Woman in business – Monika Starecka about consulting, clients and lawyers
What does Equinox Consulting do?
We offer services that optimize the activities of our clients’ companies. These are consulting services, support for change management and process optimization, mainly in the area of finance, HR management, marketing, strategic planning or broadly understood administrative support. We mainly work with finance, HR and marketing departments. In addition, we offer training, individual and team coaching as well as other forms of support for companies that need to improve their business in order to achieve better results at a lower cost. Not only in financial, but also in social, emotional and environmental terms. We always have a broad perspective and adapt to the client’s needs.
Do you work online or offline?
Of course, nowadays most meetings and workshops are held online. I can single out the Webex platform, which allows you to conduct interactive workshops. We switched very quickly into providing online consulting services by, for example, sharing documents using secure cloud solutions.
How did you deal with acquiring customers at the beginning?
At the beginning, my contacts that I established during many years of working in corporations helped us. After setting up the company, I “refreshed” my relationships and presented what we do at Equinox Consulting, what we are the best at. This way, we got our first orders. To be honest, we have been selling in a similar way – our former clients recommend us to their friends or colleagues as experts.
Are you investing in marketing?
Not much at the moment. We are still observing the situation and we wonder in which way the consulting will develop. Will the market be more eager for online or offline products? Will the tendency to avoid direct contact continue or will there be a return to traditional meetings? We observe the market and consider the consequences of the pandemic.
Which business approach works best for you? We invest in delivering projects of the highest quality, and then we share references and opinions of our satisfied customers.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Acquiring customers from outside the contact network. It requires building trust, and it takes time. It is certainly an investment necessary for a consulting company to be able to think about success in the long term.
Do you use legal services?
My experience from working in a corporation is that it is worth using the services of lawyers. This helps you avoid a lot of problems and stress in the future. For now, we do not have in-house lawyers, so we use external law firms depending on what they specialize in. When we need advice, we look for lawyers who are experts in specific specialized areas.
What determines the choice of a lawyer in your situation?
Most often I refer to my network of contacts. Thanks to recommendations, I cooperate with law firms that have successfully dealt with cases of people whose opinion I rely on in the past. I am also looking for answers to questions on the Internet. Sometimes I read a blog article where lawyers share their knowledge. It is often encouraging for me to cooperate with such a law firm and ask them to unravel more complicated questions that relate specifically to my case.
What legal advice do you most often need?
Most often these are issues related to the legal aspects of the company, certain changes and transformations that we want to make. Sometimes we also need help with the contracts we conclude. These are often quite complex contracts containing confidentiality clauses, non-competition clauses, and regulations concerning the liability of the parties. We need advice to verify which solutions are safe for us and which are risky.
Is there a room in the market for a law firm like McDonald’s?
As always, the devil is in the details. It depends on how this concept would be adapted to the client’s needs and to what extent the legal service would be universal, and to what extent would it be tailored to a specific client.
What is your biggest advantage in running a business?
I like the freedom that I have when running my own business. For example, that I can choose colleagues that I like and with whom I work well.