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  • #979191
    ImprovisAsian
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    • Total posts: 28
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    Hi all!

    After 2 years since starting up my client-side project management business (http://www.improjex.com) in probably the worst time for anything to do with construction (the tail end of the BER and NSW Housing spending), I’m still around albeit a bit more battle weary.

    (Sorry, Mods, for creating a new thread.. I tried to find my original introduction post on the forums, but can’t seem to find it.)

    A few things which I’ve learnt along the way (specifically for me, but others may relate to..?) are:

    • trying to be bigger than the business was – I was targeting the multi-million dollar projects against international consultancies. I only managed to get to the preliminary feasability studies stage with one client before the new MD went with a major consultancy. Oh well.
    • get out of the office! – the same four walls setting up processes, templates, websites, etc can be great, but it’ll drive you insane without face-to-face human contact
    • don’t be too honest (don’t shoot yourself in the foot) – although I’m suited more to the smaller to medium sized projects (up to $5M per my insurances), when I had someone ask me about my services for their $15K project, I told them that it would be cheaper for them to go directly to an established builder…! D’oh! Currently I’m managing a refurbishment of apartment block with a building contract value of $85K (would be nice if that was my fee, but it isn’t).
    • there are people that will promise everything, but not deliver – I was naive to believe that everyone had the same ‘ethics’ I do, but without the economic clout of bigger companies, a lot of empty “promises” were given instead.
    • subcontract or delegate! – I did everything myself from card design, to ALL the IT stuff (including website design, etc), book keeping, marketing, running projects, etc. Much unneeded stress and time wasted with trying to get things “perfect”.
    • have a support network – being from a traditional Asian family, the prospect of being an employee was always the better and safer option, so the encouragement could have been better at times
    • do things which you’re afraid of – my marketing skills aren’t fantastic because I hate cold calling and asking for referrals. Maybe it’s the pride thing or fear of rejection. It’s still not my strongest skill, but I’m still trying.
    • say “no” – my first client wanted me to do the work for free as a “case study”. I declined and gave them my proposal. They accepted it anyway, and that shows I value my time and have faith in my service. Clients should know that too.

    Well, that’s a few off the top of my head. Yes, business is still slow, especially with less foreign investment in new buildings, competition from the bigger companies, economy sentiment and I’m still the relatively “new kid on the block” but I’m still plugging away at it.

    However, I’ve also just launched a new business which will tie both my performance background (4 years in improvisational theatre at nights and weekends, and puppetry, short film, etc) and experience in processes used in project management to give workshops to corporates and kids. It’s http://www.improvisasian.com if you want to check it out.

    So if you know anyone that needs me.. :)

    p.s. Should I get another business directory listing here for Improvisasian or just replace my Improjex one since the construction industry is slowing down even more?

    #1112705
    yourvirtualboard
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    Some good advice for start ups Ivan.

    #1112706
    Lisa Crocker
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    Hi Ivan,
    Thanks for sharing what you’ve learnt! You are very welcome to add a second directory listing – to do this you will need to sign up again using another email address.
    Cheers,
    Lisa

    #1112707
    4N_Man
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    Good stuff Ivan,

    Keep at it mate. I think for you it is getting out there and networking as much as possible – for both your businesses. One of our guys got a meeting with Zurich the other day through a broker who is tied in with them. In line of work I suspect ‘pressing the flesh’ will yield more referrals than Google or paper advertising.

    Good luck Ivan,

    #1112708
    MatthewKeath
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    Thanks for the follow up, it’s a good read and I am sure it will help others in the same situation.

    Your post is why I love these forums – somebody trying to help total strangers and asking nothing in return, or a n agenda.

    I wish you the best for the future!

    #1112709
    The Hobbit
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    • Total posts: 309
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    You’re a real go getter, more power to you.
    I think you should create a separate Flying Solo account for improvisasian it looks a great project, and I love the play on words in the name.
    Good Luck

    #1112710
    ImprovisAsian
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    The Hobbit, post: 125961 wrote:
    You’re a real go getter, more power to you.
    I think you should create a separate Flying Solo account for improvisasian it looks a great project, and I love the play on words in the name.
    Good Luck

    Thanks, Hobbit! I’ll do that. :)

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