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Innovative Human Resources Business

Updated: May 5

This article was originally published in 2016.

Are you afraid of trying? When I started in 2016, great emotion filled my heart and mind, just thinking that I had the opportunity to create new realities and content in the area of ​​Human Resources caused a deep excitement, but fear at the same time. The more I thought about what I could contribute to Guatemala in the area of ​​Human Resources, however, the less attention I paid to fear.

But what is fear? Simply put, fear is a very natural human emotion, since it is borne from the unknown. Fear is not having the answers to what could happen. Should we delve into the unforeseen and bet on ambiguity? In response, I ask you... do those unknown experiences and that 'thrill of the unexpected' make us better professionals with poise and recognition in our career or company? Let us remember that only brave professionals are the ones who challenge the standards accepted over time.

Another emotion that I experienced when starting a business was the fear of not being taken into account compared to the rest of my colleagues in the Human Resources area and that is directly related to self-esteem. I thought my knowledge in Human Resources was still limited and that I didn't have the necessary understanding to contribute and create, even though, at that time, I had more than 10 years of experience working in Multinational, National, Government Sector, and International Organizations both within and outside of Guatemala. What really weighed on me was that I did not believe in myself. I had to work to overcome my lack of self-confidence.

What did I do? It was simple, I began to investigate what my colleagues offered and compared it with what I knew and could offer, establishing a baseline of services and fees. I was aware that many of my colleagues already had more years in the Human Resources consulting market. So, I looked for added value that I could offer in each service. Thus, I began to create my catalog of services and fees. Practically, I carried out a market study. The most important thing, however, when you want to offer a service or product to a client, is to identify what you are really good at and feel comfortable doing and offering. In other words, look to do things that you can spend hours working on and it doesn't cause fatigue or boredom: simply passion and flow.

In my case, I can identify a particular topic that I am passionate about in the area of ​​Human Resources and that is the 9 Box methodology for Talent Development and creating robust and solid Succession Plans for companies. Another passion is the ¡GROW Coaching Model which can be implemented to solve problems or questions in both the personal and work spheres. Likewise, I enjoy selecting personnel through the Assessment Center combined with a competency-based interview; and I could continue providing more examples.

Nevertheless, the most important thing is that you identify what your "good qualities" are or what you are solid and competent in doing. Do not try to copy what others do just because you see that they make money... identify what you are good at and where you can provide added value. Having this information, begin to offer your services, starting with the companies that you worked for previously and where you left open doors. In the case they do not hire you, at least they will know that you are offering services similar to those they they use and can refer you to their friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. The important thing is to lose your shyness when knocking on doors. That is another barrier to overcome. Prepare a brief presentation of yourself, including university studies, courses or certifications that endorse the services you offer. Also, include recommendations from your bosses or colleagues in previous jobs. Remember, to be hired you need to inspire trust in others and references are vital to create an emotional link of trust. Likewise, you must open and feed your social networks to have market presence. In addition, it is important to associate with an international organization that is expert in its discipline and that can provide relevant and updated information. Another important aspect is to lower operating costs at the beginning, without lowering the quality of the service offered or agreed upon with the client. Currently, due to the pandemic, most people are working from home, for this reason they do not need an office to serve their clients since meetings can be held through Zoom and/or Teams. In addition, if documents need to be signed one can use Docusign software which is financially accessible and practical to use between supplier and client.

Don't forget to comply with all taxes.  For this, I recommend that you consult with an accountant who can explain to you how taxes work in Guatemala.  You can register with the Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria (SAT - Guatemala's version of the IRS in the United States) and have access to SAT Banking online and use its services. SAT currently offers the electronic invoice.

In short, starting a business is a pleasant adventure that you can enjoy every day. The best thing is that having my own business has meant sharing with other professionals and supporting each other to introduce and implement continuous improvement in Human Resources practices.

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