Year Established: 2009
Business/Organization Name: Helping Survivors Manage
Owner/Executive Director Name: Kat Reed
Product Inception/Business Creation: Kat Reed created this definitive book on what to do when a loved one dies based on her own experiences after her mother’s death, when she discovered the lack of resources available for families facing the struggles inherent in the death of a loved one. She and her predominantly-deaf father experienced first-hand the same challenges that overwhelm so many. Kat decided to do something about it, and using her volunteer hospice experience and prior career in business and communications, she created this helpful resource which fills a much-needed gap for everyone who is a survivor facing these tasks.
Product/Service: Self-help instructional manual for the survivors of a death; death care industry, book and online tools. Begin Here guides survivors through the seemingly overwhelming practical yet necessary tasks that remain after a death, from residential to financial to personal. Leveraging Reed’s unique insights, invaluable suggestions, and organizational skills will help anyone simplify this process.
Unique Features/Competitive Advantage: Nothing else available similar to it in the market for the general public
Finalist in the 2009 Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards, Social Science category.
Currently focusing on large businesses to use book as a private label product; part of insurance services; as well as EAP (Employee Assistance Program) for large companies. Plans to expand the version to translate and customize into different languages for use all around the world; customize to religion, relationship, location, cause of death, death circumstance; versions that can accommodate those with disabilities. Also in the beginning stages of developing an “app” for the web and mobile devices. Plans to become and remain the “go-to” organization for after-death care concerning business responsibilities.
Best lessons learned:
A mentor in his late 70s told me that if you don’t keep up with technology, you WILL be left behind by your competitors.
High school art teacher and mentor said, and I always remember, “there is always room for improvement.”
Great ideas are a dime a dozen, what makes one succeed? Research the industry, research the competition, research profitability, research demand for the service/product, then hard work in your product/service; and start all over again, researching and studying every single day.
Asking and more importantly, listening.
If you cannot or will not manage an integral part of your business, (for example, branding/public relations/media) find someone who can and will, and hire it out to them.
Do the math.