Q&A with Entrepreneur Rhian Sharp
Rhian Sharp is the President and CEO of Sharp Medical Recruiting and HR Consulting. Rhian has been an HR Executive for almost 20 years. Her company providers permanent employee placements and HR Consulting services for healthcare companies throughout the globe.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I’m a simple country girl from humble beginnings. I was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. In my culture, hard work and doing well in school is a must! So, I always did my best to excel in both work and academics. My father would talk with me about business topics for as long as I can remember. When most dads played with dolls with their little girls mine talked with my about macroeconomic issues 😊 I’m a running having run over 18 half marathons and a figure competitor. Most importantly, I’m a mother of two! My son Christian is 12 and my daughter Reagan is 10.
What inspired you to start your business?
I suppose I have an entrepreneurial spirit. However, the tipping point for me came when I realized that working for someone else as an employee did not provide me with either the creative license to do things the way I wanted to nor did it allow for the flexibility to spend time with my son and daughter. Working as an HR executive was comfortable, however, I had to beg for time off to go to kids plays or soccer matches. My time was not my own.
Where is your business based?
We are based in Atlanta GA, however, our clients are all over the US and outside of the US.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
Having been in HR and in the healthcare industry for almost 20 years I was very blessed to have relationships that I was able to leverage. My best client relationships have been with previous employers. My first step was to set a ‘launch date’. Once my date was set I made a list of possible clients and then I started sending messages to them asking if I could visit with them to learn about their ‘pain points’ and how I could help them.
Of course, I did the usual steps of registering my business and obtaining my business license.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
The most effective way of raising awareness of my business has been placing direct calls to prospective clients and strengthen my presence on LinkedIn. Nothing can take the place of a face to face meeting. My goal on my calls with prospective clients is to get at least 30 minutes of their time via a face to face meeting.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been time. As a business owner, you must generate your own sales, fulfill your own orders, collect your own revenue, handle all customer complaints and so on. You must really love what you do and love being independent. I’ve made mistakes and continue to make mistakes daily; however, I’ve learned to brush them off, pick myself up and get stuff done.
How do you stay focused?
I love running and lifting weights. I work out every day usually before I start work. It helps my mind focus on the day and I’m ready for anything once my workout is completed. My mind stays focused on work once my work out is completed.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
I’m available 24/7 for my clients. Seriously I am! If there is a need at midnight I will take the call. In addition, I’m always learning and reading about changes in the healthcare market. I find healthcare and the business of healthcare to be very fascinating and I enjoy sharing thoughts with my clients. I’m writing a book that’s scheduled for release this Spring. The book will be focused on ways healthcare companies can keep their best people. I’ll give free copies to my key clients.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Meeting for lunch and coffee. I know it sounds passé however my best business relationships have been established through a quick coffee meeting. I’ll get a lead from a friend or previous employer and I’ll set up a quick meeting. Even if the person does not want to do business with me at that time they usually will refer me to someone who could use my help.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
My best piece of advice is ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. If you’re working for someone and you’re earning a good amount of money and medical benefits, it’s hard to take the plunge. But do your research on the business you want to start, set your goals and take the plunge. All business starts with a bit of fear but doesn’t let the fear hold you back.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite book is the Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I read it when I was about 14 years old. The images and contrasts of the book resonated with me. It’s the story of love and hate and the Caribbean and Europe and the juxtaposition of culture. In addition, it looks into the life and economy of the planter class in the West Indies. Very interesting stuff.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Linked In has been a wonderful resource. In addition, I tend to read any business and or health industry magazine I can find.
Who is your business role model? Why?
Kathy Mazzarella (CEO Graybar). I admire the fact that she has been a successful leader in a VERY male dominated organization. The organization is financially successful and employee-owned.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
The theme for the next six months is GROWTH! My objective is to increase my revenues but 40%. It’s a big goal but it’s achievable. In addition, my book on employee engagement is scheduled for release in March.
How can our readers connect with you?
Please email me (Rhian@sharpmedicalrecruiting.com) or connect with me on Facebook (Sharp Medical Recruiting) or Linked in https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhian-sharp-mba-mhr-75924325/ or just give me a call 404-670-4786.