Julie Babyar is the president and founder of Stardust Solutions. Stardust Solutions offers strategic consultation services for healthcare organizations. They specialize in planning, policy, strategy and operations, tailored to meet the organizational vision and implemented through a warm, personable approach. Babyar grew up in the Chicago suburbs and went to both undergrad and graduate school in Illinois. She became a registered nurse in 2005 and entered the public health world in 2006. Babyar’s time and experience have been divided between clinical, health administration and policy in multiple health agencies and organizations over the past decade.
(Photo courtesy of Julie Babyar)
What has been the biggest challenge you have had in your business in terms of finance?
Stardust Solutions is relatively new, and the biggest financial challenge so far was initiating and implementing online social media for the business. Just glancing at the major healthcare consulting players in the industry and their online tools can be intimidating. As a small business just starting out, I didn’t have the funds to coordinate, market and advertise on a large budget. Luckily, I quickly familiarized myself with the landscape in the industry as well as current options available.
What have you implemented to overcome that challenge?
Once Stardust Solutions became a reality, I created a company page on LinkedIn as well as on Facebook. I also designed a logo and sought artistic advice throughout the process. Because I had limited funds and limited experience in technology for building small business, I chose user-friendly options tailored for professionals on a minimum budget. Google for Work provides a professional email, domain and access to support services to ensure a smooth start and transition. Google partners with Weebly, and through this recommendation, I set up my website. Additionally, I use free services through Hootsuite to manage timely content distributed to all social media accounts. Twitter for Business provides another incredible opportunity to create advertisements and market to those in the industry. The implementation of online social media for the business, through all these moves, was managed at an extremely low budget.
What were the results after you implemented your solution?
In the short time since problem-solving for effective social media strategy on a low budget, the results have been extremely positive. I have an active base of engaged followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as well as website visit growth. Arguably as important, services such as Hootsuite and Google for Work have allowed my time to be directed to other avenues of the company. In overcoming the challenge of social media on a low budget, I also saved in time and administrative resource. These branding, marketing and communication strategies were grown from and alongside my personal social media, also known as a voice in health. By incorporating Stardust Solutions alongside my personal accounts, I’ve cast a unique, familiar and warm appeal to the company. Results from this open and intimate approach include strengthened networking, increase in inquiries and familiarity of brand. Overall, overcoming the challenge was quite successful.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse