Business owners are a unique bunch. Like fingerprints, each business owner is a unique individual with a distinct set of goals, aspirations, and dreams. At Elavon, they’re what drive us. We want to help these business owners achieve by recognizing the driven, smart individuals that had the vision and inspiration to create a business in the first place. And when it comes to creating new businesses, it’s important to get inspiration and drive from the successful pioneers that came before you.
Successful Small Business: Spouse-ly
Meet Monica Fullerton. She’s created spouse-ly (www.spouse-ly.com), an online marketplace of unique products and services created by military & first responder families. As a military spouse, she understands the specific demands and challenges that come with being part of a military family. Her exciting business was created to give military families a way to stay connected and feel a real sense of community no matter where their duties take them around the world.
Monica, introduce yourself and tell us about the business you created and lead.
I’m a proud Air Force Spouse and businesswoman turned entrepreneur. I self-funded an online marketplace to shop products and services all created by service member families. It’s a marketplace where military families can offer products & services and where anyone can shop for products & services provided specifically from the military community.
Being part of the military community must present unique challenges and realities. Tell us how that inspired your idea for your business.
Military families relocate on average every 2-3 years, which can make it really tough to maintain consistency in all facets of life. I was lucky enough to have a role that was full-time remote allowing me to live full-time on the go, but I knew many other families (particularly spouses) didn’t have that. I also felt like there was a ton of untapped talent in the service member family community.
The success of your vision has been impressive in the market. Now that you’ve experienced success, what drove you to expand the idea and make it even bigger and more impactful?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others and seeing the best business-wise in others. Once I started doing research within the community, I found that there needs to be an easier way to shop and support those that give back to their communities every day. Civilians are mission-driven consumers and they’re always looking for ways to shop small and make a bigger impact, and the military community is full of people with unique talents, and I wanted to find a way to bridge that gap.
Your business is quite special and unique, but there are shared values and challenges that come with running any kind of business. What piece of key advice do you wish someone had told you when you first started?
As an entrepreneur, you want everything to look perfect and feel bigger than it is. My advice is to just start. Take the plunge and start with something. I worked on spouse-ly for nearly two years alongside my career when spouse-ly was just a social-based community before it was the platform it is today. Not everything can be perfect out of the gate, but if you start it, you can iterate and evolve and go from there.
How Elavon Can Help Small Businesses Succeed
Businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they add so much vibrancy and character to our communities and strength to our economy, especially on the local level. If you’re a small business owner or are thinking of starting your own company, contact Elavon today and find out how we can help maximize your growth, protect your data and sales, and streamline your business. Elavon will work with you and your small business to provide payment processing, data security, reporting, and more.
At Elavon, we’re always looking for the next unique business to spotlight. If you have a story or know someone who has an interesting success story to tell, let us know. Visit elavonforsmallbusiness.com today.
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