About this episode
Alaia Williams joins Pivot to Prosperity to discuss what she’s learned over the last nine years of running her solo business. In this short interview we talk about what happens when your clients become your friends and the art of gracefully pivoting your business.
- The value of implementing systems as early as possible to make it easier for you to organize and manage your business activities
- How deeply understanding your existing client base can provide you with ideas for new services that you might not have thought of before
- The difficulty of raising your prices, particularly with existing clients
- The benefits of having products when a prospect can’t afford to work with you one-on-one
The gradual evolution of a small business
Alaia started her business in 2006 and will celebrate ten years as a solopreneur in July 2016. She describes what she currently does as a “kinder, gentler project manager,” one who walks alongside her clients making sure that they are taking the actions they need to complete their projects and meet their goals.
When Alaia first her business she worked as a professional organizer, helping people to organize their physical workspaces and homes. But with the recession in 2008, her original client base either completely disappeared or changed. It was during this time that she began to meet more small business owners. It didn’t take her long to realize that it was these people who really needed her services.
As she began to work with more clients who were running their own businesses on the side, she began to help them organize not just their physical workplaces but their businesses systems, in other words, the activities they needed to maintain to keep their business going.
Alaia shares her thoughts on working with a client base that she loves but that may not be able to support her long-term income goals and how this is slowly, but surely, steering her into yet another evolution of her business.
She also shared how she’s recently begun to offer products in addition to services. Her most recent offer is called “The Next Twelve Months,” an undated planner she designed herself. The planner is designed to help solopreneurs organize their marketing efforts and is available on her website as well as on Amazon.
Quotes from this episode
“Getting your business organized and getting your systems in place is really an investment in your business and your success.”
“In a way it’s sort of embarrassing that people who are paying you are telling you that you should be charging more.”
Alaia Williams is a business operations strategist, speaker and community cultivator. She connects business owners with the exact resources they need to optimize their business and life. As the creator of The Entrepreneur Connection (a 900 member networking group in Los Angeles), Alaia knows first-hand that when people connect in community to learn and grow, their businesses get exactly what they need to thrive. The Entrepreneur Connection has garnered support from Delivering Happiness, HP, GE, Amex OPEN, and The Microsoft Store.
As the Founder of the At the Helm: Women in Biz Conference, Alaia brings her leadership experience of coordinating over 150 business events that have been attended by thousands of small business owners and professionals to the national forefront. Her passion to serve women business owners has led her to create a national At the Helm meetup tour and launch the At the Helm Podcast in 2013.
She has often been referred to as the “Small Biz Swiss Army Knife.” When she’s not creating connections that count with her conferences, she’s helping her clients create practical business systems, identify new revenue and growth opportunities, and create and execute their social media strategies.
You can find her at http://www.alaiawilliams.com/