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It seems like only yesterday that I attended a “Business Women of Toronto” networking event where the presenter shared her experiences and lessons learned from working as an independent consultant. I had been thinking about this path as a potential for myself and this event confirmed my view that this may be right for me. I started to brainstorm on company name. Some people said it doesn’t really matter, but for me, this was important. My company name had to represent ALL of who I was and communicate the full breadth of capabilities that I would bring to my clients. And I was pretty clear that I wanted my name in it somewhere too. I tried a few variations but eventually landed on RK Transformation Consulting Services and never looked back.
It was all just a “twinkle in my eye” until a past colleague called and asked if I was interested in independent consulting. Of course, I was – I had been thinking about it for months! Then the whirlwind started – Meetings with the accountant, meetings with the bank, meetings with my first potential client, etc. I still remember the emotions at each stage. Picking up the incorporation papers and then setting up the bank accounts – holding all the approved paperwork and feeling “Oh My God – I may have no money in this business yet, but Oh My God, my company is REAL!” Then there was the other emotion – the client was anxious to get started as soon as possible, so no time for frills. Being the perfectionist that I am, while I was happy with my first contract, it really bothered me that I didn’t have a sharp-looking company logo on it! Within a few months, I hired a creative graphics company to iron that wrinkle out.
As I look back at our journey since those early days, much like a 3-year old toddler, we had so many firsts. First client, first contract, first income deposit, first project change request, first corporate tax return, first business partnership, first supplier agreement, first batch of business cards, first batch of logo-ware, launch of our website and social media, first version of our chart of accounts and so much more! I’m proud of all that we have accomplished – and I say “we” because I couldn’t have done it alone. I was fortunate to have a small ‘village’ of people who contributed in so many ways to help move the vision forward. I love birthdays, and it’s important to pause and celebrate – Happy Birthday, RK-TCS! And a heart-felt THANK YOU to all the people in my village – you know who you are!
As I look forward to the coming years, there is so much more to do as we continue to grow. I’m anxious to get it all done yesterday – but am reminded by my fellow small business owners that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I hear that it takes 5 – 7 years to fully establish a business and I look forward to fondly looking back at these formative years in the future – right now, all I see is so much more that needs to be done! The best is yet to come.
By Rekha Kulshreshtha, President, RK-TCS
RK-TCS was excited to be invited back to York University to share a bit about our career journeys and experiences in the areas of business process management with a class. We decided to bring the RK-TCS Management Team to share the different paths our careers have taken to bring us together. Seeing these students in their seats made me think back when I was in school and how I couldn’t wait for my career to start. I’m glad they went easy on us when we presented to them and asked great questions to help us make the session more interactive.
This was second time RK-TCS presented at York University but the first time Anne and I joined Rekha to help with the presentation. It was great because we had Anne join us in the classroom virtually from the Philippines, projecting her on the classroom screen so students could see her live. We each shared our career journeys that ultimately led to our role in RK-TCS today. One thing I noticed is how we all have different skills and experiences, but complement each other with the unique skills we bring to the table the get the job done. Part of the message we really wanted to portray to the class was the importance and value of teamwork. It was cool having Anne with us virtually to show the lifestyle implications and value to clients of having a global team that can offer support around the clock to clients.
Unlike the class last semester, this class was an evening class which had a range of students from all stages of life within their career. It was interesting to see the range of students’ experience and interest in business process management and how this class would benefit them in their career aspirations. Rekha did a great job of giving examples throughout the presentation about issues that can arise on real projects in the work environment. She gave the students positive pointers on how to deal with these issues and how to get to the root of the problem. The seasoned professionals had lots of interesting questions that Rekha answered effectively and with a bit of humour. We came prepared with some fun giveaways for the students, including pens and our newly created RK-TCS brochure – everyone loves prizes and giveaways!
Overall, we had fun presenting at York University for the first time as a team. We hope we inspired the students to continue to develop valuable skills that will help them stand out from the rest and get the job done! We also hope we demonstrated that there is strength in numbers and that teamwork is more fun than trying to do everything on your own! We look forward to continually improving our presentation again for the next semester and sharing more of our experiences from client projects with the next class!
On a day to day basis we follow a plan. It can be something as strict as a list or just a goal that we see at the end of the tunnel. To me it’s the first option. I always make a list, or a spreadsheet if it involves math. It’s a form of comfort in which I know that I have some control over the possible outcome of a decision that I make. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get frustrated if my plan fails but it helps me see the next step to take when I have it with me. I was not always like this, in fact I used to be the person who doesn’t have a plan at all – until I became a mom. So now I’d like to share with you how planning is helping me in my journey.
Here are 5 suggestions on how to plan ahead:
It doesn’t take so much time to apply these 5 things on a daily basis. You just have to integrate it as a part of your routine and make it your lifestyle. A great plan that failed is better than not having a plan at all. Can you tell us how you plan your day? What works for you?
I’m pleased to announce that RK-TCS has become a member of the Richmond Hill Board of Trade this month!
We felt it was the right time for us, as a company, to become more involved in the local community. I heard from a local lawyer that being a member of the Richmond Hill Board of Trade had really helped him grow his business over the last 7 years. I recently asked a fellow small business owner for suggestions on where to go to hire specific services for my business and he recommended working through the local board of trade. All signs seemed to indicate that there was value in joining the Richmond Hill Board of Trade as we continue to expand our client and consultant base. So earlier this month, I took the leap, not feeling completely sure if it would be worthwhile or not. I figured, I’ll try it for a year and then see if we want to continue being a member beyond that.
I was pleasantly surprised that within less than a week, I started to see invitations to events in the community that immediately piqued my interest. I signed up for an educational series – always good to stay on top of the latest and greatest in HR and legal considerations. Met some amazing and passionate people at the first event. The next day, I joined a very well-attended Women in Business Networking Session which included a short presentation on issues important to small business and a round-table of introductions. Amazingly, among the group were women running small businesses to provide some of the services I was looking for – I love win-win scenarios!
I’m so glad we joined the Richmond Hill Board of Trade and encourage other small businesses in the area to join – I began to see value within the first week. I suspect I will be like the small business owner I met at my first event who said she had been a member for more than 20 years. I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between RK-TCS and the Richmond Hill Board of Trade!