Please state your name and a little about your current status.
My name is Alison Bernstein. I am the Founder and President of Suburban Jungle and mother of 4. I lead a company made up 100% of moms- many who originally dropped out to be a mom. Today they are reaping the benefits of a flex-is-best approach that is helping them do it all!
While many companies are reluctant to hire women who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, I believe that it is a win-win for all. I get to support women and their families and choose them from an almost untouched and extensive talent pool including former executives, newscasters, bankers, etc.
What exactly does your company do?
Suburban Jungle is a real estate and lifestyle advisory firm dedicated exclusively to helping young families leave URBAN for SUBURBAN. now with offices in New York, DC, San Fran, LA, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, and the Hamptons.
How did you start your company/business as a startup?
The first thing I did was to devise a system by which the company would work; how we could add value to the average consumer while making a substantial profit. I always ask myself, with every new venture “how much effort will it take me to earn $1?” This helps me to generate the process flow. Once I felt comfortable with this piece, I set up the corporation thanks to a friend who is an attorney. My goal was to spend nothing until I made something. I then went out and spoke to a multiplicity of contacts about the concept -which ultimately led to my first deal. When this initial $20k came in, as a result, I was afforded the opportunity to create an inexpensive website and move forward. Once I had that first deal it all snowballed!
What struggle did you go through to reach your current status now?
I wish there was a handbook for hiring. There are traditionally 2 schools on this. one is keeping it tight, and the other is to hire more than enough people to be sure things run smoothly. While every business is different, really- it’s not about numbers, it’s about the right people. Whether admin or C-suite you need to be qualified, passionate self-starters that keep the engine humming along while the people at the top go out and GROW the business!
How did you manage to cope up with those struggles?
When I began Suburban Jungle I was all over the map with hires. Starting with standards and protocols tightly in place to locate and acquire the right staff is imperative to managing this aspect successfully- and is something I wish I had known to implement sooner.
Who inspired you to move forward and influenced you in all your achievements now?
It was more the identification of the market vacancy …one that needed to be filled. I launched SJ when I myself picked the wrong suburb. My goal was to combat others from making just this very same costly mistake- both financially and emotionally.
What piece of advice will you share with those who would like to follow your footsteps?
Just go for it! Don’t exhaust yourself researching, writing a business plan after business plan- this will only land you in analysis paralysis. Seize the moment. Opportunities are fleeting… here today is gone tomorrow, Take advantage as quickly as possible and act!
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