Martha Woodward, Solving Pain Points One at a Time
Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas
In this column, I wanted to feature not only another great area serial entrepreneur but introduce a concept (Quality Driven Software—a performance-based system of pay and incentive) that can be helpful in accomplishing employee recruitment and retention, client/customer satisfaction and retention, and employee accountability. In a future column, we’ll explore some ideas about how we need to change the way we think about the “Job Description” to be more effective in this new post-Covid marketplace. This article was written by Abby Emert (Fab Creative Services) and was published in the “Fab Lab Blab” newsletter in March of 2021.
Some may refer to Martha Woodward as a serial entrepreneur when they find out she currently owns or is a partner in four different businesses! However, you may be surprised to learn that she hasn’t always been a business owner. She started her career in the corporate world, but she kept finding herself saying, “I wish someone would...” and then ended up being the person who started that business. Each of her businesses is unique and was started to fill a need or solve a pain point.
In 2007, Martha decided to leave the corporate world behind, and she launched Dusting Divas maid service with the intent of solving her own personal pain point, the lack of a reliable house cleaner. The plan was to start the business with friends, but she ended up pushing forward on her own. Through hard work and tenacity, she expanded Dusting Divas to Bartlesville and Owasso, Oklahoma, and closed the business in Kansas. She currently runs this business from her home in Independence, while her staff manages the operations on the ground in Oklahoma. And, once she got started, she just couldn’t stop! (http://dusting-divas.com/)
In 2014, she began developing a software, Quality Driven, which was launched in 2016 and is extensively used by the home services industry. With hundreds of users in varying service businesses, the software allows business owners to keep an eye on client satisfaction and improve the employee culture. (http://qualitydrivensoftware.com/)
She was back at it again in 2019, when she began offering online courses to teach people how to implement some of the programs she had developed in her maid service. (http://marthawoodward.com/)
Finally, in response to COVID and the extreme fears that small business owners were experiencing in 2020, she partnered with three other business owners and experts in their fields to start a consulting business called Fight Club 4 Business. This business covers marketing, systems, finance and people. (https://www.facebook.com/fightclub4business)
With all her experience as an entrepreneur, we wanted to know “What has been the most rewarding part of making the leap to entrepreneurship?” Martha told
us, “One of the reasons I left a corporate job to start a business is to have more time with my kids. While the business required waaaaaay more time than my 9-5 job did, at least the hours were semi-flexible. Over time, processes have been put in place so that my schedule is really flexible. My favorite part (which can also be a curse) is I can work from anywhere. I’ve been able to travel abroad, and my customers didn’t even know I was answering from another country.” Flexibility seems to be a common theme among those considering working for themselves.
Most would say that the rewards of entrepreneurship far outweigh the challenges, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be hurdles along the way. Martha said one of her biggest hardships as an entrepreneur is, “Every decision starts and ends with you. In the beginning, you have to wear all of the hats. You have to learn a little bit about a lot, because you can’t afford to outsource.” Her solution? “It’s pretty imperative that you find a peer group who has similar struggles to bounce ideas, frustrations and wins off of with a group of people who understand. Outsource what you are not good at as soon as you can. It will save you so much time and money in the long run.” Great advice for anyone launching their own business!
Martha has been a frequent guest of the Entrepreneurial Mindset class facilitated at the Fab Lab, where she shares her entrepreneurial story and offers advice to class participants. She’s also been involved with the Fab Lab for printing and fabrication projects and has known Joanne Smith, of FAB Creative Services LLC and who works closely with the Fab Lab on several projects, since their days together at Mercy Hospital.
If you’d like to reach out to Martha Woodward, the best way to contact her is through https://www.facebook.com/payforperformanceexpert.
Jim Correll can be reached at (620) 252-5349 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Fab Lab ICC or Independence Community College. Archive columns and podcasts at www.fablabicc.org.