The Salesforce Independents Series: Meet Jackie Teravainen

It’s Independents Week and we’re celebrating by profiling successful entrepreneurs within the Salesforce community on the 10K blog. Follow along with us at #IndependentsWeek and #GoIndependent as we give a peek into each person’s journey to independence, lessons learned along the way, and advice for others who might be interested in joining the thriving Salesforce ecosystem. 

Jackie Teravainen
Founder of Logical Consulting

Jackie Teravainen
Founder of Logical Consulting

Tell us about your business. 

Logical Consulting Group (LCG), is a woman-owned small business specializing in CRM software implementation and training, business process improvement, and sales and operational strategic planning.

I have worked with a diverse array of commercial and government clients since 2003. I love listening to clients’ business needs and challenges, then building a technical solution that adds value to many different roles in a variety of ways. 

Tell me about your “road to independence” – what was the process like?

I started my consulting career with a “Big 5” consulting firm, working exclusively with the DoD and amassing 10 years’ experience with more than 15 strategic Navy and Joint commands. This really allowed me to gain invaluable skills in business analysis, software development, project management, strategic planning and, most importantly, client relations.

In 2010, a former customer reached out to me for some follow-on work. I was surprised he remembered me since the initial implementation was years ago, but he recalled my technical abilities, admired my work ethic and knew I already possessed the industry knowledge needed. The catch was that he wanted me, but my current consulting firm wasn’t interested in the business. The encouragement from my client and the confidence in knowing I could deliver good results allowed me to take the leap. 

Very early, I realized the parts of consulting I liked most were the genuine relationships with my clients and the ability to get a job done well without the administrative and bureaucratic burdens associated with working at a big firm.

I supported this customer on my own time for a while and it led to more clients asking for my services on that same platform. Through this network, I landed a sizeable project, which allowed me to quit my job and jump in feet first to being my own boss.

About four years into my independent career, I was introduced to the Salesforce ecosystem and began honing my skills exclusively there. Having worked with many different software platforms, Salesforce appealed to me; it was easy to use, made my customers more effective and seemed to have an immediate impact on the bottom line. 

What advice can you share with others who might be thinking about embarking on a similar path?

Don’t underestimate the importance of mentorship. I had other business owners encouraging me to take the leap; teaching me business skills and demonstrating that success was indeed possible. Find people in those roles and ask them as many questions as possible. You’ll find they are always willing to help you along in your journey. 

What are the best parts of being a business owner? And what is the hardest part?

I love having the autonomy to make the decisions that I know are best for my customers. And my customers are my future. My client base is comprised of repeat or referral customers who work with me because they are confident in my knowledge of their business, my proficiency with the technology, and my honest and open communication style. 

My definition of success is being able to maintain work-life balance. Running my own successful business, advising CEOs in their businesses, mentoring others, being present within my family and personal life – all these things are important to me. And I am remarkably more effective now. 

On the other hand, the hardest part of being an “independent” is when things go wrong, you must drop everything to give the problem the attention it deserves. Balancing everything on my plate can be quite challenging. There are so many decisions to make when considering the company’s future, such as knowing when to take on another client (or separate from one), whether to hire support, and how to approach growth.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice from the future, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for a fair rate from your customers for your services.

Stay tuned all week for more advice from successful “independents” within the Salesforce ecosystem. Follow along with the series to learn:

  • Why all successful entrepreneurs should have a “make your own lunch mentality”