Meet Sugandha, a business strategist and consultant
Sugandha is a business strategist, multi-passionate entrepreneur, consultant, storyteller, and women’s leadership. She is also a wellness coach with a hope and a dream for a more just and equitable world most especially for women and children. Her expertise encompasses women-led businesses, diversity, and inclusion, mentoring and coaching, business strategy, learning and development, digital strategy/transformation, community and partnerships, and social impact measurement. Sugandha has worked in a startup environment for the last 5 years that made her adaptable and more flexible to work with.
We caught up with Sugandha to know more about her career.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business?
I’m a mum of two small humans and four rescue fur children (2 cats and 2 dogs) and a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a diverse career in corporate, consulting, not-for-profit and running my own online coaching business. I have recently launched my own business strategy coaching and organizational consulting practice (GreatHERGood Co) – a leadership coaching and business strategy consulting practice working with for-purpose entrepreneurs and organizations supporting them with women’s leadership and organizational coaching, learning design and development, and consulting services in social impact and diversity/inclusion.
What inspired you to make the leap and go out on your own, and when did you first start working for yourself?
I started my first business when I was 29 after I spontaneously quit my 6-figure corporate job while on maternity leave with my first child when I realised that being Partner was not my idea of what success looked like to me. Probably not the *best* thing to do without a plan but I’ve always been a little impulsive like that. I’ve not looked back and since then have evolved and grown my career philosophy to be one of a portfolio career – that allows me to do ALL THE THINGS in the combination I want.
Tell us about your experience of working for yourself?
When I first started I realised I had no clue what I was doing – especially about the online world. I ended up essentially recreating the corporate cubicle in my business – working 12-14 hour days doing “busy” work because I thought that’s how you had to be and hustle. It was hard- especially when my main interaction with people was online and I was trying to do it all, undervaluing myself and definitely undercharging. However, I loved the freedom it gave me – I was able to plan my days how I wanted (when I got a bit smarter with working) and felt like I was doing something meaningful while meeting other brilliant women in the industry. I think I am now pretty much unemployable haha – when I have worked for someone else, it has been very intentional and still allowed me to work flexibly which is important to me.
What’s your best piece of advice for someone wanting to make the leap?
Have a *bit* of a plan before jumping haha! Having worked with hundreds of early-stage startups and online businesses – knowing the basics of your message, offer, costs and brand is important before you launch. That being said – I am also a big fan of leaping and figuring it out. You can spend too much time in what I call analysis paralysis and the only way you will ever find out if it works is if you actually go and do it. The only way through fear is action – even if it is small. Keep a growth mindset and build your own wellbeing/mental health plan into your strategy right from the start.
Best tips for winning new business?
Building new and nurturing existing relationships, clear messaging and consistency with follow-up and content. Be open to opportunities – some of my best clients have come from other things that I did (unpaid and paid) to get visibility of myself and my brand.
What has been your favourite project to date?
Ohhh hard one – I think some of the work that I have been doing recently has been fun. I recently ran a “Women in Digital Work” program for SPARK Deakin for culturally diverse and migrant women to start their own digital business. From that, they asked me back to run some masterclasses for their Startup Competition where I taught about Customer Experience and also how to build Social Impact into your startup. I am also currently consulting for a global Diversity and Inclusion firm running women’s leadership programs with an intersectional lens for companies like Coca-Cola, Spotify, and Adobe.
What is a business win you’re currently celebrating?
I know this might sound funny – but negotiating my rate for the first time in my business career and them accepting it! I realised how much value I was giving them in terms of the expertise, experience, and skills I had, Knowing that made it really easy (yet still internally terrifying!) to ask for more. It’s paid off in more ways than one because that rate is now my new normal and it’s attracting a higher quality client to me as well.
What led you to join Freelancing Gems?
Haha – it’s a great story! When I was running the Women in Digital Work program for SPARK Deakin – we were looking for a way for the women to continue getting support from a community of women running digital businesses. I had seen Freelancing Gems around through some of my mentorship work with female startup incubator/accelerator programs and loved the concept of it. For me, it felt like a great place to potentially collaborate, get seen by potential clients and also give back as well.
What is one word you would use to describe Freelancing Gems?
Committed. To support women in digital business and all what they entail in the form of both the practical stuff and community. But also committed to supporting causes outside of the brand that helps those that may not be as fortunate.
What’s next for your business?
Growing it! I am looking to bring on team members to help deliver the work we are getting so that I can start to focus on a more strategic vision too. And also finally getting my website done haha.
Sugandha is a creative thinker, flexible and adaptable that can help you with your social impact consulting, human-centered design, digital marketing/business strategy, leadership coaching and more. She is a data-loving creative person that can translate strategy into action. You can connect with her on the Gem Directory. Not a member? Join now.