Here is the second part of the story of my Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs experience in Vienna, that ended on October 4th.
How it ended
The last few months with the host entrepreneur (Claudia) have been some of the most productive, where I learned a lot: developed my skills, got more confident, expanded my network, thought about the future and had fun.
During my time at the Negotiation Academy, I helped Claudia with the marketing aspects (pre-event, on-event and post-event) of three main events that took place during the summer and were organized by . What was great about it is the fact that I was able to actively participate in the negotiation workshops held by Claudia during the events and improve my negotiation skills significantly. I can think of so many ways how it will help me when starting my own business and negotiating my way through.
What I learned
The host entrepreneur has been a real mentor to me, an empowering young female lawyer travelling all around the world and teaching negotiation skills to experienced lawyers and professionals from top companies. That takes a certain skillset and drive that only a few women possess: persuasion, assertiveness, strong communication, confidence.
Being by her side, observing her actions and behaviors and asking for advice on different situations has been quite an enrichment opportunity. As I want to start my own marketing consultancy business, Claudia has helped me realize that besides the experience and technical skills, I will need to focus a lot more on my presence and persuasion skills.
Furthermore, I had the opportunity to notice and learn more from Claudia about the dynamics of a business, all the challenges that appear from being a one (wo)man show but also the benefits that come from it. I acquired new skills that will be relevant for my new business: I developed an event omni-channel communication strategy that successfully attracted the targeted number of participants and created awareness for the event in various countries. This way, I worked extensively on my design and strategic skills. I developed my negotiation skills which are a crucial factor that will ensure the success of my business in the future (learning how to deal with a contract, with people and with situations and reach a common goal). At the same time, I’ve extensively developed my programming skills, by learning more about HTML, CSS and WordPress in general, which will be helpful when I will launch my online platform.
How I helped
My work with the founder was to expand her online presence and help her create a new brand identity that includes all the services the company offers. Due to my contributions, the host entrepreneur tried out new methods and changed existing ways of running her operations. For example, I encouraged her to be more active and strategic on Social Media and to share more educational content. As a result, the engagement and reach of her pages rose significantly. More business opportunities came from those channels.
I also worked on concrete projects that drove Claudia’s business forward: I assisted the entrepreneur in successfully organizing her first event in Vienna. I also created an omni-channel promotional plan that can be reused in the following years, when promoting the new events. Furthermore, I helped the host entrepreneur revamp all her marketing material to look more professional and consistent with the brand guidelines. I did a make-over to her sales deck, event promotional materials and to the website structure and design.
This experience made me realize that starting a business takes a certain drive and also a certain skillset that I need to develop. That can be done in time, I just need to get started. For this, I decided that first I need to cover the technical aspects. For the next year, I will focus all my free time on developing the product – the online platform for marketing and when I have a stable version, I can launch it and test the market fit with a few test users. After that, I can think of a suitable business model, considering all the new technology that will appear in a few years.