From the corporate world to a software startup: How I got started
Go to school, get a good job
My personal story starts out like many older millennials as part of the generation who was taught to get good grades, go to college, and get a good job. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and started working in the corporate world immediately after college for a large company. For a period of about four years I found myself in great positions, with reputable companies and always ended up feeling like I was not quite in the right place or position. I jumped around from company to company for a while, before eventually being downsized in the Great Recession of 2009.
Six months prior to being downsized, I had decided to start my own consulting business as a virtual assistant. My game plan was to build up my client list for six months and then voluntarily transition out. Instead, I received a giant push to go out on my own. Instead of starting a job search for another job I did not feel confident I would love or feel satisfied in, I started networking and building my own client list.
Going out on my own
When I first started out, I had a good amount of experience in corporate communications, media relations, and public relations. My intention was to find clients who needed help in these areas. Instead, most of the business owners I met needed help in one of two areas: Content or Social Media. Social Media and Digital Marketing were fairly new at the time and growing at a rapid pace. Many of the clients I worked with were just trying to figure out how to use these new tools to benefit and grow their businesses. It was my job to figure all of this out.
The first year on my own was really hard and I found myself consistently questioning what I was doing. I was fairly young at the time and publicly speaking in front of strangers to tell them what my business was all about was very new to me. I often would push myself to go to events in attempts to meet new people in hopes of gaining a client. The night before each networking event I would write down exactly what I was going to say on a note card, repeat it over and over again, and bring the notecard with me to each event. I’m sure it was painful to watch me talk about my business in the early days because I was so nervous. I’m pretty sure the first people who became my clients did so because they felt bad for me. Fortunately many would end up liking me and my work and became long-term clients and business associates.
Despite my shyness, I always found a way to move forward, learn new strategies, meet new people, build new relationships, and eventually find new clients. And I LOVED it. I absolutely loved learning about business, how they operated and the struggles each of them had. But I mostly loved problem solving and finding different and creative ways to help business owners use technology to operate, sustain, and grow their businesses.
Through networking and creating new business relationships, I started working on a social media and web development team in 2010. It was on this team that I met Ricky Voltz and learned more about web development and how websites could be more than just a brochure for a company. We found ways to help businesses make their website an actual tool they could use to not only help with sales and marketing, but solve problems related to staffing, operations, and various other parts of a business.
For six more years I continued to consult in digital marketing, web development, and content marketing strategies for businesses, non-profits, and cities around the country. What I learned through each client and each project was invaluable. All of that experience contributed to an overall knowledge of the different but similar ways various organizations ran efficiently, but also the many problems that came up. Many of these are problems that technology have already or can solve when applied correctly.
Working with the Bento Systems Inc. Team
In the Spring of 2016 I talked with Ricky Voltz and he shared that since we last worked together he had started a software company. A few months later we reconnected and I started working on many of the operations-related responsibilities for Voltz Software. Over the course of two years, the Voltz Software team set out to build a technology platform that small businesses could use to operate their business and thrive with. What you see today with our business solution Bento.Systems is a result of the development team building and rebuilding systems with efficiency and best practices in mind for business owners and teams.
For me, personally, I enjoy focusing on operations and efficiency for the company as a whole. I also enjoy working with different business partners and business owners to share with them the different ways that Bento.Systems can help their organization utilizing our platform and provide value for their team.
To learn more about Bento Systems Inc. get in touch with us on our website. If you would like to connect with me personally, feel free to join me on LinkedIN.