RecurPost Simplifies Social Media Posting to Save Users Time

RecurPost Simplifies Social Media Posting to Save Users Time


Posting on social media can be complicated and time consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Since many businesses want to post similar content on a recurring basis, automated tools can help. RecurPost is one such tool.



Small Business Spotlight: RecurPost

Read about the company and its solution in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides a social media marketing tool.

Founder Dinesh Agarwal told Small Business Trends, “Small businesses easily get overwhelmed with social media management and hence cannot keep a consistent presence on social media. However, with RecurPost, we help them concentrate on their business and leave the grunt work of managing their social accounts to us.”

Business Niche

Makes it easy to post recurring content.

Agarwal says, “We allow our users to create content libraries, such as a collection of blog posts or videos, marketing material and other people’s content etc. They can then create a schedule for the entire library. When they want to put new content into circulation, it can be added to the libraries without affecting the existing schedule.”

How the Business Got Started

As a more complicated version.

Agarwal explains, “We first created a very sophisticated social media marketing platform. It was so complicated that we managed to overwhelm 100% of our users. It is no surprise that we had to shut it down soon after. However, we knew we were on to something as we were able to get people excited about it. That is when we decided to launch an easy to use version. That is how RecurPost was born.”

Biggest Win

Gaining early traction by word of mouth.

Agarwal adds, “We once demonstrated our product to the members of a Facebook group. They all loved it and shared it in other groups that they frequented. That word of mouth marketing helped us gain a lot of new users quickly.”

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Biggest Risk

Saying no to a major deal.

Agarwal explains, “App Sumo offered us a deal recently. They wanted us to provide a lifetime deal to their audience. They claim to have a list of a million people who love good deals. I thought about it and decided to say no to them. Some people had a good experience with them, but some of the founders had to shut their services down after going on App Sumo.

“If we were exposed to 1 Million people, that could have established as a leader in our space in no time. However, if we got bad reviews that would mean death to our business. I took that risk to play safe and decided to grow organically. It is working well for us.”

Lesson Learned

Don’t rely on third party APIs.

Agarwal explains, “We are always playing catch-up with changes to their platform. We need dedicated resources to manage those connections.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Marketing.

Agarwal says, “I have realized that technical founders like myself need to learn a lot about marketing and then hire an excellent team to do the actual job. Growing a SaaS business requires more than a working product that your users love. It requires you to continually expose your product to potential customers who are in the market.”

Favorite Quote

“A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame.” – Rabindranath Tagore.

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Image: RecurPost, Dinesh Agarwal




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How BotXO Is Merging Tech and Humanity in Its AI Solutions

How BotXO Is Merging Tech and Humanity in Its AI Solutions


Bots have completely changed the way many businesses communicate with customers. But some don’t exactly offer a human-like experience.

That’s why BotXO aims to mix the world of technology and humanity.



Small Biz Spotlight: BotXO

Read about the company’s mission and its journey so far in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers conversational AI, machine learning, and NLU.

CEO Henrik Fabrin told Small Business Trends, “Our mission is to build Conversational AI for all, immediately available to companies of all sizes; small and large. Our goal is to bring the communication between systems and humans back to being on human terms.”

Business Niche

Offers quick and easy solutions.

Fabrin says, “Our NLU (Natural Language Understanding) is trained on +12.000 sentences for various pre-defined topics related to e-commerce and to recognize hundreds of intents in more than 12 languages, including Scandinavian languages. Time to launch is crucial for customers, and our technology allows us to build a chatbot in a very short time.”

How the Business Got Started

As another way for friends to collaborate.

Fabrin and CTO Dario Rodgriguez were friends when they started working together on a previous project.

Fabrin adds, “Dario was a CTO at my previous company, and that was how we met. We worked together for 4 years, and then Dario left for another company, and I went out of business. Then we decided to open the company together. We started it in October in 2016. The first year we spent on trying to figure out what was the bots and chatbots hype about. We slowly moved from simple interest to building the technology and the platform.

“Around October 2017, we launched the first version of our platform. We started from isolated prototype to see how the platform would work. In fact, it was not even a platform but a couple of scripts. We actually started with a Facebook bot.

“We saw the potential. And by the end of 2017, we released the platform. Our first bot was called Arnie, after Arnold Schwarzenegger, as were into Terminator movie those times!”

Biggest Win

Proving the power of their platform.

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Fabrin noted that the platform has multiple wins. But he’s most proud of the platform’s ability to hold up even post-COVID.

says, “We have seen accelerating and sustainable growth because of that.”

Biggest Risk

Not taking every opportunity.

Fabrin explains, “We were saying no to certain investors, even though the run rate was short. We thought they were not sharing our purpose, vision and mission.”

Lesson Learned

Timing isn’t always perfect.

Fabrin started the business while winding down another venture. Additionally, he was a new father to a prematurely born son.

He says, “Being there for the family and business nearly broke me but have made me more resilient and appreciative of certain things.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Improving company culture.

Fabrin adds, “I would use the money on creating an even more inclusive company environment and culture that would have a positive impact on the work experience of our team.”

Namesake

Not botox.

Fabrin explains, “Bot stands for technology and XO for kisses and hugs. It is about our vision of technology, enabling human communication and interaction. However, BotXO can be easily mistaken with botox. That was happening quite often at the beginning. Yet, the person that delivers our lunches still calls us botox!”

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Image: BotXO, CEO Henrik Fabrin, CTO Dario Rodriguez




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CyberSignal Technologies Brings New Tech to Historic Market

CyberSignal Technologies Brings New Tech to Historic Market


Tech services like VoIP phone connections are essential for businesses around the country. But not all markets have access to them.

CyberSignal Technologies aims to bring some of those new tech services to a historic town. And there are a few interesting qualities that make this company stand out. Read all about them in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.



What the Business Does

Offers telecommunication services for businesses.

Services include VoIP phone services, computer/information technology services, and government contracting.

Business Niche

Personal service in an underserved market.

The company is a Service-Disabled Veteran owned business in Selma, Alabama.

Co-founder John Kinnerson Jr told Small Business Trends, “My company provides excellent service and was one of the first companies to offer VoIP phone solutions in the area.”

How the Business Got Started

To serve clients in their area.

Kinnerson says, “My business partner, Roger Blackmon and I started CyberSignal Technologies in 2019. I had an idea of offering VoIP phone services since no one in the area was at the moment.”

Biggest Win

Serving a major need during the pandemic.

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Kinnerson explains, “My company offers phone services that are able to connect anywhere, especially from home. Before the Covid pandemic, many business owners did not really fathom this thought until the shutdown. Since, business has been very good.”

Biggest Risk

Choosing a business structure.

Kinnerson says, “Our biggest risk was deciding to go into a “partnership” with a single company instead of multiple affiliations.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Finding an office.

Kinnerson adds, “I would purchase an office for my company so we can expand.”

Business Mission

Supporting veterans.

Kinnerson says, “I’m a Service Disabled Veteran owned business. We have events for homeless Veterans and Disadvantaged people in the community.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: CyberSignal Technologies; John Kinnerson Jr and Roger Blackmon




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The Sketch Effect Gives Meetings and Virtual Events New Visual Life

The Sketch Effect Gives Meetings and Virtual Events New Visual Life


Lots of entrepreneurs are visual learners. But creating pleasing images that sum up meetings or ideas can be challenging. Luckily, that’s exactly what The Sketch Effect provides.

The visual communications agency provides a unique service for events and meetings. Unfortunately, this also means they’ve had to pivot significantly due to COVID-19.



The Sketch Effect Business Spotlight

Read about the company’s journey below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers live and digital sketching services.

Founder and CEO William Warren told Small Business Trends, “We are a “visual communications” agency. What that means, is we help our clients communicate their ideas using visuals. Specifically, we offer animation services as well as a really unique live event (now, virtual event) service called “Graphic Recording” or Live Sketching. This is where an artist attends a meeting, listens to the meeting content, and sketches a picture of the big ideas and main themes in real time.”

Business Niche

An amazing team.

Warren says, “I think our business has a positive, enriching company culture, embodied in our team-members. And that spills over into the work we do and how we treat our clients. We get exceptionally favorable feedback from the majority of our clients. And it usually has to do with how much they loved working with our team.”

How the Business Got Started

As a side hustle.

Warren explains, “The Sketch Effect began as a fun side hustle while I was working full-time in corporate marketing. While in that job, I needed a creative outlet (I am a creative at heart). So I began to sketch during meetings. I’d either sketch the ideas in my notebook. Or I’d hop up on the whiteboard and sketch out the ideas for all in the room to see. At the time, this was just a creative outlet for me. However, I quickly realized that people saw value in this…they saw value of fusing ideas and simple drawings to create a more powerful form of communication. Soon, word spread. And people around the organization began to ask me to sketch for their meetings or their projects.

“Soon, people OUTSIDE the organization began to ask for this…and they offered to pay for it! I did some research and learned there were a few firms out there that specialized in this “visual communication” work, which was exciting to see. So, based on the demand I felt for this work, my excitement for the creative nature of the work, and my love of adventure, I decided to quit my job and start a business anchored on visual communication. We boot-strapped the whole thing and are coming up on 7 years in business.”

Biggest Win

Reaching a big financial milestone.

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Warren says, “Last year was our first year doing seven-figure revenue. This was a huge goal of ours for a while and an incredible milestone to achieve. It came about by a lot of hard work, focus on the mission, commitment to excellence and commitment to our culture.”

Biggest Challenge.

COVID-19.

Warren adds, “COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our business. As I mentioned, the majority of our revenue comes from corporate live events. In March, we were shocked as our entire “gig calendar” simply vanished as corporate events were cancelled en masse. We’ve had to pivot our services and roll out a virtual version of our live event sketching product. Although we aren’t out of the woods, we’ve seen a lot of success selling this service and are getting great feedback from clients.”

Biggest Risk

Purchasing new equipment.

Warren says, “Last year we took a risk to buy our entire team (including our contract artists) iPads, betting that digital sketching is the next big thing for our industry (traditionally, we sketch with markers on canvas). This was a fairly big investment. And I’m glad we did it when we did! In 2020, with all our work being virtual, 100% of our live sketching work has required iPads. If we hadn’t equipped our team with this, we wouldn’t have been able to pivot so quickly.”

Fun Fact

They’ve worked in front of big event guests.

Warren says, “One time we sketched in front of a former US President.”

Favorite Quote

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt.

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: The Sketch Effect; Top Image: Rachel Eleanor Philips, Sketch Effect Live Artist




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Three Friends Formed Open Pixel Studios To Provide animation solutions

Three Friends Formed Open Pixel Studios To Provide animation solutions


Most business owners already understand the power of visuals in their marketing, advertising, and training. But you can set those visuals apart even more through animation.

That’s where Open Pixel Studios comes in.

The team met while working at another company and then transitioned into their own business.



Small Business Spotlight: Open Pixel Studios

Learn more about the business, team, and offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides animation solutions for businesses.

Co-founder Kathryn Taccone told Small Business Trends, “Open Pixel Studios provides a variety of animation services to businesses and organizations to make their visual voice heard. Animation can be utilized for marketing and advertising campaigns, in-house training videos, and much more!”

Business Niche

Creating completely customized projects.

Taccone says, “We love to bring each of our clients into the creative process as much as they feel comfortable with. With their vision and creative ideas, we can help to push the boundaries of a project to deliver a video that truly represents their voice to their audience.”

How the Business Got Started

After meeting at another company.

Taccone adds, “We started as three artists and friends who worked for a few years at Anzovin Studio. As Anzovin pivoted towards a software development model, they encouraged and supported us in creating a sister studio that we could call our own. So Open Pixel was born, and we’ve been going strong ever since!”

Biggest Win

Working with a business therapist.

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Taccone explains, “That might sound strange, but to meet with someone once a month who will work through challenges and any moments of miscommunication has completely transformed the way we work and feel. Having a team of three with unique perspectives can create a number of challenges, but through our communications and understandings we’ve come to a place where we can truly see how far we can grow while supporting one another. It’s a wonderful feeling to be unified in the direction of the business, especially so early on.”

Biggest Risk

Taking on non-traditional roles.

Taccone says, “Our business model has always been organically changing. Between the three of us, we do not have department heads. Instead we focus on company wide objectives that rotate leadership based on different criteria. This gives us an opportunity to learn more about each aspect of the business without one person controlling an entire department. This idea required us to go outside of the norm, because there are few templates or structures out there for how to run a business in this manner. We took a huge risk in our approach, and so far it’s paid off immensely.”

Lesson Learned

Recognize what you don’t know.

Taccone adds, “I’ve learned more now about how to be a good leader that I wish I could have told myself about at the beginning. I’m still learning, but now I’ve started to embrace understanding where I can do better rather than trying to run away.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Hiring.

Taccone says, “We are so excited and eager to start growing, so it would be wonderful to have the opportunity to bring on new creatives and businesswomen and men to the team. We very much look forward to that day.”

Team Tradition

Making puns.

Taccone says, “We love puns, some might say too much. It would be rare to listen in on a company meeting and not hear a group of sighs as one person proudly makes a statement with a silly pun. Puns can turn an otherwise typical meeting into one for the ages.”

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Image: Open Pixel Studio; Katie Taccone, Will Colon, Karen Webb




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This Company Named After a Micro-Organism Is Transforming eLearning

This Company Named After a Micro-Organism Is Transforming eLearning


The concept of eLearning has become more important than ever in 2020. But many platforms still do not meet the needs of companies that want to train and educate their employees. At least, that’s what the founders of Water Bear Learning discovered.



Water Bear Learning – Small Business Spotlight

Now, they’re on a mission to change that through engaging solutions and high quality designs. Learn more about their offerings below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Creates engaging training programs for businesses.

Co-founder Andrew DeBell told Small Business Trends, “With a focus on system and process implementations, we partner with clients to develop creative, engaging and purposeful training. We combine our unique skill-sets in instructional design, marketing and visual design to create a holistic training experience for learners.”

Business Niche

Efficient communication and pleasing visual design.

DeBell says, “We pride ourselves on fast, efficient communication with all of our clients. You’re not just paying for a training program. You’re paying for extremely efficient communication and a team that is guaranteed to meet deadlines. We turn projects around quickly and understand how to make our clients look good.”

He adds, “Using our background in marketing and graphic design, we understand the importance of visual design in training. Visual design isn’t only about making things look pretty. It’s about creating a visually-engaging program to enhance a user-experience. We use UX best practices in all of our custom training experiences.”

How the Business Got Started

By combining skill sets.

DeBell says, “We are a husband and wife team that decided to combine our skill sets in 2017 to create Water Bear Learning. Caryn’s background is heavy in consulting, having worked at Accenture and Slalom as a training and organizational effectiveness consultant. Andrew’s background is in digital marketing and content development.”

Biggest Win

Landing a client at the perfect time.

DeBell explains, “Our biggest win was in 2018. The business was just over a year old and was struggling financially. We were considering throwing in the towel and going back to look for jobs internally at other companies. Then, one of our contacts came through. She needed a training consultant to come help with a content development project. We could get started the next month. While this event seems small, it saved our business from going under. It provided a lifeline for us to continue growing. Without this win, we wouldn’t be in the place we were today.”

Biggest Risk

Moving and starting a business.

DeBell says, “Both me and Caryn quit our jobs, started a business, and moved overseas to Asia. Our plan was to find clients in the US and work remote from overseas. This worked for a short period of time. But it was not sustainable with the vast difference in time zones. And we had no credibility to sign new clients or find new work.

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“This ultimately resulted in us moving back to the US to establish our business here. And the results of that have been extremely successful. If we were to do this again, we would have started the company in the US and stayed in the US as we built our network and client base”

Lesson Learned

Start in a market you know.

DeBell adds, “The most difficult part is getting off the ground; starting from zero clients. And the best way to overcome this is to start with your own network. We started our business and left our personal network. And that wasn’t the best idea, from a business perspective. If we were to do this again, we would start our business and stay in one city.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Various growth strategies.

DeBell says, “We would look to bring on another full-time employee, build a product, and use any extra money toward our digital marketing strategy.”

Company Namesake

A micro-organism.

DeBell explains, “We named our company after our favorite micro-organism, the tardigrade. And many people ask us about our name. Here’s our explanation of why we like tardigrades so much:

“A water bear, or tardigrade, is the world’s most indestructible organism. They can survive for thirty years without food or water and can sustain extreme temperatures up to 150° Celsius. They can even survive in the frozen vacuum of space (which no other earth-dwelling creature can claim!). Tardigrades have the ability to survive any catastrophe that would wipe out all other forms of life on planet Earth.

“The resiliency of the water bear can be applied both to our learning philosophy and our company work ethic. Like the water bear, learning a new skill takes mental toughness, persistence, and durability. In challenging times water bears become physically drained, but then turn things around and persist to success. Similarly, we believe you must continue to challenge yourself to move closer to mastery.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Water Bear Learning, Caryn and Andrew DeBell




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Everything and the Dog Makes a Name for Itself in Pet Services Market

Everything and the Dog Makes a Name for Itself in Pet Services Market


The market for pet products and services has grown dramatically in recent years. Everything and the Dog is part of this growing trend — but the company aims to stand out with a commitment to personalized service. Read all about the company’s journey below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.



What the Business Does

Offers dog walking, pet sitting, and errand services.

Business Niche

Providing responsive customer service.

Owner Patrick Lewsen told Small Business Trends, “We’ve focused on answering the phone and responding quickly to customers since we began in 2003.”

How the Business Got Started

To enjoy better work-life balance.

Lewsen says, “[I] sold my consulting business to spend more time home with my family and two kids.”

Biggest Win

Growing through acquisitions.

Lewsen explains, “We successfully acquired 11 other pet sitting companies when the former owners wanted to retire or move on.”

Biggest Risk

Expanding to Maryland from their original base in Virginia.

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Lewsen adds, “It was difficult to manage such a distant location.”

Lesson Learned

Rely on processes.

Lewsen says, “I would have put a bit more effort into documentation and process and procedure manuals. A solid foundation of process is super important for expansion and growth.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Supporting the team.

Lewsen says, “I would add more benefits for our staff to improve morale and retention.”

Most Interesting Client

A home full of birds.

Lewsen explains, “We had an avian veterinarian who kept 57 exotic birds in her home!”

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Image: Everything and the Dog; Patrick Lewsen




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How Ox & Pine Went from Hobby to Successful Leather Goods Business

How Ox & Pine Went from Hobby to Successful Leather Goods Business


Not all businesses start off as a way to earn money; some are simply hobbies that evolve over time. Such was the case for Ox & Pine. The company’s founder enjoyed making things with her hands. And that eventually led to a business with multiple product lines for individuals, businesses, and even special events.



Small Biz Spotlight – Ox & Pine

Read more about the company and their journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Creates personalized, handmade leather goods.

Founder Stephanie Brown told Small Business Trends, “We pour our hearts into filling a clean canvas to capture something special for each and every customer. It’s not just a personalized leather product, it’s a glimpse into something meaningful that will now be remembered forever. We take the time to help each customer make it their own.”

Business Niche

Quality.

Brown says, “We use the best materials. We also believe in making sure the designs we’ve created work–so we’ve tested and revised until they’re perfect. Then, we are very picky in making sure our products meet our high standards before it gets to a customer. And our customers are so important and we want to make sure they get exactly what they want.”

How the Business Got Started

Evolved from a personal hobby.

Brown explains, “I started using my geeky hobby to sell a few journals here and there.”

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Biggest Win

A series of small wins.

Brown says, “It started out with me being extremely attentive to the details and being kind to each customer (putting my own pride aside). Then, the wins came with the people who came to the team and have contributed their time and talents. It’s definitely a team effort and it wouldn’t be successful without that team!”

Biggest Risk

Investing in production.

Brown explains, “We bought a huge amount of supplies and took on extra help to aid in the work load. If the scale tipped too far, we would’ve been stuck with lots of materials, a high payroll, and nothing selling.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Various growth opportunities.

Brown says, “[We would] reinvest in our people and the business (advertising, process improvements, etc.) to grow it!”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Ox & Pine, Stephanie Brown




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How Kinetic Events Adjusted to a World with No Large, In-Person Events

How Kinetic Events Adjusted to a World with No Large, In-Person Events


Many large, in-person events have been put on hold due to COVID-19, which makes it tough for an event staffing agency. Instead of just accepting this fate as a negative, Kinetic Events took it as an opportunity to grow.



Small Biz Spotlight: Kinetic Events

After encountering this obstacle, the company offers a wide array of brand advocacy and promotional services to fill the void and help clients run special operations with reliable team members. Read more about the company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides staffing solutions for special events.

Project Manager Brady Trudeau told Small Business Trends, “Kinetic Events is a nationwide staffing solution for conference and trade show staff, brand ambassadors, promotional models, street teams, product samplings, and more.”

Business Niche

A unique employment model.

Instead of just connecting workers with companies, Kinetic events hires workers under a W2 designation. Additionally, they provide full training and only hire top talent. Ultimately, this provides companies with more reliable help.

Trudeau says, “Many players in the industry function as a glorified version of Craigslist. They post for a job, hire the first applicants that come in for a low price, and send them to the job. We hire almost all of our staff via referral and put them through a training program. Rather than just hiring strangers, we only provide individuals who we know well, which is something that our clients value and know us for.”

Business Origins

After seeing the struggles of the event planning industry.

Trudeau explains, “Our founders were event planners for years. After witnessing the struggle of hiring temp staff first hand, they decided to take their knowledge of the industry and put it to good use.”

Biggest Win

Partnering with Eventbrite as their sole field operations team.

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Trudeau says, “The founders of Kinetic Events have known the Eventbrite team since they were a 4 person company. After proving to them that our team was made up of only the best staff in the business, they trusted us with all of their field operations for events worldwide.”

Biggest Challenge

COVID-19.

Trudeau says, “As is the case with many event companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt business, but has also led to new opportunities. As many people say, necessity is the mother of invention. When we needed to add services to support our clients during the pandemic, we pivoted perfectly into our expanded role and have been successful since implementing the new services.”

Lesson Learned

Diversify offerings.

Trudeau says, “If it weren’t for COVID-19, we would’ve continued with our original services only. After being backed into a corner, we used the platform we already had in place to diversify our services, leading to new clients.”

Fun Fact

They have a sister company.

Trudeau adds, “Kinetic Events has a sister company (MetroWize) that operates as a full-fledged digital marketing agency. MetroWize specializes in digital marketing for companies in the hospitality, spirits, and the music industry.”

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Image: Kinetic Events




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Mental Health Global Network Provides Its Own Mental Health First Aid Kit

Mental Health Global Network Provides Its Own Mental Health First Aid Kit


There are tons of tangible tools to help with physical health issues. However, there are often fewer options for dealing with mental health concerns. That is, until Mental Health Global Network produced its own line of products included in the mental health first aid kit.



Spotlight – Mental Health Global Network

Additionally, the company provides training and other resources to honor a friend and support others going through struggles. Read more about the MHGN below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides mental health training and a unique support product.

Co-founder Kelly Marzoli told Small Business Trends, “Just like every facility/school has a physical first aid kit on hand, we created a Mental Health First Aid Kit with tangible tools for coping with mental health issues.”

Business Niche

Creating a first-of-its-kind product.

Marzoli says, “We are the first to put together a tangible tool kit for mental health issues.”

Additionally, the company’s training sessions provide a unique perspective. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team did in-person trainings. But now, they are offering virtual sessions.

She adds, “Our educational programming is engaging and dynamic.”

How the Business Got Started

In honor of a friend.

Marzoli explains, “We started our company in honor of our friend, Connor Mullen (NJ), who took his own life at age 20. We want to help save other people like Connor.”

Biggest Win

Helping educators with their products.

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Marzoli says, “Our biggest win thus far was a 115 bulk order from a school district – they bought kits for all of their teachers. This made us believe we could really do this. Mental health first aid kits should be as common at schools and workplaces as physical first aid kits!”

Biggest Risk

Developing a physical product.

Marzoli explains, “The biggest risk was investing into manufacturing our product and putting all of our money into testing different products.”

Lesson Learned

Be ready to pivot.

Marzoli says, “Our typical educational programming is in person and requires large gatherings. Now that we’ve taken our services online for a virtual training things are looking up.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Shoring up their products.

Marzoli explains, “We would use it to invest in inventory, FDA, and medical endorsements from psychologists and doctors.”

Company Roots

A college club.

Marzoli says, “My partner and I met through a mental health awareness club in college. I started the club in the same effort to promote mental health awareness as our company stands for now. After I graduated, my partner took over the club. We were both fierce advocates for suicide prevention then… and now we are best friends and co ceos in the real world.”

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Image: Mental Health Global Network




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