How I Created A Six-Determine Digital Tech Help Firm

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Good day! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

Hey everybody! My title is LaKenya Kopf and I am the founding father of Kopf Consulting Digital Help. Manifested from frustration and insane pricing constructions, Kopf Consulting has supplied reasonably priced {and professional} digital technical help to all ranges of entrepreneurship for over 14 years.

Whereas Kopf Consulting’s main focus is to supply devoted digital tech help, we’ve additionally expanded to offering coaching, consulting, and hiring providers.

Over the past decade, we’ve discovered that some entrepreneurs favor to maintain a decent maintain on their enterprise and simply need somebody to carry their hand or train them the “how” to allow them to do it themselves. By including coaching, consulting, and specialty hiring providers, we at the moment are capable of help each side of a rising enterprise.

As our focus is on the software program and never a selected area of interest or location, our attain is common and worldwide. Whether or not our consumer is a magnificence salon in California or an accounting agency in Canada, an actual property firm in New York or a life coach in Australia, CRMs and electronic mail advertising programs will work identical to. They’ll permit us to supply them with the care and help they want for nurturing leads, changing gross sales, and managing their buyer journey.

What began as a favor to a good friend has flourished right into a full-time, six-figure, tech-support firm with devoted shoppers, worldwide recognition, and a continuing waitlist that constantly births revolutionary methods for Kopf Consulting to work with shoppers with out being overloaded or sacrificing the standard of service.

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What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

There’s a saying within the Marine Corps “If the Corps wished me to have a spouse, they’d have issued me one.” They weren’t kidding.

As a navy partner, making an attempt to be employed AND maintain onto a job whereas consistently PCSing (shifting from base to base) was a nightmare. In 2007, digital full-time work with firms was nonexistent to exterior hires.

Nobody is an in a single day success story. It might look like it nevertheless it takes years, persistence, struggles, disappointments, and a number of pivoting to search out your stride and succeed.

After making an attempt for months to search out work solely to be politely rejected, I made a decision there needed to be a greater method – one thing that may permit me to have a gradual earnings and will transfer with me, regardless of the place we had been stationed.

My main concern was that my talent set was hands-on tech help. Having labored at Circuit Metropolis as a PC Technician and as a Technical Advisor for Stress-Free Computing, I knew software program and {hardware} on particular person computer systems, I had no concept how I might translate that to digital work.

I began speaking to a good friend of mine about it and he or she talked about that her job was having a residency weekend and was searching for an impartial guide to assist with the occasion. The issue was she was situated in Virginia and I used to be dwelling in Maryland on the time.

The answer: I might full the overwhelming majority of the work nearly (creating badges, documentation, managing registration, and so on) and journey to Southeast Virginia for the week of the occasion to play the position of on-site assistant.

That was it! She was in one other state however I used to be capable of help her nearly for her administrative duties. As a toddler of two Navy Admin mother and father, admin work was in my blood. Couple that with my knack for laptop software program and I might supply a mixture of administrative help and fast over-the-phone tech help (identical as when folks would name into Circuit Metropolis with an issue).

I noticed the concept was good. It wasn’t tied to a location so regardless of the place we had been stationed, I might be employed. The navy had a MyCAA program that may ship me again to high school for a Grasp’s Diploma in Data Know-how Administration, so I might have the schooling behind the abilities I already possessed.

My good friend had already confirmed there was a necessity, I simply wanted to search out extra firms searching for the identical factor.

Take us by way of the method of designing and organising your service providing.

Trying to create an idea that just a few had tried and wasn’t universally wanted was troublesome (it wasn’t one thing I used to be discovering within the assist wished adverts).

I spent hours researching “Methods to earn money on-line” or “Methods to earn money from house” to find out a broader span of providers to supply.

My first step was brainstorming. What was I good at doing? What had I accomplished prior to now that might translate to work?

For the primary two years, the enterprise was extra of a facet hustle, working primarily by way of phrase of mouth and selecting up odd jobs right here and there.

In October 2011, DEK Consulting was formally shaped. On the time, I hadn’t heard of WordPress and knew nothing about internet hosting providers so I constructed my very first web site on Wix.

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I spent hours researching “Methods to earn money on-line” or “Methods to earn money from house” to find out a broader span of providers to supply. The outcomes led me to a necessity for an internet receptionist/customer support, transcribing, and administrative help.

I checked out books from the library and researched what I wanted to do to create an actual firm. I registered my DBA for $50 and created my first enterprise account with BB&T. As I used to be capable of do every little thing on-line, the whole setup course of took one night time

I started volunteering and bartering for elevated publicity and opinions. I took observe of every little thing I wanted to create for my enterprise as I started to develop and added these gadgets to my checklist of abilities.

By means of trial and error and with the assistance of freelancer websites corresponding to Elance (now UpWork), I realized about on-line advertising and the digital adverts area, self-hosting versus absolutely hosted websites, social media advertising and administration, CRMs, electronic mail advertising programs, CMS (primarily OpenCart on the time – WordPress would come later), and lead era.

I used to be lastly prepared and had what I wanted to design providers and choices that labored for different small enterprise house owners. I noticed having two totally different tiers of enterprise labored finest. Retainer would offer a extra steady/regular earnings for me whereas ‘Pay As You Go’ created extra reasonably priced flexibility for these on a decent price range.

Whereas Retainer shoppers can be a precedence, each tiers would offer devoted digital help for his or her enterprise. What I didn’t know, I might study by myself time so I might help a small enterprise – permit them to obtain the assistance they wanted, and consistently develop my information pool.

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Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

In 2017, I made a decision I wished to rebrand my enterprise and designed to launch Kopf Consulting as a full-time help firm. I additionally wished to “apply what I supported” by creating a greater on-line presence by way of search engines like google and social media.

Taking the abilities I had realized over time, I constructed my first stand-alone web site utilizing WordPress (Hostgator was the internet hosting service), I created social media accounts on all of the established platforms at the moment (together with Google Plus), I utilized for my first enterprise bank card and altered my enterprise checking account to my new enterprise title.

My objective was to maintain overhead prices low, once more—that is what I wished to show to different companies as properly—methods to set up a enterprise with out breaking the financial institution. I had a modest advertising price range utilizing Google Adverts, including my enterprise to on-line enterprise directories, often posting on social media, and continued to search out work utilizing websites corresponding to Freelancer, Guru, Rent My Mother, and Elance.

After the renaming and launching of Kopf Consulting, it took eight months earlier than I grew from a part-time facet hustle right into a full-time enterprise. By means of these eight months, I in a short time realized to fine-tune my enterprise presentation, what indicators/flags to hear for when interviewing potential shoppers, and what inquiries to ask to make sure the match is mutual for each side (in addition to establishing boundaries from the start).

I additionally realized the worth of bartering and volunteering in addition to the restrictions. The most important lesson of all was the significance of website positioning. Having switched names and branding with out making a direct tie between DEK Consulting and Kopf Consulting value me all of the website positioning and notoriety I had constructed over the previous 4 years. I used to be basically ranging from scratch.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?

Over the past 4 years that I’ve been “all in” and have grown Kopf Consulting exponentially, what has continued to work is my output of information.

Being an asset is extra valued and more practical than any quantity of promoting.

I don’t spend cash on advertising or promoting.

What I spend is time and vitality turning into licensed and studying how digital advertising works and what points have to be in place to be part of the Buyer Journey.

Changing into conversant in the Purchaser’s Journey, I focussed my natural advertising efforts on the notice stage. By creating weblog posts to assist fellow entrepreneurs determine issues (and options), answering inquiries in Fb Teams, posting recommendations on LinkedIn and Instagram, and making a free useful resource information for entrepreneurs, I’ve develop into valued in my area of interest.

To develop this additional, I’m additionally a member of a number of female-oriented entrepreneur networking teams. When attending conferences, I present industry-level perception that members retain and apply to their enterprise. That free information extends to a psychological enterprise card for additional coaching/consulting sooner or later or Phrase of Mouth/Suggestions to a colleague that will have an identical downside.

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Being an asset is extra valued and more practical than any quantity of promoting. It’s custom-made to the person or relevant to those that learn it. I can create a generic Fb/Google advert that (relying on the variety of variations) “might” be the answer to your downside or I can reply to your Fb group put up with specifics and screenshots that not solely remove the problem however present proof to the inquirer and to the others that I’ve the abilities and information to assist with your small business wants.

I additionally consider in full transparency inside my firm and the idea of “Underneath promise, Over ship”. When potential shoppers come to me, there isn’t any “promoting”, simply affirmation and reassurance. They arrive in figuring out what to anticipate and advocate me to others for that actual purpose (no video games, no stress, no upselling or hidden intentions, simply WYSIWYG).

how-i-created-a-six-figure-virtual-tech-support-company

How are you doing right this moment and what does the longer term seem like?

At the moment, Kopf Consulting will not be solely a extremely wanted Digital Help Firm, it has expanded to offering coaching and consulting providers to solopreneurs, freelancer hiring providers to entrepreneurs and small companies who wish to develop their personnel however do not have the time or want to recruit, Flex Help Providers that permit these beginning on a decent price range to obtain licensed assist with out crushing extra prices, and the most recent addition – one time providers to assist get small companies up and operating (i.e. organising a site, podcast setup, web site migration, Zapier integrations, and so on).

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With a social media following of 10k throughout the board, day by day web site site visitors of 50-100 guests, and an ever-growing waitlist for retainer shoppers, Kopf Consulting continues to exceed the expectations of its preliminary facet hustle type.

As Kopf Consulting’s income continues to develop, it adheres to the wants of social accountability by contributing earnings and affiliate internet marketing commissions to charity organizations across the globe.

how-i-created-a-six-figure-virtual-tech-support-company

By means of beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something significantly useful or advantageous?

Analysis helped me keep away from a number of widespread missteps of these beginning a brand new enterprise; nonetheless, I did have a number of classes I needed to study the arduous method. The primary lesson is the significance of boundaries when creating new enterprise relationships in addition to setting priority. When you inform a consumer you don’t work nights and weekends however often reply on nights and weekends, you nullify your boundary. If sooner or later, you say you aren’t obtainable, you obtain the inevitable “Prior to now..” or “You probably did it earlier than…”.

One other lesson is the “Energy of no”. Whether or not it’s declining a possible alternative, saying no to one thing you like to not do, or just reaffirming your boundaries, it’s okay to say “no”. If it causes you to lose a consumer or miss out on a possibility, it or they weren’t the correct match for you.

An important lesson is that you’re the proprietor of your small business, not your shoppers. There may be completely NO purpose it is best to have a poisonous work surroundings when you find yourself your boss. It’s okay to fireplace a consumer. Nobody has the correct to deal with you lower than and no amount of cash is value any sort of degradation, abuse, or your peace of thoughts.

One “oops” I might advise towards will not be gathering emails from the start. I by no means thought I might care about electronic mail advertising or making a publication and it took me years to implement this technique into my enterprise. Once I did, I noticed I missed out on a decade of gathering emails and with the ability to present new enterprise options to previous leads.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for your small business?

My enterprise would not be capable of run with out Asana. It’s my most popular job administration system. I’ve used Teamwork, Basecamp, Productiv, and Trello – Asana has been the one one that enables me to remain organized primarily based on shoppers, duties, recurring duties, and permits me to decide on between creating a listing and making a board (and switching between the 2). It is not greater than what I would like (like ClickUp and Monday) and has been a cornerstone of my productiveness for years.

Different instruments that assist my enterprise thrive are:

  • Guide Like a Boss for my coaching and consulting enterprise and
  • Honeybook for my one-time providers.
  • Mixed with Asana, these three instruments are Kopf Consulting.

Outdoors of the instruments that I take advantage of for enterprise administration functions, I LOVE Keap Max Traditional (it’s my favourite CRM), Socialbee.io for my evergreen social media scheduling, Later for my one-time social media scheduling, Wishpond for my freebies/touchdown pages, and Canva for my graphic design wants.

What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?

The three books I learn that made the largest influence on my entrepreneurial journey and contributed to beginning my enterprise are E-Commerce Get it Proper by Ian Daniel, Find out how to Begin a Residence Based mostly On-line Retail Enterprise by Jeremy Shepherd and The Keep at Residence Mother’s Information to Making Cash by Liz Folger.

Every of those books supplied hands-on expertise of how they began their enterprise, what they wished they knew, what they realized, and the steps to take, not solely to stand up and going however to thrive in a aggressive market.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?

My recommendation for many who want to get began is that this: nobody is an in a single day success story. It might look like it nevertheless it takes years, persistence, struggles, disappointments, and a number of pivoting to search out your stride and succeed. Nobody individual has the solutions and a single useful resource for data is not sufficient. Do not be afraid to ask questions, do analysis, go to networking occasions, and admit what you do not know (how else do you study). You can be shocked how typically others wish to share their knowledge.

Typically I see ego and conceitedness get in the way in which of success. They do not need assist from others and do not consider they are going to (or can) make missteps or errors of their enterprise. Different occasions I’ve witnessed many falls to the lure of shortcuts or impatience.

If I can depart a reader with something, it will be this – folks lie and are in all probability not making as a lot as they’re saying and/or usually are not as profitable as they declare, sustaining success takes time, all the time having a backup plan, and belief your intestine – you should have lots of people telling you ways you “ought to” do it or how they’d do it – take heed to them, think about their recommendation – after which go together with your intestine. Chances are you’ll implement part of what they’re saying or you might use their concept as a jumping-off level, upgrading it to one thing that matches you higher however all the time take heed to your instinct for what’s finest in your small business.

The place can we go to study extra?

You probably have any questions or feedback, drop a remark beneath!


 

LaKenya Kopf
 
Founding father of Kopf Consulting

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