60-second start-up: Unconsultancy

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are loads of consultancy firms aiming at the start-up and small business community, too many to name.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

That by using Unconsultancy you won't get some 'has been', 'never quite was', 'failed business person'.  You get the intellectual horsepower that you get from a blue chip consulting firm, in an amalgam with real world SME coalface experience, all at very reasonable cost.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Self funded from the profits of my previous internet recruitment business, but of course a consultancy (or even 'Unconsultancy') isn't a capital-intensive business.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

10 years starting and growing a couple of businesses, preceded by roles in Shell, PricewaterhouseCoopers and London Business School.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

Seeing the rather unimpressive options available to me when starting my previous businesses - the big firms wouldn't have been interested in micro assignments and most of the other options wouldn't have added much value.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Leave the big blue chip company and strike out on my own 10 years ago - it's very liberating running your own business.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Advertising!  I guess like many entrepreneurs looking for customers I've spent money on advertising which had zero effect.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Plain digestive dunked in tea. I have no idea if that's a metaphor for my business, it's just the type of biscuit I like!

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

GlassesDirect and HearingDirect because they were / are disruptive to an industry and quite low-cost start-ups.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Doing more public speaking around strategy for SMEs, helping an increasing number of SMEs and maybe joined by another 'Unconsultant' (quality not quantity is the name of the game).

If you think you should be featured in 60-second start-up, email sophie@smarta.com with a sentence or two explaining why.

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