Our member of the week is Alan Siege. Alan is a management consultant, working with small businesses and nonprofits. Alan’s business, SBMC, provides directs services to clients, as well as workshops on topics such as branding. If you look at Alan’s website, you'll see how he uses multiple portals to provide targeted info to his different markets (small businesses and nonprofits), and he employs the time-tested technique of including customer testimonials. Also check out his profile and our interview below to see what life is like as a freelance management consultant.

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1. What has been your most interesting project?

I’ve had many interesting clients. Right now, two come to mind. The first is a company that offers professional doula services, called Birth Day Presence. The doula profession is a fast-growing business, and since I was retained over a year ago, I have helped this successful company get to the next step in growing the business by working with them on their fee structure. I’m also working with NeatZit Israel International, LTD; a company that makes and imports a new version of the age-old religious garment, talit katan along with a yarmulke that you don’t need bobby pins to fasten to your head. I’m advising him on how to set up a U.S. based division so that it will complement the work of the main international company.

2. Why did you decide to go freelance?

I’ve operated my own business since 1996 when I left a job as a fundraiser for a visual arts museum. I wanted the freedom to explore a range of options for my clients. Now, along with the non-profit groups I help, I am able to counsel small business owners on how to grow their companies. I like the challenge of finding solutions for many kinds of companies, something I can only do on my own.

3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?

My first thought on this topic is make sure you are really cut out for being on your own. There’s great freedom and opportunity, but there’s also considerable risk and uncertainty. Be passionate about what you’re doing and try it out before you “quit your day job.â€?

4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?

There’s something about standing in the front of the Staten Island Ferry as it makes its way across the bay that always gets to me. Maybe it’s the spray that reminds me of water all around us – it’s a great place to just stare out and ponder it all.

5. What is your inspiration?

I’m sure it’s part of my background as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, but I still believe it’s important to make opportunity a reality for more people; I do it one organization and one company at a time.