Business Fit Magazine November 2019 Issue 2 - Page 26

Business Entrepreneurship: How to Spot Amazing Business Opportunities – A Case Study Regular contributors to Business Fit Magazine Maike Benner and Lilli Rohde founders of MaLish consulting, share with our readers a case study of how their initial business idea changed direction and the entrepreneurial journey it took them on. Life is a journey and so is business. Especially when setting up a business, change is the only constant. Often, we as entrepreneurs start out at one point and then the business evolves along the way. Just think of Nokia which was into rubber in the 19th century, became the market leader for mobile phones at the turn of the millennium and is now a network equipment company. One of the most important traits as an entrepreneur is to be flexible and grab chances when they present themselves. That is especially true when setting up a business. There is no right or wrong, no blueprint, no 26 universal formula and most notably: usually you need to figure out for yourself which road to take. Today we want to share with you one entrepreneurial journey which is very close to our hearts and where hopefully inspiring conclusions can be drawn. It’s the story of our own business Malish The Start Our business journey started internationally. We had decided to make it abroad first, before starting to approach the local German market. Maybe we were very naïve but when we started to speak to people in the Netherlands, Canada and UK they were all very open to talking to us and giving us a chance. Everyone was very positive towards our decision to leave our corporate jobs and start something on our own. We were given the time to develop our consulting idea into a ready-to-sell and implementable product. The Local Market After one year on the international stage - we had during this journey spoken on different stages in New York, London, Paris, Tirana, and had acquired substantial branding - we decided to conquer the local market. Being totally excited and pampered by our international customer base we thought it would be easy. Our plan was to approach the German companies with the same strategy - but all of them wanted to see certificates, for example from agile coaching institutes and no one could understand our holistic team approach. For the first time in our relatively short entrepreneurial journey we faced rejection and financial challenges. We started questioning ourselves and thought about going back into the corporate world. However, what we realised was that we attracted a lot of individuals during networking events, when we spoke on stage or lead female business networks. After being asked over and over again for business advice (from start-ups) or career tips (from employees and former colleagues), we realised that we should add coaching to our portfolio. In our case this meant reviewing our business model and adding personal coaching. This was the logical step – even though we had said at the beginning of our entrepreneurship that we would not go into individual coaching. We now – on top of company consulting – coach individuals in their career development or their business challenges or in transition from one “world” to the other. This is a natural extension to our business, as we love working with people and can apply our knowledge from past functions and industries which we had acquired in the corporate world. 27