Friends, Romans, Countrymen:
The Founding Kit has closed.
It was a guiding light for small business owners. It was “way cool” for service providers. And it was a BLAST for us to get up and running.
Turns out that running a business while running other businesses is more challenging than you’d think. When Tamara and I met in 2012, we had high hopes that our brilliant idea would bring the masses to us, filling stadiums full of requests from folks launching or growing their companies. We’d sealed the deal with amazing, high-quality service-providers. We’d systematized a way to bundle packages together so that we’d take alllllll the work out of the tedious tasks of running a business. And we already had a built-in network of entrepreneurs who had told us, time and time again, that they needed said services.
Lo and behold, while there is power in numbers, that in and of itself is not sustainable.
A year after our launch Tamara moved to New York City and began touring as a speaker and facilitator for leadership conferences, and in-house corporate trainings all over the world. Jill’s main focus was growing The Founding Moms, a collective of offline meetups and online resources for mom entrepreneurs. Building The Founding Kit as one of many offerings under the umbrella of a bigger brand was more challenging in ways that we’d never considered.
Even with PR power, a membership base, and actual demand (in writing, no less), we’d missed a huge gap: The sales and education piece.
We assumed the Founding Kit would be a no brainer for the fledging entrepreneur to get off the ground. What we didn’t take into account was that for people who have never started a company before there are a lot of unknowns. How much would a team of rock star service providers normally cost? How long does it take to come up with the vision and direction of a company? And on and on. It became clear that as a kit designed for the uninitiated, we would have to do a lot more on both the sales and ongoing support sides to really reach and support the new entrepreneur.
A growing business always has needs, and almost all of our service providers could have helped with growth. What they couldn’t help with was the support that Jill and Tamara offered, and by the time we realized this our interest were already deeply rooted in our other companies. It took a while for us to realize this major piece of the puzzle was missing, and we can safely say that this was an incredibly huge learning curve for us.
We wish all small businesses the best of luck. Jill still has plenty of resources available for entrepreneurs if you do need them. You can also find Tamara speaking all over the world on topics such as leadership, story telling and team-building.
To building your business,
Jill & Tamara