April Client Spotlight – Sarah Guy, Owner of SG Insights

Sarah Guy, The SG Insights Story: Paving the Way for Smarter Decisions

  1. Tell me in your own words a little about your business.. What is your top selling product/service, target market, how many years in business, and your favorite thing about your business or clients.

My business is about helping other organizations make better informed decision and to more effectively produce results. This comes in many forms such as research, strategic planning, program management services, grant writing and management, data analytics, and so on. One of the most in demand services my portfolio offers is strategic planning. In order to be proactive, rather than reactive, organizations need a meaningful, well thought-out plan to guide their decision making and actions forward. Many organizations find it very beneficial to have an objective third-party (i.e. a consultant such as SG Insights) to facilitate that process and the engagement of all stakeholders (staff, board members, clients, community partners, etc.). SG Insights is in its third year of business and has been serving clients all around Maryland, from Garrett County to Worcester County, and beyond. The target market is wide: public, private, and non-profit organizations across all industries. The type of services I provide are not industry-specific and can be applied to organizations in nearly any industry.

There are many things I love about my business. I enjoy the actual work of operating a business, knowing all the ins and outs, manging the processes, and continuing my own development. I love the variety that my work brings. I get to work on a wide variety of projects and utilize different skill sets day-to-day which keeps me highly engaged. I also truly enjoy serving my clients. I work with so many wonderful clients who are doing great work in their communities and I get fulfillment out of helping them do their work even better. I also get to work with some amazing project partners who bring complementary skill sets. Learning from them and finding ways to blend our skills to drive better outcomes for our clients is a really fun process.

  1. How did your business get started?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to have my own business. I am the type of person that loves to learn and continue to grow and develop my skillset. I had spent 15 years at my previous place of employment and realized that my opportunities for continued growth were limited. I wanted a new challenge and the opportunity to have more control over my work product and outcomes. I felt that entrepreneurship and managing my own firm was the path that would allow me to meet those goals, and it has been.

While it was a dream for a long time, there were a lot of signs that the timing was right so I made the leap and never looked back. The professional network that I had built over the prior 15 years was incredibly supportive and encouraging. Many colleagues became early clients, helped me make other connections, and provided advice and guidance on navigating entrepreneurship.

  1. What are some of your long term goals for your business?

A few of my long term goals include increasing brand awareness throughout Maryland and beyond. I also intend to increase both my project partner network and my internal capacity through my subcontractor base. I will continue to examine my business model and make adjustments to ensure that the business is sustainable for the long haul. I would like to see SG Insights thrive for decades to come and continue to be a driving source supporting organizations in the region with the research, data, and management services they need to succeed.

  1. Testimonial: How has MCE and/or the Women’s Business Center helped you?

MCE and the Women’s Business Center has helped connect me to valuable resources and service providers to navigate areas of establishment that were new to me. Notably, applying for certifications (such as MBE through MDOT and WSOB) can be a bit daunting and the certifying organizations can be difficult to reach. MCE was able to connect me with other professionals to help answer questions about the application requirements and processes so that I could feel confident in submitting my certification applications.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who is starting a new business?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many amazing resources locally, statewide, and beyond. There is also a strong network of others who have traveled the entrepreneurial path successfully and, from my experience, most are willing and happy to help guide you along the way. Don’t let fear lead to inaction. It can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning with lots of new territory to figure out. Take it one step at a time but don’t let it keep you from chasing your dreams. Lastly, be authentic in everything you do with your business. Know your values and stick to them. Be honest and build trust with everyone you work with.

To learn more about SG Insights, please visit her website at: https://www.sginsightsllc.com/


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