Lisa Woodruff was thrilled when she found her calling. In 2012, she started a business called Organize 365 that helped people turn their cluttered houses into orderly homes. One day, however, it dawned on her that organization was a teachable skill, which sparked her interest in creating online courses and a podcast to help even more people.
In 2014, Woodruff turned to Aviatra Accelerators, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers female entrepreneurs to start and sustain businesses by giving them the resources they need to be successful. Aviatra offers expertise in business building, support from mentors and coaches, and provides access to capital.
Aviatra has programs for every stage of a business, from launch to growth. There’s even an online program for those who need more flexibility.
Just being in the company of other business owners inspired Woodruff in a way that nothing else ever had.
“Just the fact that I paid money to go to something designed specifically for business owners was huge,” Woodruff says. “It was the first time I’d ever spent money on something of my own volition that wasn’t immediately revenue generating. I was literally investing in being a business owner.”
One of the most important skills she learned from Aviatra was creating a business plan.
“I didn’t have a business degree, so I didn’t know how to do reports, pull numbers or create a strategic plan to get funding,” Woodruff says. “This was basically a report card for your business on paper.”
She also appreciated getting paired up with a mentor with whom she would meet monthly for coffee or lunch.
“He listened to me talk and strategize about my business,” Woodruff says. “It’s prioritizing your money, time, attire and mindset into business ownership, and people are valuing that. That’s huge!”
Although Woodruff was revenue positive in her business, her goal was to figure out how to teach people how to get organized on the internet. But she didn’t know how to go about doing that. So with the help of Aviatra, she made a plan to go from a local service to an e-commerce business.
Woodruff knew the true scalability was going to be to take it online.
“I had to hold firm to my vision because while I could franchise locally and get to a quarter of a million, I knew that I’d always be tied down to a job and working dollars per hour,” Woodruff says. “I wanted to do something where I could leverage it and sell a thousand of them overnight.”
Once a one-woman show, Woodruff now has a team of 14 full-time employees, an 8,000-square-foot office and warehouse, and a business valued in the millions. Her podcast has 17.5 million downloads and counting.
Woodruff thinks back to where she started, with a TV tray desk in the corner of her bedroom.
“When you take consistent action and belief in what you’re creating, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve,” she says.
Can Aviatra help take your business to the next level? Find them at aviatraaccelerators.org or call 859-655-8343 for more information.