By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee
Sandra "Sandy" Glanton is a relative newcomer to consulting, but a seasoned RPCN member who is finding the consultant's lifestyle to be satisfying and promising. Glanton's business is Projects Accomplished! She uses the title Managing Consultant for herself.
Here is a video interview with Glanton in which you wil find out how RPCN helped her to start her consulting business.
Through her business, she said, "I help my clients identify and articulate their project requirements; guide clients through requirements analysis and project planning to decide how to proceed; and provide project management scheduling and other project support services, such as financial management, resource planning, etc., to individual business owners or small to large companies," Glanton said. "I also help my clients identify and articulate their technical documentation and training requirements; guide clients through requirements analysis and planning to decide how to proceed with the technical documentation and/or training development; and provide technical documentation development and delivery to individual business owners or small to large companies."
Glanton filed her DBA in May 2014. She works from her home in Walworth, NY. So far, she has been doing all the work herself.
In starting and maintaining her consulting business, Glanton can draw on substantial experience in the corporate sector, as well as volunteer work in the community. "I had been a professional in corporate America for many years, starting directly out of college," she said. "When I was let go due to downsizing, I embarked on some volunteer projects with The August Group (TAG) and the Pancreatic Cancer Association of Western NY (PCAWNY) while I networked and looked for work. I began contract work for a colleague/friend as a technical writer earlier this year." From that came her consulting business.
Becoming a consultant was not a surprising move for Glanton - she had considered consulting on her own for many years and had acted in a version of the consulting capacity even while working in-house. It helped that "I was an internal consultant in several of my corporate positions," she said. "Starting to provide some of these services as a volunteer for TAG and RPCN, and as a service provider for my current client, convinced me that I should start my own consulting business." Attending an RPCN Entrepreneur's Boot Camp and joining RPCN also came in handy: "I joined RPCN in early 2012 when I signed up for the first Boot Camp Class that Bob Lurz conducted at High Tech Rochester," she recalled.
Even before officially launching her business, Glanton got involved in RPCN on more than a "checkbook" level. "A friend and colleague whom I knew through TAG and RPCN asked me if I would be interested in filling the newly vacated position of secretary on the RPCN board," she said. That was in August 2013. "I said I would attend the next board meeting, which was in September 2013, and give it a try. I could then decide if I was interested and the board could make a decision after I wrote up the September 2013 board minutes. The rest is history."
Her volunteer activities have paid off not only in the satisfaction of providing a service, but in drawing business to her business: Glanton's current client found her through her involvement with TAG Career Fairs as project manager and Career Fair Planning Team chair, and as board secretary of RPCN.
Even early in the life of her consultancy, Glanton is adjusting and fine-tuning the focus of her consulting business. "If you had asked me a year or two ago about what my business offerings would be, I would have said that the services would all center around project management," she explained. "Because my first job for my current client was focused on my technical writing and technical training development skills, though, I decided to expand my offerings to include those skills as well."
RPCN is not Glanton's only organizational involvement. She has remained active in PCAWNY, currently serving as Fundraising chair on the PCAWNY executive board. "This is a grassroots organization whose mission is near and dear to my heart, since my cousin passed away from pancreatic cancer five years ago at the age of 57," she said. "PCAWNY has contributed approximately $230,000 to the Wilmot Cancer Center to fund pancreatic cancer research in the last four years."
She is also a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) at the international and local level and has been a member for the last three years.
Being more involved with RPCN this past year has exposed Glanton to a lot more of the help and skills of various members, she said.
Among the RPCN resources that Glanton finds more useful is the website. "The RPCN website helps members in a variety of ways," she said. "It supplies information on upcoming RPCN events and informational talks; board meetings and subsequent minutes and actions; various business topics and opportunities posted by other members; and about, and profiles of, other RPCN members. It gives potential clients a method of finding you and your potential services via the Member Directory."
The greatest benefit of RPCN, though, is its members, according to Glanton. "There is a great amount of knowledge and camaraderie within RPCN. The benefits of being a member are learning about other members as individuals, sharing technical and business advice, and learning who may be of help to you and your business in its inception and maintenance phases," she said.
Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com
) is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and speaker whose motto is "I can write about anything!"™ She is also the owner of Communication Central (www.communication-central.com
), which hosts a conference for communications entrepreneurs in the fall.