Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Athena Kan, CEO of Dreambound, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
There are millions of hard-working Americans stuck in poverty with no clear way out. They want a higher-paying career but can't afford the education or training programs required to get them started. At the same time, there are many employers desperately trying to hire but can't because there aren't enough workers who have the licenses legally required to work.
Dreambound breaks this cycle by making it really easy to start a career in the trades, starting with healthcare roles. We've created a platform that matches job seekers with training programs, helps them pay for the class, and matches them to employers. Dreambound serves some of the largest healthcare companies in the US, including Brookdale, Honor, and Tenet.
Tell us about yourself
Once when I was a kid, my parents needed to hire an electrician but found that it was going to be expensive: upwards of $6K! They went back and forth between if they should delay getting the work done, should not do it at all, etc. But then my dad came up with a completely different solution: he'd become an electrician himself.
My dad bought a test prep book and spent his nights and weekends studying. He ended up passing the exam and being our county's top scorer in recent history (and more importantly, he was able to do the electrical work they needed).
When I saw this happening, I thought my dad's journey was incredible. I saw that other people could get started with new careers in just a few weeks, and I wanted Dreambound to make that process as easy as possible.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting hundreds of people higher-paying jobs and getting them started in the healthcare field!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Focus - there are a lot of great opportunities and low-hanging fruit everywhere, but it's important to focus on work that will move the needle most for the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Hire really great people - we're lucky to have some of the best people in the industry on our team. Many of the challenges we encounter are ones that they've already solved at past companies!
- It's all about delivering value to your customers. Even if you're really good at closing them, if you're not able to make them happy, then you won't get repeat buys, you won't get referrals, etc.
- Invest early in organic acquisition—it compounds and lets you know that the business is working.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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