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How I draw inspiration for my consulting business from local pop-up food stalls

How I Draw Inspiration For My Consulting Business From Local Pop-Up Food Stalls &Raquo; 1Lvcdlrg 3Apo5Rb0Ihn7Qq
Pop-up food stalls are great businesses that add to the community (although what a pain to have to take down your stall every day only to reassemble it the next)

I’ve recently moved home to a new neighbourhood and one of the exciting things I have discovered in my exploration of the local area is a little square where there are a combination of different pop-up food stalls and food trucks every lunchtime.

Every day, the business owners of these stalls and trucks set up from 9am ready for the lunch crowd, before Packing everything away in the early afternoon, leaving the square pristine once again for the local community.

They will be back the next day to repeat the process and the day after that and so forth.

Why do they do it?

It seems like an awful lot of work just for a couple of hours of sales.

The answer could be different for each stall owner but invariably it will include some of the following:

  • an element of passion for the food they are making
  • wanting to bring their cuisine and culinary skills to new customers
  • addressing a market opportunity that the local restaurants and supermarkets are not addressing

What are the visions for each of these food stalls? Do any of them want to open a full time restaurant or have a permanent location?

Who knows, maybe some do and some don’t but what I can tell you is that they certainly give me and my business (Shiageto Consulting) a lot of inspiration.

How does this apply to Shiageto?

“You’re business sounds interesting but how are you ever going to compete with McKinsey, Booze and Bain?”

Being the owner of a small strategy consulting firm, I often get asked that when I tell people what I do.

To be honest, I don’t really stay up late at night worrying about those big firms (just as I’m sure they don’t stay awake at night worrying about Shiageto Consulting).

Being the Founder of a small business is hard enough (the loneliness, the long hours, the rejection, the unexpected challenges you didn’t know about) but it’s also exhilarating.

When you get that magic combo right and you sell something or make a client happy or get the team energised then all is good in the world.

That said there are some days when your motivation is down and it’s times like these that getting inspiration from the world around you is much welcome.

What are the similarities?

Just like the food stalls, Shiageto Consulting requires a lot of effort to get some momentum — every day I knock on doors to find new clients whilst also “making all the food and serving it” (i.e. designing all the workshops/training sessions and delivering many of them)

Just like the food stalls, we are offering something different to what the established market players are offering. In our case, I’m very confident that the McKinseys, Boozes, Bains et al are not offering the innovative, engaging facilitation and training for companies that we do. They aren’t focused on unlocking strategy through IQ, EQ and FQ.

Just like the food stalls, what we offer is something that we all have a passion for. I literally set up a business based around my passions so it doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.

Just like the food stalls, we need to be innovative in how we draw clients in. For them, it’s offering free samples, creating funny signs or something else. For us we have to run free workshops or help clients structure their problems to see our value; we also get innovative in our social media marketing and I’m constantly looking at new ways to spread the word.

Is it working?

Even in these tightening economic times, we are doing alright. We aren’t seeing the remarkable growth of the last couple of years and we have to put in a lot more effort to stay at a same level but things are still good.

The important thing is that we enjoy what we do and will continue doing it.

As the owner, I still very much see this as the early days of Shiageto. Everyone needs to start somewhere, earn their stripes and work their way up.

If we keep going then we too will someday go from street food to Michelin Star.

For all those other small business owners out there, keep doing the good things that you do and keep being creative and good things will happen.

Hopefully my local pop-up food stalls will inspire you too; there is more than enough hungry customers for us all to serve 🙂

Faris is the CEO and Founder of Shiageto Consulting, an innovative consultancy that helps firms and individuals sharpen their effectiveness. Connect with him here

Success = IQ x EQ x FQ

How I Draw Inspiration For My Consulting Business From Local Pop-Up Food Stalls &Raquo; Stat?Event=Post

Originally Published on

Faris Aranki Strategy & Emotional Intelligence

Having spent over 20 years delivering strategic change for the corporate and non-corporate worlds, Faris has experienced first-hand the fine differences between strategic success and failure.
His work has spanned numerous companies (from global behemoths to small start-ups), in numerous countries, across a range of sectors, supporting them all to unlock strategic success.

He came to realize that often what hinders institutions from achieving their goals goes beyond the quality of their strategy; it is their ability to engage effectively with others at all levels and remove barriers in their way. This has led to his passion for improving strategic effectiveness within all businesses and individuals and the foundation of Shiageto Consulting.

Over time, Faris has worked to distill his knowledge of how to solve complex problems in a structured manner combined with his skill on engaging effectively with others and his ability to quickly determine the barriers to a strategy's success. This knowledge has formed the foundation of Shiageto’s workshops, courses and methodologies. Faris believes that any firm or team can adopt these improvements; all it requires is a little of the right support -something Shiageto provides!

On top of leading our business, Faris is now an accomplished speaker and contributor for a variety of outlets.

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