Roadmap to Success: Navigating Safety Consulting on the Move
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
Roadmap to Success: Navigating Safety Consulting on the Move
December 12, 2023
Welcome to another insightful episode of "Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus." Today, we're diving into the world of traveling consultants and how to turn your journey into a thriving business opportunity. In this episode, I share my personal experiences of growing my consulting business while embracing the full-time RVer lifestyle. Learn how planning your own events in various locations can significantly expand your client base and enhance your brand's reach. Discover the practicalities and fairness of a structured approach to charging, including mileage for nearby locations and travel and per diem for distant assignments. A highlight of this episode is my journey to becoming an authorized OSHA trainer, offering the sought-after 10 and 30-hour General Industry and Construction courses. This strategic move not only diversified my income but also allowed me greater control over my schedule and the ability to attract attendees. For our global audience, I delve into the importance of specializing in safety areas such as permit-required confined space or electrical safety. By scheduling classes in your area of expertise, you can leverage your knowledge to create valuable, in-demand training sessions that cater to specific industry needs. Join me in exploring these strategies and tips, which are not just about adapting to a mobile lifestyle but also about making it an asset in the world of safety consulting. Whether you're a seasoned consultant or just starting out, this episode is packed with actionable advice to help you navigate and succeed in this dynamic field. Tune in, and let's transform your safety consulting journey into a road map for success!
Links mentioned in this episode:
Safety Consultant Podcast: https://podcasts.bcast.fm/safetyconsultant
Podcast advertising: https://sheldonprimus.com/podcast-advertising/


Announcer (00:01)
This episode is powered by Safety FM.

Sheldon Primus (00:11)
Welcome to the Safety Consultant podcast. I'm your host, Sheldon Primus. It's a podcast where I teach you about Safety Consulting. We talk about OSHA compliance, general safety and health, talk about mindset. You know, get your mind right, fool, all that stuff. Things that can help you with your Safety Consultant business. Get some guests on, got some more guests coming in before the end of the year. I'm going to squeak in a couple here and there. Then next year, start with a bang. How are you doing today? Hopefully you're doing well. I'm doing good. Let's go ahead and see who's listening. I'm going to go into bCast right now, so that's where I have my show on, bCast. And let's see analytics on this. This is going to tell me who's been listening and from where.

Sheldon Primus (01:23)
So let's see, where are the listeners listening from? Where are you guys hanging out? That's what I want to know. Where are you hanging out? So on the bCast list, that's actually giving me a really short list. So I'm going to switch over to right here, Chartable. So Chartable, let's see first where the audience is. That's what they call you on Chartable. I like using this one because it just gives me a nice little view of everybody in your countries. So right now, it says, You are listening from the US, Ireland, Germany, UK, Vietnam, Chile, Philippines, Spain, India, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Azerbaijan, France, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, UAE, Australia, Belgium, Egypt, Netherlands, Egypt, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Thailand. That's awesome. It's probably my brother. That's where I'm getting all of the listens from over from the chartable list. Let's also see where I am in the podcasting world. There's been a bunch of people podcasting. I heard some statistics recently about how many podcast shows out there, it's pretty amazing. So I'm going to use the Apple ranking, and Apple usually starts right around 200 and then north. But every once in a while, they'll squeak in the one that's under 200. So my category is government. So in my category in Saudi Arabia, I am 106. South Africa, I am 212. In India, I am 57. Turkey, I am 84. Chile, I am 75. And Qatar, I am 24. Wow, that is awesome, awesome, awesome. You guys completely rock. Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate that. I am not in the US in the Apple chart, so what that means, again, is I'm below the 200 mark for Apple in the US. So you guys are in the US. You're my biggest market. For as far as listeners, just go ahead and share this with a friend. That's the way that Apple gets you on the map. So they'll start seeing people listening and downloading. So share it with a friend, share it with a colleague. Tell them, Hey, have you heard this? I heard that you want to be a consultant. I got somebody for you. I got a man on this show, and he is going to help you out. And I will. I'm the man to help him out with the podcast. And if you share I'll give them some good information and help them with their business. There you go. That's my promise. And also, I'm going to help you guys with the safety consulting side, too, but also the OSHA compliance and all the other stuff we talk about, right? So thank you so, so much for listening. And thank you in advance for sharing this with a friend, with a colleague, sharing it in any of your meetings that you're doing in your ASSP and all the other organizations out there, National Safety Councils and everyone else. That'll be great. I want to let you know that in 2024, I'm opening up the show for sponsors. Right now, I'm in 237 as far as episodes, so this will be 238. Wow. We spent some time together, haven't we? That is awesome. You guys, thank you so much for supporting me so I could make That milestone.

Sheldon Primus (05:31)
So if you want to support and have your show or your business mentioned on the show, go to sheldonprimus. Com, forward-slash "podcast", hyphen that's the little dash that is in the middle, not the one that's underneath, that's the underscore, the one in the middle. Hyphen "advertising". Sheldonprimus.com/podcast-advertising. And then that's going to give you directions on how you could be part of the show and advertise with me. And get your message out to everyone that's listening in all those different countries. So that'll be awesome, awesome, awesome. I am definitely ready to branch out and start. It's like It's like when you just want to launch something and you're watching even your kids and they're getting older and they're doing their stuff and you're like, I took it this far, and now it's time for them to keep going. So that's what I'm doing right there.

Sheldon Primus (06:49)
All right, gang, so what do I have for you today? What do I have? So today we're going to talk about actual traveling. My wife gave me this idea while we were driving and traveling from one place to the next, and just talking about how in our lifestyle, if you didn't know, we're full-time RVers. So that means that our home is literally the RV that we travel in. It's a travel trailer. And we sold our house in 2017. I started the business in 2007 and 2008 is when I was really going part-time. I went full-time with my company in 2012. So we were in the 11-year mark. But in 2017, we sold the house and started first traveling in what's called a Class A motorhome. And the big one is 34-foot. And those are the ones where I was driving the motorhome and the family, the kids were with us for the first six months before they branched out on their own. And literally, we were driving from town to town. We didn't do a whole bunch of traveling from town to town. We actually stayed in one place for a month But the idea was I was running the business while we were traveling.

Sheldon Primus (08:20)
We, since the kids are gone, my daughter is a world traveler and actually helping with me as a virtual assistant. So if you're looking for a virtual assistance, just go ahead and send me a little message. Maybe she could take on new clients. So virtual assistance, if you're looking for that, send me a message. The best way to reach me is going to be sheldon@sheldonprimus.com, or if you go to the show, sheldon, excuse me, safetyconsultantpodcast.com, and you look for the little microphone icon, you can leave a message for the show. That's a great way to go ahead and keep in touch. Tell me, Man, I need a virtual assistant. See if she could add on more clients. My son, he started doing his thing. He did a little gap time in Vietnam for a while, loved it, and now he's doing his doctorate or whatever. It's physical therapy, the DPT. So they moved on. We moved on from the travel to a travel trailer from the full-size big old boy, which is the... They're both 34 feet, the Travel Trailer and our old Class A, and the Class A is the motorhome again. And literally been going from place to place, working our schedule around what I am doing is a safety consultant. So it is possible for you to be remote and be a safety consultant. There is a bunch of opportunities now, so you just have to expand your brain. It doesn't mean that you have to go full-time. Not everyone's going to be that person that wants to sell their house and go full-time. Because we're in Florida right now and we're at one of our home bases. So from time to time, you aren't going to need to get someplace for a certain amount of time, hang out for a little, get caught up on things like medical and all the other stuff that you need to catch up on, right? Visit family, friends. You got to do that. So I'm not saying that you're going to be full-time on the road where you're constantly going from one place to the next. That's not realistic, where it's completely where you don't stop and relax for time to time because you need to do that. You need to stop, relax, refill that cup. So what, or I should say, how did I do it?
 
Sheldon Primus (10:47)
That's what this episode is going to be. How did I do it? And just to give you ideas, not to say you have to follow exactly what I did, but give you some ideas to see what's the way that you could do it in your country and see if there's a way of doing that. Now, for you guys in the UK, we are just so interested in doing van life in the UK because you could go from one country to the next, to the next, and you've got your home with you in the van. And generally speaking, it's a little smaller, so you don't have to worry about all the space and where you can fit in. And it's a way you can be a little bit stealthy, too. I know not everybody's going to want to be sticking out in town as being the ones just sleeping in a car park, but I know for sure that you could hang out there. So that's first and foremost. I know that not everybody is going to want to do this full-time, and it looks different to everyone.
 
Sheldon Primus (11:49)
So what does that mean? It means that it may be a lot of flights. So you might actually be going from one place to the next, you, your partner, kids, and you're flying. That could be a way to look. You're going to put that price in your actual, your quote. So when I first got started, I was driving, not in the RV life, but just actually driving from a home base and then going out about two hours was my max. I believe I even had an hour and a half was going to be pretty much if I needed to stay overnight, I would charge a daily rate for travel in Per diem. And at the time, I think it was like 250 or something, and I put that right in. If it was less than two hours, I put it at the actual mileage for the US mileage that was set every year, every January, there's a mileage rate for a business that gets set, and I use that. So that's how I first started traveling, and it was kinda local, right? So later on, I got involved with teaching and being a presenter. And when I was presenting, usually that's going to be a free event, but I started traveling to be a presenter in different places.
 
Sheldon Primus (13:13)
And one place I loved was Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was invited to teach, and this one was going to be a wastewater conference that I was at. So I drove up there, did the conference. There was no pay, but I got out and started getting some people interested in me outside of my market. I've done that a couple of times, just getting out and letting people see that I'm here in existence. And though the presentation time was free and it was my own dime to get the hotel and drive if I could. However, it was a marketing expense, if you would. So that's the second iteration of how my travel started.
 
Sheldon Primus (13:55)
The third iteration was when we started thinking, All right, kids are grown. Both of them are out of high school, we got that RV I was telling you guys about, and now I was teaching more regularly. I teach two programs for the Alliance Safety Council. One is the Certified Occupational Safety Specialist, COSS, and the other one is Certificate of Occupational Safety Manager, COSS-M. Later on, they started teaching with their OSHA Training Institute Education Center, OTIEC. That's the acronym for it. And that's just so you could teach all the OSHA numbered courses. That's how the US OSHA has it. They say the number courses. So it'll be OSHA and a number, and that'll be a specific number that goes to a class such as record keeping or lockout, tagout or something similar. So I started teaching those classes for them, and that gave me a schedule. So the schedule then became what would be the way we would map our travel. I would travel to different training centers teaching these classes, and that would be a way for me to not only get out and promote myself, but it was also a way for me to travel and see this great land that I'm living in, right? Training was the gateway to travel in this in my life. If there's a way that you could pick up a client for training, even if it's not local to you, that's the way to do it. So generally, it's going to be your specialty. So if your specialty is permit required confined space, you could look around and see who's a business that has permit required confined space. First start with the industry that you know. Mine was wastewater. A lot of permit required confined space and utilities there. So I would call different utilities, say, Hey, I could do a class for you. And usually, if you're going to be in an area, it's a good opportunity for you to go ahead and split the travel cost by doing many different classes. So that's a good way of doing that. So you can call multiple utilities in the same region. And now at that point, you'll still be in that region. So you don't have to worry about the travel to get there per se, but you're still going to put that in your actual proposal. It could be less money because you're going to be in the region, so you could do it on the mileage as opposed to everything else.
 
Sheldon Primus (16:38)
Another way of doing that, and what it would look like is if you are now going to travel and you're going through different towns to get from point A to point B where your main job is, you could plan ahead and see what other businesses or towns are going to be in the area, and then you could actually set up your own event. So do like, this is what I used to do, the 10-hour and 30-hour classes. I would set it up, and Dayton Beach was one of the places I did, and Palm Beach Garden is one of the places I did. So I would host an OSHA 10 and 30. I'd come in with some agreement with the places that are going to be providing the room for me. Generally, let's see. But there's two ways of doing this. One, you could just go and say, I'm going to give you a percentage of how many people that are going to be there. That's the first way. The second way that you could do it is just go ahead and pay a flat rate per day for staying at that actual location that they're going to provide for you. And if you pay that flat rate, just make sure you put in there your minimum amount of time that you could cancel, or maximum, I guess. You generally, you want to get a class made where you have everybody in place right around two weeks. That's the sweet spot. So let the venue know that within two weeks of the event that you're trying to hold, if you don't have enough people that you're going to cancel and it doesn't cost you anything. If you wait any later than that, then they may actually charge you for holding that space. So two weeks is usually the sweet spot. So that's another way that you can get your travel in.
 
Sheldon Primus (18:27)
When you're doing your training, though, make sure you're not just telling anybody about what you could do. You train and you teach them the things that you wanted to teach them, confined space or electrical safety or whatever your specialty is. Teach them that. Bring the goods. Nail it. Make sure that they love what they're hearing from you. And then from there, the next thing that you're going to end up having to do is going ahead and putting in the back room or something similar, a table or something that has your business information and encourage everybody as they're leaving to grab some stuff. Yoou know, go ahead. If you need me, I'm available for this, this, and this. Brochures are good for that. I used to use business cards a lot for that, but I always had some brochures there. So that was a way that I was able to set my schedule so I could start traveling. Don't set your schedule, though, where you're doing something every single day or you're going to defeat the purpose of travel, right? The purpose of travel is going to be where you got to go out there and you want to see things in your country or see things in another country. So don't schedule yourself too much or else, you know. It's not going to be good. You want to see stuff, so set your schedule ahead of time. You should be thinking more of quarterly, almost semi-annual as you get more and more work, chances are you might be able to do a whole schedule for the year. It takes time, though. But you don't have to be full-time to go from one place to the next to the next. You could develop into that, but you could do it in little clips such as springtime. Maybe you do things in the fall. Summer might be a little bit hot, but whatever that means to you, start out small and then try to build your reputation, build your experience, get all that stuff in a little bit later. All right?
 
Sheldon Primus (20:42)
So that is it for this week. You guys, just get out there. Rethink your way that you're going to travel. You could do this, man. Go get them.
 
Announcer (20:59)
This episode has been powered by Safety FM.
The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host and its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Primus.