Marcelle Bailey is a huge fan of entrepreneurship. Not only did she start her own small business, but she also loves to see fellow entrepreneurs and organizations succeed.
Bailey, who is a 1-800Accountant client, carved out her own path in the consulting landscape in which she assists nonprofits, businesses, and organizations of all types. She does so through MPB Management Services, Inc., a company she founded in 2008. Although it’s a small business, Bailey often travels to work with her clients in person around the state.
MPB Management Services offers various consulting services designed to improve nonprofits and other organizations from the ground up. While Bailey has specialized in assisting with human resources and leadership development, she can help with most facets of what goes on within a group of professionals. She even works with nonprofits whose mission is to foster resources to individuals and families dealing with mental disabilities.
For two decades, Bailey worked in the nonprofit field and eventually became the COO of a multimillion-dollar firm. She says it came to the point where starting her own company was just the best thing for her to do career-wise.
“I have worked in a field that is highly regulated where quality services and customer satisfaction are top priorities,” she says. “All of this work culminated in what I wanted to do for my future. I decided my next foray into self-employment was to move into training, development, and crisis management. I wanted to help companies that really need it.”
Her clients are situated throughout New York State, with some in Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, and Queens. Some clients have been around for over 15 years, while others are companies and nonprofits that are less than a year old. Each one has unique needs, but Bailey has a common goal to improve how a company operates and what kinds of policies it has in place.
From her perspective, building solid working relationships with others has been an important ingredient in the recipe of making her small business top-notch.
“I’ve always built and maintained good relationships,” she says. “It’s all about being available to your clients no matter what. I always use the word we when working with clients because we’re in this together. I’ve developed a great network of other consultants in different areas of the field.”
Bailey says she gets a lot of satisfaction out of seeing others she worked with in the past move up on the ladder in their careers through great entrepreneurship.
“I have had great leaders in my life,” she says. “Some of these people saw some talent in me, and they provided me with an outlet to express that talent. They took risks with me and gave me opportunities. To me, it’s about passing on knowledge and giving others the ability to be independent. It’s always great to see someone transition to something better.”
When two retail stores in a local community sell similar items, there may be some fierce competition between them. In the consulting world, though, this type of competing with others is much different, according to Bailey.
“I find that because of government cuts, a lot of people with great talent in this field are either retiring early or are becoming consultants,” she says. “With competition, it is about what I can bring differently to the table. It’s about being a multiservice company. The difference is that I ask other consultants about doing subcontract work for me rather than competing against them directly.”
To make others aware of how she can assist nonprofits and businesses, using word-of-mouth was great early on, but some of her contacts have left the field. This is why she has turned to strategies like blogging, e-mail marketing through Constant Contact, and developing monthly newsletters.
There were several challenges she faced in the early stages of getting MPB Management Services up and running, she says.
“When I worked full-time, I thought I worked long hours,” she says. “There’s really no time off when you have your own business. I’ve had to balance what I need to do to build a new company and maintain some sanity in my life. Early on, I was taking care of everyone else and not myself. I also took a huge risk doing this, as I had a pension and a good salary being employed. Managing the risk was a big challenge. My saying is you delegate, you follow up, and you monitor others in a business.”
Thanks to her years of running her current business, Bailey has several sage pieces of advice for those who are driven by entrepreneurship.
“It sounds cliché, but you have to find something you love. You also have to do something you’re good at but that still has a challenge because something that is too easy won’t be rewarding. Early on, I didn’t set goals beyond the first 2-3 years of the business, which I should have done. You have to set long-term goals and check in with them periodically. Surround yourself with people who don’t agree with everything you do. Finally, you have to listen to others to gain different perspectives.”
Pros and Cons of Self-Employment
In Bailey’s words, there are both positives and negatives involved in being a small business owner.
“When you work for a company with a mission, it may not be yours personally, but you buy into it,” she says. “Self-employment means the sky is the limit. At times, I felt like I was living someone else’s dream instead of my own. Now, I wake up every day and think about what I am going to accomplish that day. If my company grows, it’s because I put in the work.
“The disadvantage for me is that it’s a little bit lonely when you’re a small company and you work from home. It’s really nice to go to clients’ workplaces and work with people who like to work together. You have to be extra self-motivated when working alone.”
As a client of 1-800Accountant, Bailey says she has been very happy with what the national accounting and business development firm has been able to offer her.
“There are so many facets to take into account when starting a new business. How are you structured? How are you going to handle your taxes? 1-800Accountant answered all of these questions. They also helped me move from an LLC to an S corporation, which was huge.”
Learn more about Bailey’s company at www.mpbmanagementservices.com.
Photo credit: The photograph of Marcelle Bailey was provided by MPB Management Services, Inc. and is used with permission.