Business Consultant | Marketing Expert |Trainer | Mentor | Helping individuals & micro businesses to plan & implement workable systems to grow & thrive in business.
Vicki McGowan, with a career expanding close to 30years’ has worked within a range of professional sectors including tourism & hospitality, media, healthcare, construction, retail and finance as well as semi-state organisations. She has supported multiple start-ups through a hands-on approach in areas relation to administration, market research, brand design, marketing, sales and system implementations. In 2015 Vicki began to work with clients remotely through the use of technology and has directly supported clients through direct engagement in their business as well as providing a consultancy and mentoring service to clients in Ireland, Europe and the USA. In recent months she has registered as a Mentor with the world #1 Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU working towards becoming a registered certified Flow Consultant for Wealth & Talent Dynamics to help empower clients increase their performance, flow and sense of purpose in their business and personal lives.
Q1. Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?
Honestly no, the role has progressed as a result of the experience I have gained over the years. My earlier career started in the corporate world, and over time by taking every opportunity provided to learn as much as I could at that level, I was able to take that knowledge, skills and experience and dilute it to a level that helped establish early-stage start-ups. I love the challenge of having to learn new skills, create new systems and continuous learning. Having directly worked for 12+ start ups in a diverse range of businesses each providing another opportunity to expand on my knowledge and skills I have the ability to visual and understand what is preventing a new business from moving to
the next level.
Q2. What makes a good consultant?
For me, a good consultant is one that listens first with the intention to clearly understand where a business or individual currently finds themselves. In that listening the consultant should have the ability to visualise and interpret the current problems, analyse the situation, offer advice based on their expertise and own experience that will quickly help to prevent a problem accelerating. From there they should provide constructive feedback on how to make improvements through the implementation of systems and use of technology and software with the aim to improve overall efficiency of a business.
Q3. Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?
I have always been an organised individual with impeccable time management. I value time because it is the one commodity that once it’s gone, it’s gone and it can never be recovered. I rarely find myself working late into the evenings and if I am, its not actual work but time I’ve allocated to learning and that to me is never regarded as work.
Q4. Are there enough hours in your day?
Yes, and that’s because I now have a structure to my day that I follow through on. I understand when I am productive and when I need some down time and because of that I plan my week to incorporate that to ensure that I don’t burn myself out. It’s important to have a balance to your day, without a healthy mind and body you cannot function effectively and something or someone will eventually suffer as a result.
Q5. If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?
Thinking they have to do it all themselves! It’s a lot of responsibility to carry and if I’ve learned anything over the years its that you can’t know everything and that’s OK. Focus on your strengths especially those you enjoy and look to outsource elements of the business that you keep putting off doing yourself. After all there are potentially 12 hats needed to run a business, you can’t possibly like all those hats and you certainly don’t want to be wearing them all at the same time. Find those people that love those hats and let them support you in building your business, we all need a team that will encourage and support us on our journeys.
Q6. What do you find is the best way to market yourself?
Personally, recommendations have worked for me best. If you are authentic in your dealings with clients and show up to be of support and they benefit from that support that’s true marketing. Show up where you can in person and finally don’t feel you have to be on every social media platform, concentrate on those where you know your potential client can be found and give value where you can.
Q7. What do you do to unwind?
To unwind, I love to get out in nature. I’m very fortunate to live near the sea and have some beautiful loop walks within a 30 mins drive from me. I enjoy walking while listening to calming music or podcasts or just sitting on the rocks and listening to the waves hit against the shoreline. There’s nothing more peaceful than feeling you are part of that energy.
Q8. What advice would you give a starting consultant?
Firstly, clarify your Why! Be very clear on why you want to start a business. Be honest with yourself, and write down how it will impact your life, your relationships, your lifestyle and financial stability. If you are still keen to start, talk to those that have been through it and learn from them, you’ll be surprised how much advise you can obtain that way. Finally, preparation is the key to success so plan, test and then implement and when you’re ready find your team that will do the jobs you keep putting off.
Q9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
A glass of wine and some nibbles on a Friday night – my way of closing off the working week.
Q10. What’s your goal for next year?
To support individuals set up virtual services through my online training program & group or 1:1 mentoring support where in turn I can connect with individual and micro business owners who are ready and willing to engage their help to grow their business further.