Serving & Selling To Bigger Businesses with Bonova Advisory Founder Breana Patel

Serving & Selling To Bigger Businesses with Bonova Advisory Founder Breana Patel

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • What specific services and offerings entice large companies and organizations to hire boutique firms, like Bonova, instead of doing it in-house.
  • Why Breana’s always up-to-date on what her competitors are doing, what she and her team do to win proposals, and what the sales process looks like at Bonova.
  • How travel influences Breana’s perspective and positively impacts her business.
  • What systems Breana put in place at Bonova to make it easier for single moms to balance raising their children and working at the firm.

Today, my guest on Profit. Power. Pursuit. is Breana Patel, Founder and CEO of Bonova Advisory, a minority woman-owned consulting firm based out of New York City. She shares what working with large banking institutions and state/federal agencies with net assets of at least $10 billion looks like — and how the firm’s methodology and systems relate to owning, and growing, a small business.

Breana boasts over 17 years of leadership experience in addition to holding a Masters in Finance. Besides leading Bonova, she’s an Executive Fellow at MIT, non-profit board member, and angel investor. Listen to the full episode to hear Bonova’s sales process, how Breana wins proposals, and where she’s traveling to next.

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On why large organizations choose small, nimble boutique businesses

Large organizations have large teams. When a change is introduced, it becomes too cumbersome for large teams to manage the change. We are boutique and we offer personalized services to our clients. This allows us to be nimble and agile in our approach.

— Breana Patel

As a small business owner, you might think it’s difficult to land a corporate client. Maybe you haven’t worked with one yet — or you just haven’t seen how what you do can meet their needs.

Let me give you an example. While some large organizations and corporations have an in-house graphic design team, they don’t have a branding specialist. Or maybe they have a content writing team but they don’t have an on-site SEO strategist.

This is where running a small, nimble business works well. You can jump right in and fill the gap between where the client is and where they need to go (without working the 9-5 yourself.) In our interview, Breana adds that most team members on these large teams have daily responsibilities so they simply don’t have the time to contribute to a new project or big change happening at the company.

Think about what you do best, whether that’s personal branding, content strategy, or team building. What’s different and unique about what you do — and how does hiring you or your team fill the gap for a larger organization?

On winning proposals (and being the best at what you do)

It’s always good to know what’s going on in the market and what others are doing, but you have to be best at what you do. When we put in our proposal, we win because of the type of the in-house methodologies and frameworks we’ve developed, the type of the resources we have, and the experience that we bring on board.

— Breana Patel

Breana shares her process on winning proposals — and it’s not just down to price. It’s because of everything else that she and her team bring to the table. This is a good reminder for small business owners: that you can grow your business not just on the experience you bring to the table (also important!) but also based on the service that you provide clients.

For potential Bonova clients, it’s not just about price: they’re attracted to the realm of opportunities from working with Breana’s team that goes further than their collective experience: strategy, additional training, and post-implementation training.

What ways can you level up your services? How can you differentiate what you do from the competition? How can you provide value to your clients and potential clients right now? All good questions to ponder.

On travel’s positive impact on business and life

Travel’s played a major role in my life. Travel leads to open-mindedness and understanding of various cultures. And since I understand so many cultures, I’m able to understand the thought process behind certain actions taken by individuals and the psychology behind it.

I’m in a business which is heavily reliant on people. Because of travel, I’m able to break the ice and start talking to any person from anywhere in the world. It’s helped me connect with different people from different backgrounds.

Plus, innovation and creativity is fostered when a variety of people from different cultures, experience, personality, etc. work together. So this helps us creatively solve challenges and understand global markets.

— Breana Patel

Have you ever heard a more compelling reason to travel more that would benefit your business?

While not everyone enjoys traveling, for Breana, there’s a bridge between travel and her ability to connect with anyone. And when you work within a global marketplace, it’s even more important to understand different perspectives and motivations.

Think about your clients: what are some ways that you can expand your understanding and beliefs to benefit your relationship with them? While you may not be able to travel, watching movies and documentaries or reading books can provide a window into different cultures and perspectives to help you bridge the gap.

Listen to the full episode with Breana Patel, Founder and CEO of Bonova Advisory, to hear more on winning proposals, working with large-scale clients, and empowering women.

Building a Business While Growing a Family with Rustic Wedding Chic founder Maggie Lord

Building a Business While Growing a Family with Rustic Wedding Chic founder Maggie Lord

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • Why seeking solace in work and home life when your office is your home is really important
  • How she built a business that was truly a family affair
  • How her company grew due to her diligence to preserve her uninterrupted time for the highest priority tasks

This week on the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast, I talk to Maggie Lord, founder of Rustic Wedding Chic, author and sought-after wedding expert, about the juggling involved with being a business owner and a parent. Maggie shared how she’s managed to build her business to what she dreamed it could be while at the same time following her passion to be the best mom she can.

Seek solace

It’s really important for moms to seek solace when they are on their mom duty and also within the business world as well.

– Maggie Lord

Maggie talked about how seeking solace is one of her secrets for balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship, one she also shared in an article featured in Forbes magazine. Since she works out of her home, her work and home life are constantly intermingling. When she sits down to work, it’s not just about carving out physical space, but also carving out space mentally to be focused on her business. Even something as simple as taking a shower and getting dressed for the day as if she was leaving the house to go to the office helped her create distinction when it was time for work. She also found that her breaks throughout the day when her mom responsibilities took precedence, allowed her to be a better entrepreneur.

Family affair

When Maggie and her husband started their family, business was booming. Instead of picking one over the other, she just created a plan that would work for her. Her young son became a part of the business, joining in on meetings and traveling to book signings. She’d pick locations for business travel where she had family or friends who could help her out.

People understand that you don’t have to give up one thing in order to be driven about something else. For moms and dads who think they have to choose one or another Maggie has this advice:

“It’s really your own game plan. You are the quarterback. You drop a play that works for you and your company. You will find the opportunities that work for you.”

– Maggie Lord

When she takes conference calls, she’s very upfront to explain that it’s possible a kiddo might wake up from a nap or need something from her during the call.

Maggie’s mom was an entrepreneur as well, so she had a good role model to know that you could make things work the way you want them to and it is possible to be a business owner and a good parent.

There is no way to have true separation when you have a family and own your own business, so you might as well find a way to mix the two together.

– Maggie Lord

Growing business and growing family

Maggie coined the term naptime entrepreneur to describe the way she used her precious uninterrupted time to propel her business growth. She upped her productivity level when her kids napped or were at preschool and focused on the most important—business building activities—to get done.

She decided to expand her website to include the Rustic Wedding Guide, a resource for couples planning their rustic wedding, because of the hundreds of emails she’d receive each month from couples who were desperately searching for rustic wedding venues and vendors. In the podcast, she explains her process of breaking a larger project into smaller, achievable pieces so you’re able to keep up with all your responsibilities and still grow your business.

Anybody who is trying to launch another project or a big project, break it up into pieces. It’s going to make you feel so much better and you can celebrate those little wins along the way.

– Maggie Lord

I hope you listen to the full episode to learn more about how Maggie juggles her demanding business with her growing family, how she’s built her team and what’s on the horizon for Rustic Wedding Chic.

Tune in to the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast each week to join me as I speak and learn something new from enterprising entrepreneurs who are building the businesses and lives of their dream. Just subscribe on iTunes.