From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives. This is a recent example; I’ve led or participated in many similar projects over the years.
In 2019, I was approached by a multi-talented colleague who had been doing some part-time consulting outside the realm of her primary profession. She wanted to consider the feasibility of expanding the consulting into a successful business that would operate as a B-corporation, balancing purpose with profit to provide critical services to underserved market.
She had been working with small businesses and individuals to secure their computers, technology systems, data, accounts, and finances from threats inherent in the realm of technology. She repaired compromised accounts and systems, established secure hardware, software, and network solutions, and trained individuals and business owners how to maintain security best practices.
In doing this work, she saw the potential of what she felt would be a great business opportunity: Her existing clients knew little to nothing about security threats that could significantly damage financial security, business operations, and individual peace-of-mind; they did know how to protect themselves or their businesses, and they were under-served by security consultancies. She felt that creating a consultancy to provide these much-needed services to these individuals and business owners would benefit the community, give her personal satisfaction, and be profitable.
After an initial talk with her and a number of potential business partners, we confirmed a small group of individuals committed to investigating the potential, risks, and feasibility of founding such a business. As the designated leader, I:
- Lead the business feasibility study, including market analysis, risk assessment, and strategic planning
- Created a scalable business plan to deliver tiered service levels
- Designed several iterations and models of the plan to accommodate partner resources, capabilities, and gauge overall business feasibility
- Advised partners on marketing, technology, financial, and operational infrastructure considerations
- Created an internal communications structure and trained partners on use (Confluence wiki, emails, shell website)
- Designed the company logo and identity and wrote draft marketing copy
Based on the exploration and work conducted over the course of six months, I advised the group not to proceed with the business.