Ashley McCollum, founder of Rediscovered Moments Concierge, is a university professor and administrator turned entrepreneur.
"I got into entrepreneurship completely by accident," she said. "My 20 year plan was to stay in education. As I moved higher in the university administration, I saw some of the politics I was a little naive to when I was younger. Morally, I just couldn't do some of the things I was being asked to do. At the same time that I realized those issues were ubiquitous in education, my grandfather passed away. It got me wondering about the difficulties we would have encountered finding people to help with all his needs if he had still lived in Missouri. This made me start to consider the concierge business. Not only that, but my business owner friends discussed their own needs for concierge services, both personally and for their business."
Two years after officially launching Rediscovered Moments Concierge in 2014, the company has five staff members and has branched out into business consulting and assistance services. "We're your one stop shop," McCollum said. "Whether we can provide services internally or refer you out to a trusted partner, we are your one stop shop so that instead of looking to hire multiple people to care for mom and dad and to do your shopping and then also another person to assist your business with professional development, you call us and we do it all."
That model is working well for the company. "We give people back time," McCollum explained. "What that means to each person or business is vastly different. In some cases we're helping busy individuals around the house and in other areas helping small businesses with marketing and business development needs. Our small business service is growing rapidly and has far exceeded the individual side of the business."
McCollum's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to research and network. "Do your research," she said."I had done consulting work for six years in this space before forming this company. I spoke with business owners and individuals to see where the market was. I took the time to build a quality biz plan and value proposition. In addition, the abundance of networking opportunities in Lakewood Ranch and surrounding areas should not be overlooked. In this area, relationship marketing is so important and people who get out to network thrive in this area. Take advantage of networking opportunities and get your face out there."