I’m interning at a small, start-up consulting firm called Zenith Street. Aisha, the founder and my boss, started the business in 2011 after deciding she had found a niche in the market she could exploit herself. Zenith Street provides strategy consulting for SME’s which are small to medium enterprises. Currently, Zenith Street attracts clients that bring in revenues on average of 500,000 pounds annually from a wide pool of industries. Actually, I could not believe when reviewing her previous clients the lack of similarity: banks, marketing and tech firms, even jewelry stores. I am very impressed by the ability to help such a broad range of companies, as they are nothing alike and should require different expertise. Aisha has explained that small companies can also be difficult because many do not keep detailed books which can make them difficult to analyze. Also, some people are shy or embarrassed about explaining why they need help and she needs to try to ask the right questions to get the information she needs. She will not work with a client if she does not think she can help, and so much of her job is selecting clients. She envisions Zenith Street growing in the next few years, moving from clients with revenues of 500,000 pounds to a million pounds annually. I found this interesting because she is actively trying to make a profit while change the scale of her business. This means that she has to be selective with what clients she takes and how she advertises, it is a very delicate balance that requires time.
My experience has been very positive. Aisha has been very welcoming and taken the time to try to explain a lot that she does not necessarily need to and given me to exposure to a variety of things. My main project this week was to research other consulting firms in the area that would be considered competition. I figured I should look through her database of contacts, as she meets many of her clients at networking events. I reasoned that other consultants would also attend these events and they may have came into contact at them. I have found about 15 other companies in the same market as Zenith Street so far. Once found, I tried to understand how they are approaching the market differently so Zenith Street has the best approach. I suggested adding a testimonials page to the website, as people want to trust the person they are going to for advice- so they would like to know that they are well established.
My commute is about 45 minutes each way, as I am located in Hanger Lane, but it is relatively painless because of the Tube. I am on the seventh floor of my building with a very nice view of Wembley Stadium. The area is much less urban than central London, yet oddly enough there are more tall buildings.
Here is an uncomfortable picture of corporate me that went on the company website that I am excited to share. Where am I supposed to put my hands?