On July 2nd, Kasie and Shennice were joined in studio by another 1st & Main Cohort member, Vanessa Mota, for the launch of CRC Academy’s first cohort. Here are the show notes:
Theme for day:
LAUNCH: CRC Academy is Up and Running!
- Where did the idea for CRC Academy come from?
- What is CRC Academy?
We did kind of a quiet “launch” at 1 Million Cups Columbia two weeks ago. I spoke about how Clemson Road Creative was looking for its purpose and so I went in service for a year at the Women’s Business Center and found a common theme amongst independent consultants.
Then, in a fortuitous conversation with Vanessa Mota, our in-studio guest today, she suggested I brand and sell the systems I was teaching her. Specifically, the services methodology. So, after thinking about what does that look like? Am I an agent? How can I help her grow her business? What services does she really need? And what expertise do I really have? I decided on the Shared Services Platform approach.
A shared services platform comes from the IT world and it basically means multiple business units logging in to the same software to access functionality.
Am I nerding out on you too much?
Okay, let me simplify it.
I understood independent consultants needed help with some specific parts of their business operation. When I looked at the end-to-end consulting job, I saw categories of work that some independent consultants are really good at and others struggle with. Here’s the process:
- Start the business (form an entity, name yourself, etc.)
- Build your marketing platform (branding, social media, etc.)
- Prospect (find customers!)
- Organize your work (project management, methodology, etc.)
- Deliver results
- Accept payment and feedback
- Repeat from step 3.
I saw a lot of entities helping in steps 1 & 2, but once the consultant got her business off the ground, the day-to-day operations struggled. It was feast — too much work! — or famine — not enough customers, work, or pay.
Where, specifically, did these women need help? Once I matched what they needed with what I could offer, CRC Academy was born.
So what does CRC Academy do? Well, we currently offer three services to support the operations of independent consultants. First, we teach methodology — how to actually be a consultant, how to deliver services in a consistent, predictable way. Our methodology, The R.O.A.D. can be applied to any service delivery in any industry. It’s a standard approach but it’s also a simplified way of organizing work so you know exactly HOW you’ll meet your customer’s needs.
Second, we develop the consultant’s marketing platform. She probably already has branding and a niche and some idea of how she wants to present herself and her firm. We help tease that out into marketing deliverables like blog posts and videos and we help her develop a system for creating and delivering on those marketing units. It’s a constant content-creation game in consulting, you have to be writing, speaking, and doing all the time. We help systemize that for our Academy learners.
Third, we offer project management services. We have a software platform we use to manage our client projects and we help the Academy learners master that platform and run their business with it. Our project management services are really about creating consistent, predictable behaviors that get results.
Let’s hear from Shennice and Vanessa about these three areas of service from CRC and how they are helping stabilize and grow your businesses.
Our Academy learners enroll on a specific service plan, the five we have in the 1st & Main Cohort are all in this for a year: July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
The Cohort is:
- small, collaborative entities within CRC,
- other consultants individual learners,
- leverage for support and experience
The Cohort will take the journey together:
- learn the methodology,
- become certified,
- grow their businesses,
- stabilize and
- specialize, and also
- collaborate and contribute to the CRC knowledge base for future cohorts.
Once the cohort “graduates” they are part of the Alumnae network and can remain engaged with CRC services. In 2020, we expect to expand our services offering to include prospecting and financial management. We expect that will be done through vendors.
Let’s hear from Shennice and Vanessa about the other services they are currently using or would need to have access to in order to grow their businesses.
The Vision: hundreds of The R.O.A.D. Methodology© Certified independent consultants who have all learned from us and one another, built successful consultancies, and are living the independent life they want to live. We think of ourselves as a kind of gateway to independent prosperity.
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