Striking balance with work and life is a subject that leads to endless conversations about productivity and bottom line profitability.
For years we’ve talked about work-life balance, without a lot of action or meaningful return. But today, a confluence of factors—the below-replacement level U.S. birth rate, the fact that the majority of new college graduates are women, ubiquitous mobile connectivity, and new thinking about how being truly “family friendly” is good business—are disrupting traditional nine-to-five (or more often, seven-to-whenever) corporate norms.
Lisa David, a partner at performance management and business analytics consulting firm eCapital Advisors (disclosure: client) described her challenges and approach (such as clearly identifying her “untouchables”—the aspects of her life that she considers to be a top priority) with author and speaker Sue Hawkes in this amazing podcast.
In the 21st century, we have technology allowing us to operate better. So many aspects of children’s’ lives—band concerts, games, practices, school plays, the school day—are fixed in time. Moms want to show professional dedication, but there are times when they just flat out need to be somewhere else. Wouldn’t it be great if there were excellent jobs available, across professional fields, that recognized this?
That recognition led Mary Kay Ziniewicz to start Bus Stop Mamas, an organization that connects mothers with great, and more importantly flexible, work opportunities. She wants every woman to know that motherhood is not a career threatening event (anymore:). Here’s her story.
Bus Stop Mamas solves the labor force deficit by connecting businesses with an educated, experienced and efficient workforce—moms.
The company connect moms with work that fits within the lifecycle of their children. From the car seat, to the bus seat, to the drivers seat, kids need their moms (and dads!) in different ways as they grow. Mothers grow along the path too.
Bus Stop Mamas (BSM) removes barriers of re-entry for moms by keeping the application process extremely friendly—just click and mom is instantly introduced to the CEO or hiring partner of a small or mid-sized company.
Shortly after opening its doors, the firm began hearing from moms in high-level positions at Fortune 100 and 500 companies. These moms asked “what do you have for me? I can’t take this any more!” So BSM started matching these moms with small and mid-sized businesses that honor their commitment to their family.
The company allows any business to post a job for the price of flexibility. Only flexible jobs are posted to BSM’s exceptional network.
The firm began billing customers in August 2019 and has already surpassed placement projections for 2019. BSM is developing its software to accommodate increased volume, with a goal to roll out nationally in 2020.
Year founded: January, 2019
Funding rounds: Bootstrapped. (Per Mary Kay: “We are just now speaking to investors. It’s really exciting!”)
Current size: A little over 500 mamas in the network, including moms in nine states and one mama in South Africa! BSM has placed 45+ jobs to our business customers, with a 100% match rate! The firm currently has two unpaid employees: Jodi Fulmer, the first mama in the network is the COO , and Mary Kay Ziniewicz, Founder/CEO.
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Mary Kay Ziniewicz: Standing at the bus stop with incredibly talented mamas, all waving to their kids as the school bus drove away. These mamas left promising careers to care for their families.
Businesses need experienced talent. We’ve got the talent. And, we have talent that is excited about working!
Everyone wins! Mamas and businesses; and our children and our communities win too.
Webbiquity: What were the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers when you first launched your services?
MKZ: Our enthusiastic mamas and satisfied customers grow our networks. We are blessed that our offering is readily understood and embraced by everyone we encounter. You don’t have to be a parent. Everyone has a mom. And, we all know that you can count on mom to get any job done. Efficiently.:)
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
MKZ: Just move the idea forward. I got great advice from Sean Higgins (founder, BetterYou). We were connected through a mutual contact because I was seeking advice and potentially a introduction to a large retailer in town.
I thought I needed to persuade a business to take my idea. I thought I needed money to start. Anyway, I met with Sean, told him my idea, and he said, “just start matching moms with jobs. Prove your idea works. Start with one and keep moving.” Sean was my inspiration to act.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
MKZ: Just do it. Don’t wait. If you have an idea, start doing it. You don’t need money. Money is the easiest part. If you have a good idea, you can do it. You can.
I also know that if you have a good idea, you will get what you need right when you need it. I got Jodi right when I needed her!