Jen Idalski is a professional assistant and small business owner seeking to help other small businesses in Bay City "grow and thrive."
She's the owner of 989 Concierge, a new concierge service for Bay City-area businesses.
Idalski, who previously worked as director of community services for the American Red Cross and director of volunteer services for the United Way of Bay County, is available to assist non-profit organizations and small business owners, including attorneys, Realtors, and photographers. Her services include office management, program or event support, making reminder calls for meetings or appointments, running errands, delivering documents, notary services, inventory support, project development and management, working as an assistant for a day, database management, and researching contractors and obtaining quotes.
"Helping to build these small businesses' capacity is something that I find really rewarding and will, I hope, allow them to grow and thrive in the community," she said. "That really is my goal."
Idalski launched her new business this month after participating in Leadership Bay County, discussing the idea with other area business owners to gauge their interest, and working with Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) and the Michigan Small Business Development Center Great Lakes Bay Region at Delta College. She became a CoWork member at CMURC and moved forward with her business plan. As a CoWork member, she can use CMURC's office space at Uptown Bay City.
"I wanted to make sure that I was making the right decisions and they were helping me develop my ideas," she said.
"I knew I had a lot of different interests and I have a passion for solving problems and creating processes and streamlining things."
Idalski, who has a bachelor's degree in social work from Saginaw Valley State University, is drawing on her experience in the non-profit sector to serve her clients.
"When you work in a non-profit, you sort of have to be an expert at everything," she said.
Her business was introduced as a new member of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce during the March Eye Opener Breakfast and she started receiving calls from prospective clients right away.
"It picked up very quickly, which is great," she said.
Idalski declined to name any of her current clients. She is available to perform weekly or monthly tasks or to assist on an as-needed basis, such as filling in when an employee is on vacation. Prices are negotiable, depending on the services rendered.
"We're a big little city and (I thought) a concierge service catering to businesses would be a good fit," she said.
"This really is about my being passionate for the Bay City area and helping to support the businesses here."