Updated: Jan 19, 2019
Technology is wonderful, but it has not replaced paper. In fact, we generate and use more paper than ever. How do we find what we are looking for in all those piles? How can we safeguard our sensitive data, generate less paper, and (best of all) free up time in our lives? By improving our organizational skills.
Holly Hospel's Ahh Hah! Organizer Kits reduce the organizing process to something very simple. Their mission is to build an organizing mind-set that customers can springboard from and create their own techniques for organizing.
More about Holly:
1. What made you decide to create your company?
I inherited my penchant for organizing paperwork with binders from my dad. When I became a trade show organizer, I found binders to be the best project-based form of organization, From there, I standardized three meeting planning kits designed for meetings, conference, and trade shows. And they sold! It turned out that people liked saving time and money -- by avoiding the cumbersome process of designing, buying supplies, and then finally printing the tabs themselves.
When I moved to Indianapolis, I needed to "reinvent" the product. Why not provide useful kits to everyone? Helping people to organize their household paperwork became the mission and our new home-based Organizer Kits product line was born.
The kits themselves have evolved with time. Customers on Amazon voluntarily provide suggestions and we incorporate them into the kits. Over the years, we've changed their look and optimized their categories to suit our customers' needs. There are presently 10 different kits for sale designed to organize recipes, medical records, financial records, and more. We have a number of new kits in development as well.
2. What is the biggest challenge in starting up your business?
Overcoming the voices in my head. Seriously. I need to get out of my own way.
3. What are your plans for growth over the next year?
My number one goal for 2018 is to “get the word out”. There are so many opportunities to start creating a buzz around my product line that I would like to pursue. Media placement, blog posts (like this), and new entrepreneur support programs; all which lead to broader and deeper sales channels.
4. How have you become a better leader/entrepreneur? How did you get to this point?
Grunting it out. Doing and doing and doing. I did not “do something” every day, but I did keep going. Bit by bit. It is okay to not be “MEGA” immediately. In fact, there are advantages to growing moderately. A mistake you make early on will be small as compared to the consequences of a mistake when you are a much larger company.
5. Looking back, are there any questions you wish you would have asked earlier?
I wish I had found a community of product sellers earlier. Product development and sales have a unique set of issues versus service sales. It took me awhile to find “my people”.
6. What is the best advice you can give to women who want to be entrepreneurs and don’t know where to start?
Take a first small step. Do a little bit. Then a little bit more. Keep going. Be stubborn. Persistence wins.
7. How have The Startup Ladies helped you grow?
The Startup Ladies have offered me with opportunities to grow (like Walmart) and provided critical education for the journey ahead.
8. Any other details of your story or nuggets of wisdom you’d feel would benefit your fellow Startup Ladies?
There are so many experts out there who have more experience and wiser insights. They are easy to find in books, podcasts, and on TV. But for truly unique feedback, ask a child or a senior citizen. They are not influenced by the latest trends or culture; and can provide real and unique perspectives.