Katie Bunschoten of KHBOffice Ltd.
How did you start your business?
I rallied some funds, started networking and applied for a venture capital competition (Bad Girl Ventures). In addition, I started meeting with a SCORE Counselor six to nine months before I planned to launch. Then it just became a matter of getting up and running. Today, we have two employees, Matt and Amberly. I couldn’t do it without them.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
I was working as a General Manager for a small business. In addition, I’d been a freelance QuickBooks advisor. Building on my freelance work, the KHBOffice idea was born. We offer cost-fair, back-office operations, micro-office setups and integrated application consulting, in addition to QuickBooks/Intuit consulting and, soon, classes. We like to say we exist in the space between accounting and IT.
In the end, we saw a need and decided to fill it.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
SCORE counselors were invaluable in asking the questions I hadn’t thought of, and helping me polish my ideas before launching my company.
I entered Bad Girl Ventures’ spring 2012 competition knowing that if we made it, we’d have further evidence that we had a good idea. There’s nothing like presenting a business idea you’ve been working on to a selection committee -- it was pretty exciting! At that time we’d had a lot of interest from prospective clients and had just started operating, but being named a BGV finalist really helped solidify our focus.
Finally, the Startup America Partnership has some great webinars and resources that came in handy.
What would you do differently if you started your business again?
I would have jumped in sooner.
What’s next for you and your company?
Lots of excitement. We have some early-stage projects that I look forward to developing, and our client base is growing by the day. We are treating this as a learning experience; our main priority is to take care of our clients and develop those relationships first; they’ll tell us what they need before anyone else.
Interview by Robin Donovan