Lifestyle 07 August 2017
Kango, an app-based service that lets its users schedule rides for kids from preschool to high school, is a hot commodity among parents and drivers alike. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kango allows busy families to ensure their kids get where they need to go, whether that be the soccer practice after school, or just a ride to school every Monday.
An alluring feature of Kango is how personal it is; they connect the user to the right driver, and the user can then directly call or message them. Kango also offers babysitting services in addition to giving kids a ride, and also allows you to connect and chat with nearby parents, free of cost.
All Kango drivers are pre-screened and have passed through a rigorous selection process, which includes in-person interviews, background checks, fingerprinting, and more. Another prerequisite is that they must have had experience caring for kids, which ensures that they know how to handle everything from a tantrum to a stomachache.
Below are a few Kango drivers on their reasons for joining the service, what a typical day looks like for them, and how Kango helps busy parents. They also share their advice on how to handle that precarious work-life balance.
Name: Chanell T.
Where You Live: Oakland, CA
How Many Kids: 2 Children (16yr old daughter & 3 1/2yr old son)
Why Did You Join Kango: I joined Kango because I wanted to earn income and set my own schedule while being a full-time mom at the same time! I loved the fact that Kango allowed me to bring my younger child everywhere I went without any worries during my rides. Meeting new children and their families is always an absolute pleasure.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: My typical day is always comfortable, easy going, and smooth. I choose my rides per night, per week, or even accept last minute emergencies. A "no pressure lifestyle business" is what is needed in my life, and I get it with Kango!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: As a mother, Kango has given me the opportunity to earn money while being a mom at the same time. So for many of us women we appreciate feeling appreciated and Kango's understanding of us on a personal level.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: I believe in Work, Love, and Play. Live life to the fullest with responsibilities of course. As being a mother...Responsibility is first on our list from when we wake up in the mornings, until the evenings of slumber.
Name: Andrea M.
Where You Live: Noe Valley in San Francisco, CA
How Many Kids: None currently ;)
Why Did You Join Kango: Kango operates with strong philosophies/ethics around the principles of customer care. I respect their mission. And they fill a critical need for parents and kids alike.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: There are no typical days with kids! That said, all of my riders are polite, engaging, and have become important pieces of my world in many ways. Conversations ensue during the rides that are sure to pave the way to someday saving the world!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: It is a unique opportunity to help support busy lifestyles. In my case, I am working diligently to launch a not for profit organization and I'm also a holistic healthcare provider when time permits. Kango is a perfect way to enable me to continue pursuing my dreams, while helping to subsidize my finances.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: Ultimately, do what moves you in life. How you apply that to your work is up to you, but it starts there. If you honor this one simple sentiment, work/life balance will find its way.
Name: Maria C.
How many kids: I have two girls; the oldest is 24 and the other is 18.
Why did you join Kango: I joined Kango because my older daughter started college and I wanted to help her.
Why does a typical day look like for you? As a full time working mom from 6:30am to 7:30pm, my typical day is super busy. I do get tired, but I feel very satisfied helping to get kids safely to their destinations. As a woman, I never thought I could do this, but as a mother, I understand what it takes for another mother to trust their children to me.
What is your work/life balance philosophy: My balance and philosophy is to do your best with a good attitude and a happy heart. For the past seven years, I've lived in the city of Pacifica across the street from the Pacific Ocean!
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.