CEO and Managing Director of The Guinn Consultancy Group Inc., Alan Guinn, says his company specializes in transformational consultancy services for a diverse portfolio of clients, offering services for everything from financial planning, developmental marketing, operations improvements, data science, AI, and entrepreneurship.
Today you can find Alan’s expertise quoted in major news outlets including CNN, Fox Business, and USA Today. He’s also authored or co-authored 13 books and hosted his own radio and TV segments providing business advice. In addition to running a full-time business, he’s also the CFO of a project developing a mixed-use sports village. The first location is targeted to be built in Antigua and Barbuda.
Alan tells us it’s a project close to his heart. “This project can have quite a large impact on people and on the quality of their lives. My hope is that all the projects I work with can be viewed as being socially positive.”
So what’s his secret for success? Alan tells us his consultancy career was something that grew organically.
“In 1987 I was working a corporate job and I was approached by a client’s counsel to create a valuation on a chain of restaurants for a divorce settlement. My work was able to secure a significant settlement for the client and I found that I really enjoyed the work.”
“I always recognized that an opportunity to offer critical analysis and address improvement challenges existed. Over the years different people would approach me and say, ‘hey you’ve got a lot of experience in marketing, or advertising, or operations, can you help us?’ So it was through those word-of-mouth referrals that my client base started growing.”
Alan spent the next several years traveling all over the country reporting directly to the CEOs of several companies. He says it was during this time that he decided to launch his own business.
“I saw a lot of leaders making, what I believed to be, unsound business decisions. I recognized that these were not the decisions I would make and at this point, I knew I had the expertise and skills I needed to create an environment where people would want to work for me.”
“It’s not an easy decision to make, it takes a lot of self-reflection and ultimately it comes down to having the self-confidence to say ‘I can do this’.”
Since officially launching The Guinn Consultancy Group in 2003, Alan says he enjoys the diversity of the projects he works on most of all. “I always joke that to be a successful consultant one must be like a duck, you have to be able to successfully wake up to a new world every morning. I also love the satisfaction of helping my clients. It feels great to have someone call me and thank me for the job I’ve done for them.”
Alan admits it hasn’t all been easy though. “Finding good people to work with is always a challenge. Everyone who works with me is a contractor, and I expect them to own and be responsible for every decision they make because these are the expectations my clients have.”
In addition to finding quality employees, Alan advises fellow entrepreneurs to always keep money top-of-mind. “Before starting a business make sure you’re fully capitalized. Many people try to get started with a shoestring budget not recognizing how much money it really takes to start a business. So make sure you’re committed, don’t go in halfway.”
For Alan, there was one aspect of the business that was easy to take care of--finding Errors and Omissions insurance.
“CoverWallet successfully converted me to a customer based upon an advertising piece they put on Instagram. I saw coverage being marketed that I had asked my current insurance broker about, but they were not able to place me at a price I believed to be competitive. CoverWallet was able to get me a competitive rate and the company that underwrote the policy is very well-known and highly rated. It gave me a level of confidence to know that if, for some reason, a client is not satisfied my business is still protected.”
Alan’s decades of hard work have paid off, not only does he have a thriving business, but he was able to settle down in his hometown of Bristol, Tennessee. “A lot of people assume that with consulting you have to be in a big city, and I’ve been there and done that; I choose to live on a mountain now. I bought the house I grew up in after my parents passed away and there’s a lot of comfort in coming back to your roots. It’s nice to be back.”