Focus on Your Passion - LVL-Up Strategies
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business consulting and services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rona Jobe, CEO of LVL-Up Strategies, located in Arlington, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Founded in 2020, LVL-Up Strategies is a minority, woman-owned small business based out of Arlington, Virginia, that focuses on consulting and implementing strategies for small businesses and teams within larger businesses. Our clients are organizations and small businesses with DRIVEN leaders that are willing to do what it takes to get to the next step in their journey while working with us to carve out that implementable strategy and plan.
Tell us about yourself
I started this business to make an immediate impact in two communities - the foreign service/military spouse community and the small business community. After working many years with small businesses and organizations, I recognized that impactful consulting is lacking or unavailable for many organizations, either due to costs or to the ability of "consultants" to implement what they recommended based on their "analysis." I found that small businesses and organizations, as well as the entrepreneurs who run them, are more nimble than larger and traditional organizations (and their leaders) in their ability to apply new processes, programs, and even technologies. They just lack the time and expertise to identify the "how" of scaling a business and executing the plan. This was a need in the market.
Additionally, I am, as is my business partner, also what the U.S. government calls an "Eligible Family Member." Eligible Family Members (EFMs) is a term given to military and State Department spouses who reinvent their lives and, consequently, their careers each time their spouses' work takes them to a new location or "post." I started LVL-Up Strategies after my husband's impending frequent deployments meant starting a new career at each post. I realized that I could help EFMs develop and grow their careers while helping small businesses grow through scalable, efficient business strategies, improved online presence, and smart marketing efforts. In this process, I found a solid partner, another EFM, and an entrepreneur. We built a strong team of women that helped put our vision into place – including a work system that supported a staff that frequently moves and works in different time zones.
Our employees are almost all female spouses of military and State Department employees, and they are dedicated to achieving their professional goals while helping LVL-Up Strategies' clients achieve their business goals. Other companies will not hire remote employees who move every two years due to a lack of systems that support and address transnational/international moves and remote work; conversely, LVL-Up Strategies' mission is to showcase the varied talents that develop after multiple moves and the resiliency this life provides to our workforce. Through training, coaching, and advisory, LVL-Up Strategies guides each staff member to translate these skills so they, in turn, can help guide and build working processes and systems for their clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
By year three, we have been able to identify our leadership staff and grow our revenue almost double each year we have been in business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Leading people and guiding them beyond their skills and perceived capabilities has been the hardest part of being a business owner. Many business owners tend to focus on their and their team's task lists and their efficiency, but to have a high-performing team that is willing to go the distance with you, it's important to have a solid and healthy culture where each person on the team is valued and also seen for their impact and effectiveness.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Identify your leadership staff within your first 2-3 years in business.
- Solidify your business plan with an implementation plan.
- Be consistent with motivating and keeping your team accountable.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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