Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Raiford, Founder of Prenursing Smarter, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Prenursing Smarter provides online test prep to help aspiring nurses get into nursing school. We're a woman-owned, Native-owned business that started in 2017. So far, we've helped more than 10,000 pre-nursing and allied health students across the country prepare for their admissions exams.

Tell us about yourself

Student success motivates me every day. I was taught to value my education as a gift, and I'm trying to share that gift. I love helping students break through their educational barriers. For years, I was split between reporting and writing, working in education and healthcare (I'm a former EMT). I started this business to combine all my interests, and it's grown from there!

I've professionally worked with pre-nursing and first-year nursing students for the past 10 years. I have always tutored as a side hustle and am a CRLA-certified tutor with an MSJ from Northwestern University. I previously helped lead two college tutoring programs in San Diego, so accessible education is so important to me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Helping people get into nursing school! Prenursing Smarter provides online test prep for a high-stakes admission exam. Many of my students have hands-on healthcare experience but need help with standardized tests. They are often frustrated and close to giving up when we meet. It's my absolute favorite thing when a student gets a score higher than they imagined or sends me a note that they are now in nursing school!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

That you need to do it every day! There's always something. I've run my business for several years now, continually working on boundaries and buffers to prevent burnout.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Reach out to your local SBDC. Just about every city has one, and they are funded by the Small Business Administration. You can get just about any type of help you might need as a business owner, and it's all free. They'll also plug you into other resources in your area. They offer free workshops, classes, and consultations.
  2. Find an accountability group. I've been meeting with a small group of other business owners every week for years now. We check in virtually for about 30 minutes, so not a huge time commitment, but it helps so much with productivity and morale. We keep a spreadsheet of our goals and encourage each other to stay on track.
  3. Take care of your health. Your business is only as healthy as you are, so be sure you find ways to look after yourself, mentally and physically. Remember that you and your business are in this for the long haul, so find sustainable ways to keep growing.

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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