Labor Day begins National Payroll Week, which celebrates the work of 150 million wage earners and the people who pay them. This means now is a great time to honor the inspiration behind the entrepreneurial ventures and owners who hire workers, meet their payrolls and keep the economy going.
Here are some insights from three small business owners as to why they decided to pursue their dreams of starting their own company:
Prichard is the founder and CEO of Colorado-based MattressInsider.com, a supplier of custom-sized mattresses for RVs, boats, trucks and sofa beds. Since 2008, the MattressInsider.com team has helped 35,000 customers who couldn't find mattresses elsewhere. Prichard started his entrepreneurial venture when he discovered an unmet customer need: "I'd worked for an online mattress retailer for about five years before starting my business. Several times a week, we'd get calls from people who'd bought a brand new RV or a sofa bed and whose sleep was getting ruined because the factory-installed mattress was terrible. I always felt bad because we never had their mattress size or shape," Prichard explains. "I tried to convince my employer to start offering unique sizes. They brushed off the idea, saying it was too complicated. I finally said, 'If you aren't going to help these people, I will!' I then started MattressInsider.com."
Abbasi is the cofounder and general manager of Coalition Boston, a thriving coworking space in the center of one of the nation's biggest startup hubs. What makes Coalition different is its emphasis on building community and connection within its coworking space. When asked why he began his business, Abbasi says, "I always wanted to be an entrepreneur myself, so I figured why not run a space that accommodates entrepreneurs? I'm also very interested in real estate, so those two things combined to create a good synergy. I love the fact that I'm connected to top-class people who have created businesses. And if I ever need anything, I know I have a lawyer, an accountant, a software developer or a marketer nearby."
Gallagher is the founder of Influence Success, a Boston-based consulting firm that works out of Coalition Boston. He helps businesses get their teams to work better together. Gallagher uses his own business experience at manufacturing multinational 3M and data-driven behavioral science to evaluate why his clients' teams are underperforming. Then he puts them on the right track. Asked why he started Influence Success, Gallagher replies, "Too many businesses are struggling to succeed because they haven't tapped into the best practices for how their teams can collaborate to generate profitable growth. There's lots of new research on how to improve a leadership team's performance. But no one is working to bring those best practices to smaller businesses. And small businesses are the ones who can benefit most," Gallagher explains. "I love learning about a client's problems and working with their leadership team to exceed their business and personal goals. The thrill of a client's success is what I live and work for."
As each of these business owners launched their entrepreneurial ventures, they focused on following their passions and meeting a market need. As we begin National Payroll Week, let's salute the innovators who drive new businesses as well as those who make the marketplace vibrant by taking care of business behind the scenes.
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