Alicia Henderson has seven years of experience as a business owner and uses what she has learned throughout her own journey to teach others how to be successful. Read our interview with the lovely Alicia below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Where should I start? There are several things that motivated me to start my own business. The motivation was my daughter and not wanting to go back to a job that I hated. My friend even suggested that I start my own business after I complained to her about the position that she and I had together. I started a medical billing company back in 2009 out of necessity. My husband was an active duty Marine, the job he had at the time was Drill Instructor. He was not home often, he worked long hours and we were living off of one income. We’d also bought a house and I wanted to decorate my house like the homes on HGTV. Another reason was that I wanted to stay at home and not put my daughter in daycare. As a military spouse I want to show other military spouses and moms that they too can start businesses while supporting your spouse, taking care of your household and they can do this without sacrificing their sanity.
Tell us about your business.
I’m all about building empires. I am the Empire Building Business and Visibility Strategist. I specialize in helping women with service based businesses to quit struggling, confidently attract their dream clients and build an empire so they can live the lifestyle that they desire. I love helping women market their businesses in a way that doesn’t require them to be stressed out or overwhelmed. There are several ways to be visible and I work with my clients to find the right strategies that work for them so they can rinse and repeat their strategy. I like to give them advice on ways that they can make running their business easier. For example, I recently showed some of the women I’m working with the ADP payroll service. It helped to read some reviews first though. There are no cookie cutter marketing strategies created when I work with my clients. Visibility should be fun, operating a business should be exciting and connecting with your tribe should be effortless. Since I was really good at being visible and building my medical billing company I decided to teach other women how to get visible.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I have a free guide called the 10 Ways to Market Your Business to Attract Your dream clients. This key has 10 easy ways to implement into your business. I have a ½ VIP intensive where I help my clients create a customized visibility strategy. Finally, the “Crush, Slay & Make Bank” 90 day 1:1 Coaching program is designed to help service based business owners get clarity in their business, attract clients consistently and customize their marketing and visibility strategy so that they can make bank.
Where is your business based?
Murrieta, CA (Southern California) about an hour away from San Diego.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
When I started my first business I did everything wrong. I thought having a website and business cards was gonna cut it and magically make clients appear. Boy was I so wrong. I learned from the mistakes I made from operating my medical billing company. The first steps that I took with starting my coaching business was to figure who my ideal clients were. I got tired of working with the wrong clients in previous business so I made sure that was one of the first things I focused on. I then got crystal clear on my message, where to find my tribe and what I wanted to communicate to my ideal clients. I also made sure to start making connections and building relationships. The more people you partner with strategically and genuinely meet, the easier it is to build your business. A few years in I then hired a business coach to help me put it all together. I wish I would’ve hired my coach from the beginning. There are so many steps to take before you can start your business. I found it useful to ask for help when I was starting off. So, whether you want to know how to open your ecommerce shop or what you can do to promote your company, doing your research, as well as speaking to professionals who can give you a helping hand will benefit you and your business. It will make it a lot easier when you are starting off. Something else that I was recommended when I started my business was to make sure I had public liability insurance, just to be on the safe side. Of course, you don’t want anything bad to happen within your business, but you just never know. So, it does make sense to have this form of protection just in case. This is another tip that I would pass on to anyone who is planning on running their own business, not matter what the industry is.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective ways of raising awareness of my business has been video, guest interviews and blogging. I know where my ideal clients are and how they liked to be communicated to. I use a lot of Facebook Lives to build a following, Youtube videos and becoming a guest contributor to different publications. Video allows me to be seen quickly by my ideal clients. It also lets them get to know me on a personal level.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
One of my biggest challenges so far is sharing my story. Most people find it hard to believe that I’m an introvert because I do a lot of videos and Facebook live broadcast. I’m a very private person in regards to certain things but I know that sharing my story can help and has helped other women understand the entrepreneurial journey. Another one of my biggest challenges is not being as tech savvy as I would like.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I had to give myself a kick in the butt and gave myself permission to be vulnerable and open. I can’t think about what others think of me and their opinions. I have to share my ups and downs, struggles and success. I overcame the tech issues by hiring a tech Virtual Assistant.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Whenever I’m feeling down I turn to my business besties, my business coach and my faith in God. My business besties give me a dose of reality whether I like it or not. They keep it real with me, encourage me and support me. My business coach also helps me to stay focused and committed to my plan. My faith and relationship with God also helps to keep me sane.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’m not one of those coaches whose first business is starting a coaching business. I have seven years and counting of experience as a business owner and during my journey I’ve learned what not to do and how to be successful. I can spot a drama client a mile away. At one time I was operating two businesses, taking care of my husband who has a traumatic brain injury and PTSD while in addition to taking care of my girls. I did all of this at the same time and grew my business by leaps and bounds. I keep it real with my tribe. I don’t sugar coat stuff, I’m honest and I truly am invested in the success of my clients. My goal is that whoever is working with me receives clear strategy, confidence and that they see life changing transformations.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“Own who you are, you are a natural born leader”.
Recently I was told this and I really had to take in what it meant. I only stick my toe into the leadership waters and haven’t fully dived deeply. I’m ready to dive deeply.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t worry about making mistakes. Mistakes happen, you learn from them and move on with life. Nothing has to be perfect. Don’t compare yourself to what someone else. You are unique and someone needs your gifts. With everything be consistent. Don’t try things once or for a few days and expect overnight success. Keep working and trying new things consistently.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My favorite business tool is Evernote. I use it on my phone and Macbook. I love the app. I keep all of my notes, social media posts, pictures and even have my client calls stored there to share with my clients. Evernote helps me to stay sane and organized.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group @FemaleEmpireBuilders
Hashtags #empirenista #buildyourempire #empirebuilder #buildingmyempire
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The most recent book that I’ve read is “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz. The book touches on creating a system so your business is always operating in Feast mode and not in Famine mode. Many entrepreneurs want six and seven figure businesses and they have those type of businesses BUT the money in the bank is always below operating levels.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m learning how to be a Client Whisperer with Stefanie Arroyo. So far I am learning how to be empathic. I’m also learning how to use Instagram in a strategic list building way.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to to release my upcoming visibility course and to fill my new 6-month group coaching program, “The Empirenista Business Success Academy”. I’ll be holding several webinars over the next few weeks, concentrating on building my list and releasing more videos.