Hello, I am Maggie Miller, the principal of Maggie Miller Consulting. I conduct program evaluation for small to mid-size nonprofits in the Denver/Boulder area. Sometimes I think I should change that tagline because I’ve gotten referrals to larger nonprofits (whom I adore), but I am still very attached to the small identity.
- Trust that being small can be an advantage: when people hire you, they do so because you’re you; you’re not going to be delegating to staff.
- If you’re really small, you won’t have employees, so…
- Have subcontractors instead. I work with some wonderful people who do data entry, multicultural interviews, and web development.
- Try to get some work as part of a team. This will give you the camaraderie and learning opportunities that you would have if you worked for a larger company.
- Know what you’re good at; know what has your name on it.
- Know your limits:
- When asked, “Oh, you consult with nonprofits…do you do strategic planning?” the answer is NO. (Unless you do that too.) Get to know consultants who do related work, and make referrals.
- Don’t take jobs that are too big. Be happy to refer people to the larger shops in town.
- Try to get one gig that brings in 40%-60% of your income, then you can be free to help smaller clients with the rest of your time.
- The better you know what you can and cannot do – and what you like to do and don’t like to do – the better able you will be to attract your perfect clients.
- It’s all about relationships. Enjoy them and keep them strong.
- This book: Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez. This is somewhat woo-woo (i.e., law of attraction) but has guided my business philosophy and is full of useful exercises that brought me wonderful clients!
- All of the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA’s) amazing and affordable educational offerings, and fabulous resources like Stephanie Evergreen’s blog and Ann Emery’s Excel videos.
- See other AEA365 posts on Small is Beautiful
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