Rhonda Evans never really thought about opening up her own business, but when she looks back on her life now, she says it’s not surprising she ended up going the entrepreneurial route.
You see, she grew up watching her mother take on all sorts of entrepreneurial endeavors. She started working in a Ford manufacturing plant, but hated the heat in the summer and had Rhonda to raise so she put herself through cosmetology school and became a cosmetologist. Then, she started managing properties after her parents and Rhonda’s grandparents purchased a few. Later, she started what we’d call now a networking company.
“I think it was inevitable for me to become a business owner because the seeds were planted when I was younger,” Rhonda says.
For her, this personal experience speaks to why International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are so powerful still. Laying a foundation for young girls and other women who are trying new things is important to ensure the world continues to change for the better.
“Being able to see women do things and do them boldly, without fear, I think that needs to be passed down to our daughters, our sisters, our friends, and any other woman who is in business and doesn’t know if she can do this.”
Rhonda is a prime example of this with her business Rhonda D. Evans Consulting, a web design and systems consulting business. She started up as a side-gig in 2018, but life happened and Rhonda found herself facing finding another full-time job or devoting herself entirely to the business. She took the leap and says the experience has been amazing.
Like most entrepreneurs, Rhonda has watched her path shift and change a lot over the years. Her web design business actually came out of another business she ran for a while: an online jewelry boutique. People were so impressed with her website set up, they kept reaching out and asking her to design their own, which she did for free for a while.
“One day my friend was like, ‘Rhonda, stop working for free. This is a business,'” Rhonda says. Now that’s a good friend 👏 and a smart one, because it got Rhonda to where she is today. Once she started designing websites, she realized her clients weren’t looking at some other key business aspects they should be, like how their CRM worked, email marketing, and the entire customer experience from beginning to end.
That’s where the consulting side of her business came in. Rhonda sits with clients to determine gaps in their business funnel and figure out ways to better engage potential clients and customers at every step of the process, from before they even submit an inquiry to the end of a project or purchase, when they hopefully come back for more or refer to others.
It’s a process she knows works, because she uses it herself. When she decided to devote herself fully to her business in 2018, she had about a 40% close rate for clients. In 2019 she saw that increase to 90%, and now she’s at 100%. Her work helps empower her clients to get the same level of results.
When it comes down to it, empowering people, particularly women and women-owned businesses, is at the core of everything Rhonda does. Outside of her business, she does this in her every day life by making a conscious effort to shop with women-owned businesses for just about everything she needs. Even for the photoshoot for this blog, she made sure to sport a sweater, earrings, necklaces and lip balm from women-led organizations.
“Every time I put on the lip balm, I feel so empowered because I know their story,” she says. “I know what they went through to get to where they are now, and if they had stopped I wouldn’t be able to go to Target to get their stuff. I think it’s another sense of empowerment.”
If you’re looking for website work or systems consulting, check out Rhonda D. Evans Consulting and try your hand at consciously supporting a local, woman-owned business. Just click here.