Lessons Learned from a Public Health Business Owner and Entrepreneur

career development consulting entrepreneur Dec 31, 2022

Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? Is the temptation of becoming a business owner or entrepreneur in public health eating away at you? Are you wondering how to gain financial freedom once and for all? Is 2023 going to be the year you start a business?

After the COVID-19 pandemic, there's never been more of an emphasis on public health agencies, consulting, and private companies to help bridge and increase capacity for reaching diverse communities, underserved populations, and stakeholders of various industries. The work never stops in public health - but where do you belong in this never ending and evolving public service infrastructure? .. This is the crux of the challenge of starting your own business or consulting agency in public health. Because public health is so vast and open to addressing many causes and working across business or with individuals, you can easily get lost in trying to do too much or not knowing if you're actually reaching your target audience.

Basically, the opportunities are endless when it comes to public health business ownership given the virtual world and remote life that has exploded due to the Covid pandemic - it is literally the perfect time to start the venture you’ve always wanted but never thought was possible. In fact, I noticed the opportunity right away back in November 2020. I had always wanted to be a career coach at heart, I just never knew how or when. And then the pandemic just made the conversations online so simple when I started to find colleagues like you who needed help securing full time employment in this in-demand field.

But I'm not the only one who started a small business - many colleagues across the nation and the globe have done the same and we all support each other across our platforms and as followers of each other. After all, there's plenty of room for everyone to shine and share their talents in public health because the demand is so high. So if you'd like to join us, here are lessons learned from launching and successfully managing Public Health Hired LLC, a Latina owned small business for career development and mentorship in public health professionals across the United States and the globe. 

1. The 3 P's: Price, Product, Placement

Have you ever heard of the 3 L's in real estate? Location, Location, Location! ... Well there are 3 P's in business ownership - Price, Product and Placement.The three things you will learn the hardest when starting your business is finding this sweet spot between these 3 P's. In other words, the price point of anything you’re offering should match the quality and clarity of the product while also being marketed with relevant talking points and reaching your target audience. While the product (career guidance) was clear for me, the hardest part was packaging it in a way that resonated for public health professionals and didn't require too much convincing, so I tried 1 week coaching, 1 month, 1 job application etc until I landed on the HIRED Masterclass and HIRED Mentorship as the signature services for career development.

As I packaged the product, I also tested price points by introducing surprise offerings and special deals that help you fine tune the value and talking points of the benefits to see if any of these price points result in actual purchases. Regarding placement, be willing to let go of channels that don't serve you. For example Twitter was a flop after 3 months of posting so I stopped using it and a Podcast doesn't serve my lifestyle due to having a noisy house and demands of work and single motherhood. Any imbalance in these 3 P's will be obvious because you'll notice little interest or no questions being raised by your audience, low engagement, or even slow sales. These 3 P's of entrepreneurship are what you will spend the first year to five years perfecting and mastering until you feel like you find your flow - which then will excite you to expand and build on your business even further. With a good foundation, anything is possible!

2. Maximize All Free Resources When You Launch

Be resourceful! There are so many free trials or competitive companies wanting you to try their free entry level product before you upgrade or join a subscription. Use this to your advantage! Why? Because you first have to find your audience and test the 3 P's (price, product, placement) before you ramp up marketing or try to scale. For example, I offered free webinars for career guidance on Eventbrite using their free site, which allowed me to test if anyone was initially interested in the content back in 2020. I literally offered free 40 minute weekly webinars on how to find jobs and basics to tailor resumes in return for just attendee emails in order to start conversations and follow up one-on-one. Why 40 minutes though? Well, I limited the webinar to 40 mins because group Zoom meetings were free up to 40 mins. As for a website, I used the free Milkshake linktree to connect everyone to my free guide, LinkedIn account, and free webinar registration. Then, I started an Instagram account which is also free but quickly learned how to find my audience and friend them first or post comments on pages they followed like college websites or other public health influencers. If I booked anyone for a free mentor session, I kept it to 20 minutes and used Google Calendar because it was free. Then in January 2021, my first paid client (mentee) purchased a 4 week mentorship package for $500 and - officially Public Health Hired was in business. 

3. Have Fun Marketing and Playing with Promotions

Have you noticed the Instagram page @publichealthhired is sometimes cheeky, sarcastic, or silly yet educational? That's because I'm having fun with it while being serious about the difficulties of the job hunt.  Have fun marketing your company, product and services based on seasons and dates that resonate with your audience. For example I had fun with making up special offerings for certain months around New Beginnings in the New Year, Public Health Week in April, Freedom specials in July, or Black Friday mystery deals in November. There were others I tested but quickly noticed the benefit of pacing out these deals while regularly reminding my audience of the normal prices so that they could see value in any deals I introduced. I also have fun with providing educational lessons by recording short lesson clips during times that work for me, like when I'm in the drive through for Starbucks or when I'm on my way to a meeting. This gives the audience a sense of movement while maximizing my alone time and recording myself when I feel inspired.

These lessons learned are just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully motivate you to start your own business in 2023! If you would like more tips, guidance and an opportunity to brainstorm your three P's (price, product, and placement) in time for the new year, then consider joining the Public Health Entrepreneurship and Consulting EXPO, held online January 3 through February 17, 2023. An optional in-person 2 day meeting is held in Orlando,Florida for anyone in need of more detailed guidance and in-depth support to launch your business with Dr. Charlotte Hughes Huntley’s leadership. This Expo features 14 public health business owners, including myself representing Public Health Hired, on how we navigated launching our businesses. Registration closes December 31, 2022. Don't miss out! https://publichealthexpo.com/ 

Looking for full time job in public health is a full time job in itself! Master the HIRED Methods instead to get ahead and get job offers with less headache and more ease. 

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