- 1️⃣ DS Luxury - Business Development
- Project Management
- 2️⃣ Michigan Small Business Development Center - Small Business Advisor
- Strategic Planning
- Pandemic Response
- Navigated Dual
- Systems Improvements
- Blatant Bragging
- 3️⃣ Michigan Urgent Care
- Strategic Management
- Digital Marketing Infrastructure
- Data Analytics
- 4️⃣ Orange Cube Group
- Lead Developer
- Project management
- 5️⃣ Early Experiences
- Spearpoint Communications
- Young Adult Job
- Childhood Hustles
The most impactful people I know have vast libraries of personal experiences which inform them in conscious and subconscious ways. Much of that experience was gained outside of the workplace context, but as I've already waxed poetic to the tune of 10,000 words, I'll narrow the scope of the conversation to talk about my "professional" experience.
In addition to all of these formal roles, I have held dozens of independent consulting and gig roles, of which I continue to have several now.
1️⃣ DS Luxury - Business Development
Dates: March 2022 - October 2023
Facilitating the evolution of a Fractional Ownership Luxury Car Member Club build on the Sharing Economy from a local business to an investor-funded, scalable tech startup through the development and optimization of integrated systems and processes, as well as a full staff overhaul.
Shepherd ownership and investors through the cultural and structural conversation process from scrappy local operation to well-structured competitive startup with investors. Reengineering through active listening, learning, documenting, refining, and training every system and process in the business from all forms of financial reporting, the entire HR process, sales training and lead management, administrative goal setting, digital marketing conversion tracking, and how to remove tar from a vinyl-wrapped Roll-Royce.
Created, documented, and structured a reputable system for multi-location management by building an internal Wiki covering every area of business operations and growth, coupled with a near-total tech stack overhaul.
Arrival: Apart from a printed binder lost in a forgotten filing cabinet with five-year-old Word docs, there was no documentation in the business, which wasn't shocking, as there were also very few systems. The CRM used sticky notes to manage leads, and the fleet management team used a whiteboard to make a daily checklist.
Outcome: A main outcome of my time there was developing and learning the current way of doing things, going and talking to third-party experts, doing outside reading, and then creating our own system with the needed documentation. I also trained the team on the new way of doing things and made continuous refinements to the systems, documentation, and processes. By the time I leave, we will have built a smooth running machine which was deployed in two additional locations and survived a massive staffing overhaul.
Recruitment, onboarding, training, and managing of 12 staff members into the new working culture.
Arrival: A wild west "anything goes" culture ruled the organizations, with staff and leadership playing a game of Who can find and close the loopholes first? Recruitment was based on the owner's personal network. Onboarding involved throwing you in the deep end and hope you figure it out. There was no continuous education, goal setting, or retention efforts.
Process: In the first 90 days, we made a sharp turn into acting like adults. I closed loopholes and set up daily 1-1 stand-up meetings with each staff member, where I joined them in their role to understand what worked. We created job descriptions, rebalanced responsibilities, and addressed the root causes of why the staff was trying to dodge the system.
I spent many 16-hour days teaching the porters how to use a pressure washer and what chemicals to use on the wheels to remove tar, training the sales team on the subtle benefits of our $250K membership packages in the minds of luxury clients, and working with the new director of operations to write the manual on financial management and daily, weekly, and monthly reporting. I also worked with our fleet/asset management team to identify growing market demands and shift fleet assets while maintaining the newly built vehicle management system. I've scrubbed so much bird poo off Bentleys and Rolls Royces while wearing a suit during my time working with our porters.
Turnover was inevitable for the staff members who couldn't let go of the "anything goes" work environment, so I led the termination of a few staff, including the owner's nepotism hires. That led to a season of recruiting, training, and supporting our new team in thriving in the new business paradigm.
Outcome: Clarity, professionalism, and flow ruled the team. We had gone from a culture of chaos to a place of intense but controlled flow.
By structuring, launching, training, and coaching CRM, and writing the sales training guide, I helped increase tracked leads from five sticky notes to 7000 active leads, holding daily 1-1 standups with sales teams in both B2B and B2C sales. Through a full stack digital marketing overhaul, client retention programs, and third-party partnerships, ongoing qualified leads jumped by over 400% year over year, which I both planned and implemented.
With a classic founder who has 1000 ideas every week, I was responsible for receiving, documenting, and outlining the time and resources needed to hit outlined milestones, as well as prioritizing the goals we had outlined. When a project was active, it was my responsibility to oversee every initiative in the business with the assistance of internal teams and an army of third-party gig workers, including contract negotiation, scope of work definition, and ongoing resources communication.
2️⃣ Michigan Small Business Development Center - Small Business Advisor
Dates: Dec 2018 - March 2022
Full stack business consulting in Business Consultancy funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and administered through Higher Education with a focus on marketing and operations.
In the trenches with 1400 entrepreneurs over 3.5 years, logging 5000+ billable hours, providing tailored guidance and actionable next steps through continuous and one-off consultations in all functional areas of business, from HR and sales/marketing to operations, finance, accounting, and strategy, delivering measurable results and driving success.
Noteworthy work in business strategy development, including Competitive Analysis, Marketing Strategy, and Business Process Improvement, while also delivering multi-year financial models for lenders and investors.
Expanded operational capacity by 300% to serve 600 new businesses, delivering customized solutions in critical areas during economic crises such as business pivots, diversifications, cash flow analyses, and financing amidst highly emotional moments, while also co-developing an open-source wiki of grants and resources for Michigan Small Business reaching over 10,000 users and hosting numerous workshops and training seminars.
Originally, I was hired onto the general consulting team, working with average clients. After the first 6 months I became a top-performing consultant on the generalist team and demonstrated my value in the startup and digital marketing space, I was invited to be a topic expert on the top two teams. This enabled me to start serving the top 5% of the book of business, which was mostly focused on technology commercialization.
Drove ongoing internal systems improvements, delivering results through initiatives such as Salesforce CRM adoption, cross topic project management for regional reporting, implementing a workshop follow-up process to collect stakeholder impact, and managing partnerships with community stakeholders, among other key efforts.
As the youngest consultant in the organization's history, I secured the second most business starts across the organization while be tied for the most open clients, all while co-creating the highest preforming regional team, which was also the only team awarded for a thriving culture.
3️⃣ Michigan Urgent Care
Dates: January 2017 - December 2018
Digital marketing sidekick with focus on data analytics to CMO of privately owned multisite occupational health and medical urgent care network.
Collaborative and data-driven strategic planning efforts with CEO/CMO, developing implementation schedules and dynamically adjusting these plans based on ongoing market demand analyses on a monthly basis.
Digital Marketing Infrastructure
- Google: Product owner of our Google Ads, Analytics, Business, Search Counseling, Workspace, Data Studios etc., resulting in 80% statewide market ownership of relevant search terms as measured by Auction Insights report on Google Ads.
- SEO/WordPress: onsight and offsite SEO and WordPress website management utilizing internal and third-party vendors and platforms.
- Social Media: Ideate, plan, launch, and most importantly tweak social media ads across all of our active channels.
- Content: Brought a significant uplift in user engagement and a substantial improvement in brand perception by orchestrating a successful transformation of all content creation initiatives, including blogs, photography, videography, social media content, and graphics by working collaboratively with in-house teams and third-party vendors.
Delivered data drive, actionable marketing and sales insights to the desk of our CEO and CMO on monthly bases by integrating data from medical, marketing, client feedback, and staffing data sources in a HIPAA-compliant manor.
Reference: Katy Michalski | Michigan Urgent Care | CMO | email@example.com | (614) 306-8569
4️⃣ Orange Cube Group
Dates: Feb 2014 - Dec 2018
Nurtured a humble digital marketing firm from my childhood bedroom starting by serving mom and pop businesses with full-stack digital marketing eventually growing into a thriving marketing firm that pivoted to support tech startups, often in the medical space, specializing in interpreting data to unlock actionable, ROI-focused marketing insights and secondary implementation insights for over burned development teams. Before I ultimately departed from the company on my own terms, we had a thriving staff of 11, as well as a cool office with a fancy espresso machine and foosball table.
Adeptly navigated the complexities of managing third-party gig workers, eventually building a high-performing in-house team, all while handling the intricacies of payroll management, HR operations, and nurturing a distinctive company culture, before remote work has highly popular.
Effectively managed the legal landscape surrounding founding paperwork, including contract and proposal creation, followed negotiations with the assistance of external legal teams, skillfully navigating digital asset and cybersecurity insurance complexities, and delivering positive outcomes in general civil lawsuits and small claims cases.
Built over 100 websites using first WordPress and then a range of content management systems, including CSS, HTML5, and custom Java implementations, demonstrating mastery in both front-end and back-end development and an ability to deliver high-quality projects consistently.
Juggled 1500+ individual project files from 400 clients in every industry, with internal and contracted team members using cloud based project management systems before they were cool. .
Phase 1: Started as a WordPress website developer working with Mainstreet Businesses in Livingston County. After I was shafted by some local used car salesmen, I tightened up my operations and put on big boy pants to move out of the commodity market of website development.
Phase 2: Moved into a full-stack digital marketing firm required me to grow a staff, which was a mix of both local and remote team members. We continued to serve Mainstreet Businesses, yet extended our offerings beyond websites into content creation, social media management, and advertising. I specialized in Google marketing using AdWords, YouTube, and Google My Business.
Phase 3: Realized Mainstreet Businesses didn't have the marketing budget I had, didn't have any strategy, and were generally a mess to work with. We pivoted to working with tech and medical businesses with way more capital and rarely a person in charge of marketing. We doubled our net income in a quarter by doing substantially the same services for a different market.
Phase 4: Burnout - for the last 1.5 years, I knew it was time to leave but had golden handcuffs. With a staff, office, awards for Youngest Entrepreneur Local Leader, and more clients than we had capacity for, I was secretly breaking down every Friday night, wishing it would all end. I had built a beast requiring me to be at the center, and I needed to go. Yet we made so much money…
5️⃣ Early Experiences
The first LLC I ever filed was for a political marketing firm in partnership during the 2008 election, working on campaigns digital marketing and communications strategy.
From a business/income standpoint, Spearpoint was an unabated failure, losing our initial investment due to having zero paying clients (ironic, I know, given that we were a marketing and communications firm). All the work we did ended up being pro bono for candidates we had already connected with. However, from an educational perspective, Spearpoint was the best $583 I ever spent. The basics of legal structures, partnership negotiations, financial planning and accounting, web development, communications plans, and sheer grunt and hustle were needed. It put any college class I took to shame.
Young Adult Job
As I cash flowed through college, I needed some stable income in addition to my side hustles. So, I worked in food services, building maintenance, and retail for a Grasshopper Gardens Greenhouse. I still know how to sell Hydrangeas like no one else. You just have to show people how changing the pH balance of the soil can change the color of the flowers from blue/white to pink, and it's all over.
From buying and flipping early eBay/Amazon FBA programs, lawn mowing, and pet sitting, to plant propagation, I had all of the classic side hustles as a 10-year-old, as well as several non-traditional ones.
When I wasn't creating for myself, I was creating for others, such as increasing our income by 300% as Student Council President, while nearly doubling student engagement. Or the non-profit subcommittees I sat on as the "tech bro who's good at marketing.”
The hustle is so deeply wired in me that when my mother picked up housekeeping at a local hotel in a vacation town where we lived for a few months, I begged to join in and ended up working the morning shift cleaning and the afternoon shift reorganizing the workshop and selling off the excesses artwork on eBay. And when her mother (my grandmother) ran the makeup department at a local shop in Grand Haven, Michigan, I’d pester my way into a few shifts each week.