In 2013, Kara Candler weighed the pros and cons of starting a concierge service and decided to take the jump. Since then, her company Tick Tock Concierge has worked with Sony and Warner Brothers helping run errands for team members while they’re in the middle of their shoots. Four profitable years later, Kara has no regrets.
“My grandfather was a big part of why I wanted to start my own company, carrying on his legacy is important.”
Candler’s grandfather, Hilliard Ward purchased the first lumberyard in Asheville, NC in the late 70’s. He later went on to finance a grocery store chain named “Ingles.” Fast forward to 2016, it’s one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States.
“Both my parents are entrepreneurs so telling my parents that I was going to leave a really secure corporate job was hard. They know how hard it is to run your own business and wanted me to think twice about it to make sure.” Candler weighed the pros and cons and decided to take the jump.
“It’s a serious decision. Leaving benefits and security behind is hard and because of my background there is pressure to succeed in my community as well.” Kara’s grandfather was a beloved well-known figure in Western North Carolina, respected by everyone who met him. He paid college tuitions and donated large amounts anonymously to the community. “I’m proud of him,” Candler says.
In 2013 Kara began her luxury concierge service which caters to businesses and individuals, errand running and organizing on their behalf so that her clients have more time to spend however they’d like.
Within three years, her business has expanded to four cities and two states. “Having great friends, mentors and family surround me has helped. People are starting their own businesses all over the world, so why can’t I?”
The concept of personal concierges has grown in the past five years as individual’s work hours have increased. Candler first heard about the concept in 2012 and began to do market research to see if it would be successful in Asheville, North Carolina. She studied websites, talked to other businesses and read articles on the upcoming trend. She says Asheville was getting great press nationally and realized if she didn’t seize this opportunity, someone else would.
After creating her business model, she approached family friends and asked them what she could do that day to save them time. “I would ask for business straight up. What’s at the bottom of your to-do list? I’ll handle it.”
Candler’s favorite part of her business is the opportunities she has had to develop professionally. She’s learned team-building and communication skills and how to deal with customers and clients on a daily basis and resolve conflict and tension professionally. “My clients are all ages and working with each generation is very different.”
Her advice to those thinking of taking the jump is to listen to that “nudge” or inner- feeling and moonlight to test out if this is what you truly want to do. “I felt restless in my corporate job. It made the feeling more strong. I really just put it out there and was moonlighting. People don’t talk about it enough but it’s okay to moonlight. I recommend it. Get your website done, get your ducks in a row so you’re all set when you’re ready to take the jump, you have a plan in place.”
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Source: Huffington Post, writer Ashley Mason Brown