By Denise Rizzo and Carolyn Giordano
Karen Graytock always knew that she wanted to work for herself and since November she is living her dream.
Originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, she lives in Old Forge and owns Consulting KG. Her business offers consultations with physicians on medical products and services designed for the convenience of patients.
Graytock graduated from the CMC School of Nursing and in 2000 from the University of Scranton with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She eventually left nursing to work in pharmaceutical sales and was laid off this past summer. Being laid off can be traumatic and, at first, it was for Graytock. Then she realized it was a blessing in disguise. The layoff gave her the opportunity to do what she had always wanted, to work for herself.
The first step she took in entrepreneurship was attending the University of Scranton Women Entrepreneurship Center’s Coffee and Confidence session, which is held between four and six times each year. This is a place where women gather for morning coffee and share their business experiences. A guest speaker is usually a woman who has started her own business and shares her struggles and successes and offers advice and inspiration to other women. The program also offers a great opportunity to network with fellow women entrepreneurs in the area.
The second step Graytock took was attending another program held by the University of Scranton Women Entrepreneurship Center known as StartUp! The Start-Up program is offered three times per year and is a four-week certificate program designed for women with lower incomes, offering support and guidance in determining if entrepreneurship is an option for them. Women receive a step-by-step guide and learn all the basics to owning a business, from legal, insurance, and marketing, to accounting and business plan development.
Through both programs Graytock was able to begin working toward her own healthcare consulting business. To begin the “trial run” of her business, she decided to help a friend in the healthcare field sell one of his products. It was the perfect opportunity to try her hand at what her business would soon become. Her “trial run” lasted four months, and though she sold part-time she was still able to increase her friend’s sales by 20 percent. This was the green light she needed.
With the promising results in her trial run and her experiences from her past two careers, she knew this was what was meant to be.
Graytock uses her knowledge of the medical world from nursing and her connections from her pharmaceutical sales days to navigate in her new discipline. She has a great understanding of both the medical products being sold and the process of selling to physicians, making her an expert in her field.
Though her story is a success, Karen faces struggles similar to all entrepreneurs. She has had fears of failure and is challenged by everyday stressors. Her “to-do” list is ever-changing which can be a constant stressor. With her confidence growing though, she knows she will succeed and offers these pieces of advice:
• Surround yourself with positive people that believe in you — that will make all the difference; and
• Networking is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, because you never know who will be able to help you.
In November of 2016 Consulting KG officially became a limited liability company and currently has one employee: Karen Graytock.
Graytock works out of her home office and can be reached at 570-840-4541, ConsultingKG@outlook.com, or on Facebook at Consulting KG LLC.
Denise Rizzo and Carolyn Giordano are The University of Scranton Women’s Entrepreneurship Center interns who work under the supervision of Donna Simpson, consultant manager. Both are members of the University’s Lady Royals.