MicroMentor Success Story
"Yappy to Be Home" Implements Marketing Plan, Grows Customer Base
Entrepreneur: Sandra Ekland
After being laid off in 2009, Sandra decided to turn her part-time pet-sitting business into a full-fledged endeavor. Based in Seattle, Yappy to Be Home offers high-quality pet care for traveling, busy or ill pet-owners. Sandra says of her new job, "I love my customers and I love their animals."
In need of rapid growth, Sandra decided to find help with marketing. Through her relationship with the microenterprise development organization StartZone, Sandra joined MicroMentor. Thinking back to that time she says, "I just feel that I got so lucky."
Mentor: Rachel Simeone
Rachel, in San Francisco, had been working for about twenty years in catalog and internet marketing, collaborating with a variety of corporations such as Williams-Sonoma. A few years ago, Rachel left corporate America to work as an independent marketing coach for
small business owners.
Interested in giving back to her community, Rachel offers her services pro bono to a few entrepreneurs. After conducting a search of entrepreneurs on MicroMentor, Rachel reached out to Sandra. "Her profile caught my eye right away," she says.
About Their Match
Rachel contacted Sandra and they set up a time to talk over the phone. Rachel says, "When I talked to Sandra I could tell that she was very committed to her business, so that encouraged me. It was clear that if I gave her the help that she needed there would be a very positive outcome."
Sandra had a marketing plan that she had created with StartZone which she sent to Rachel. Together they refined the marketing plan and with Rachel's encouragement, Sandra is now implementing it. The two women talk on the phone at a designated time each week. Projects that they've collaborated on include gathering testimonials from Sandra's clients, revising her website and designing monthly newsletters.
Yappy to Be Home currently serves 45 clients and is ready for more. Sandra credits Rachel, whom she calls the ‘Goddess of marketing’. Sandra says "[Rachel] wants this as much as I do. When I'm excited, she's excited!"
But Rachel thinks otherwise, saying "Sandra has this tremendous stick-to-it-ness...and this is no small thing: she provides a very quality product. Her clients love her. They love her."
Sandra's business: www.yappytobehome.com
Rachel's marketing consulting website: http://www.zetablue.com/