Kay Bransford is the founder of MemoryBanc, a company that collects and protects valuable documents and details, not only for families and caregivers but also for small business owners. Her business is based on a personal experience, one in which she needed to be able to step in when her parents had trouble remembering how to run the day-to-day operations, manage medical history, and also what service plans they had in place – and then be able to share this with her siblings. Today her business model has expanded to offer these services in a secure and safe way to both families and small business owners to ensure smooth continuity of business operations. What makes Kay a ‘Woman we Admire’ is the courage she recently demonstrated to ask for help when she needed it, and the success she found when she asked.
What I love about Kay’s business is that it’s a wonderful example of a company that was built around a concept that we all understand and need, and yet because it’s not a high-tech or software business, it can be difficult to find the funding to grow and it can also be challenging to find the distribution channels into the right partners. Early on Kay identified that she needed to establish a relationship with AARP in order to grow her business, and that’s exactly what she did, (and she even got them to write her a check!) Kay decided to compete in a business plan competition sponsored in part by AARP, but while she knew her business inside and out, she found it difficult to sit down and write her own plan for the competition. She found herself trying to do this on her own, not wanting to burden others for their time to help her. The turning point, she says, is when she asked a mentor to help review the plan, and she took her idea to compete to her ‘Her Corner’ group to get their feedback. When she asked others for help, and stopped thinking she needed to do it all on her own, that’s when she found the answers and encouragement to pursue the competition – and she walked away with a $5000 check from AARP.
As I have often said, running a small business is hard, really hard. And for some reason, women tend to hesitate to ask for help; we’re plagued with the idea that we’ll just do it ourselves. Kay’s initiative to break this habit and reach out around her for the help she needed, and then to win the prize is a wonderful reminder of what we can achieve when we stop thinking we can do it alone and ask for the help we need.
Kay is a member of our Tyson's Corner group, and she’s an extraordinary entrepreneur and a woman to watch!