For years I, Jacques Murray, built websites and helped family, friends, and acquaintances with their IT related problems. I did it as a hobby, goodwill, or sometimes out of curiosity to see how far I can push my limits.
On 31 March 2017, I was in a serious car accident, which changed my life completely. I was bedridden for 3 months. I pushed myself beyond my limits and the expectations of the doctors that treated me.
On the 8th of August 2017, I was retrenched. I applied for numerous positions but struggled to find work.
I started evaluating the skills and experience I managed to accumulate through the years of my career. The idea of starting my own business was born and I officially registered Lagari Consulting as a private company on 28 November 2017.
I realised I knew how to develop software and websites, run a business, do business registrations, and even how to do accounting. I had the knowledge to run a business, but I didn’t have clients. I lacked two very important skills, sales and marketing. I had everything in place to run Lagari Consulting, but no work was coming in. I ended up continuing looking for work.
Money was running out and my stress levels were sky-high. In December 2017, I found work and I was to start my new job in January 2018. Lagari Consulting was put on hold. Unfortunately, the new job, which was my saving grace, didn’t work out as planned. I went back to square one. Maybe even further back.
I decided to try and start the business again. I reached out to everyone I knew, trying to get some clients and work in. I managed to somehow get a client and finished my first paid-for website in March 2018.
I still struggled with marketing my business and if by chance I managed to get some interest in the services I offered, I definitely didn’t know how to actually sell and close a sale. I ended up doing a sales course, in order to give me the skills I need to sell my services, but I still lacked the marketing skills.
I looked at what I was selling. My first and most important service was designing and developing websites. I was offering a service to assist other businesses getting a presence online. That got me thinking that my marketing should also be targeted at being online. I signed up and completed a Google AdWords course and ended up being certified for Google AdWords. I studied everything I could find about managing Facebook Ads. The only problem was that I lacked the funds to run my own adverts on either of these platforms. On the plus side, it was another service I could offer potential clients.
Through word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family, I managed to get additional websites to build. The feedback from my clients was good. They were happy with the turn-around times for the websites, the cost, and most importantly, the level of service I offered. I hate receiving bad service, so I made it my mission to ensure that my clients receive the best service I could offer them.
Lagari Consulting is a small business. Some might say I’m a freelancer, but I grew fond of the term solopreneur. My aim, and as such the aim of Lagari Consulting, is to give other small businesses the tools they need to succeed. I try to keep my costs as low as possible, as I personally know how much of a problem cashflow is for a young small business.
In closing, I have been asked in the past about the name Lagari. The origin of the name is Laura, Gabriella, and Ricardo. The first two letters of my wife, daughter, and son’s names. They are the most important people in my life, so I decided to name my business after them, to motivate myself to ensure that I bring honour to their names.
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