Starting a Small Business Consulting Firm
Interview with Fabienne Fredrickson, Founder of ClientAttraction.com
This business idea came from a panicked middle-of-the-night awakening of entrepreneur Fabienne Fredrickson. How could she get more clients for her new business? When she found the answer to her question, she also found a new business called ClientAttraction.com.
Fabienne Fredrickson founded ClientAttraction.com in 2000 in New York City.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
ClientAttraction.com offers small business coaching services (individual and group coaching programs, live events, content-rich products) to solo-entrepreneurs who want to learn how to attract clients, grow their business and have more time off.
How did you come up with your business idea?
It was late 1999. A few months before, I had quit my corporate job and had started a private nutrition practice out of my tiny apartment in New York City. I got clients right away, but not as many as I needed to pay the rent.
One day, in the middle of the night, I woke up in a pool of sweat. All I kept saying to myself is, "What have I done?! Why did I leave my well-paying corporate job just to struggle to get clients? How will I pay my rent if I don't get any more clients FAST!?" I tossed and turned, and called my father in the middle of the night. He sat quietly listening to me. After I explained everything, he said, "Fabienne, if there's one thing I know about you, it's that when you want something, there's nothing that's going to stop you from getting it. So just figure out how you're going to get clients, and then go and do it."
At that very moment, I made a commitment to immerse myself in absolutely everything that had to do with getting clients. I read every book on marketing and networking I could get my hands on. I took every course that was available. I essentially decided to become a mini-expert on how to get clients.
Lo and behold, within less than 8 months, I had filled my private nutrition practice to full capacity: 31 clients.
During this process, I had an epiphany! The thing that I enjoyed MOST about my practice was actually the marketing, not teaching clients how to cook brown rice.
Soon, my nutrition colleagues heard about my success and started taking me to the side and saying "Fabienne, how do you have 30 clients in less than a year and I have only 3? What am I doing wrong? Can you help me?" I'd give them two or three things to do and told them to call me in a few weeks to tell me how it went. Virtually every time, the nutritionist called me back a few weeks later saying "Hurray! I got a new client!!!!"
I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping other self-employed, sole practitioners, get more clients in record time through my workshops, products, masterminds and VIP private consulting days.
Since then, I've worked with thousands of private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, and have created The Client Attraction System; a series of 10 important practice-building steps every sole practitioner needs to apply to get more clients, in record time.
What outside resources were helpful for you? Business incubators, Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, ....
I started out doing a lot of networking--BNI, NAWBO, etc. I also started presenting individual seminars and talks at the Learning Annex in NYC - just to get out there in a really BIG way to get noticed, get recognized and start to build my list of contacts, prospects and clients.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
I started both me nutrition business and Client Attraction business from my 300 square foot apartment in Manhattan. Working in this small space and having clients on-site in my home office was certainly a challenge! After getting married, I moved to Stamford CT and started a family and continued to work from home. Now my husband Derek and I both work at home part time as well as at an office right in our neighborhood. We have a full time team of 3 other people as well as a virtual team of 5 nationwide. Moving the business to a dedicated office space has been beneficial because as the company grew it was necessary to bring on more full time employees.
Did you have a partner when you started your business? How did you select a partner?
Not at the beginning. When I got married, Derek took an interest in the business and started to support me in my endeavors on a part time basis in 2008. After realizing his own life purpose and benefit to the company, Derek left his high 6 figure corporate Wall Street job and joined me at Client Attraction as CEO in the fall of 2008.
How is it working with your husband>
Due to high demand from our coaching clients, we now actually teach seminars on how to successfully work with your spouse in your small business and live the life of an entrepreneurial family. As successful entrepreneurs and parents of three small children, we have managed to create the life, business, income and family of our dreams.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Follow your passion and take a no-excuses approach to do whatever it takes to get the results that you want in your business and your life.
Thank you, Fabienne for contributing to Gaebler.com.
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