operated by MBA students at CU Boulder. They are the only consulting company in Colorado with the resources and institutional knowledge of Leeds School of Business. Learn more online at http://www.entrepsolutions.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.