Allison Grappone. NH native. Young Professional. Entrepreneur. Super nice person.
What would you consider to be the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur? Having an opportunity to create something from scratch is exhilarating. The produce will only be as good as the thought, passion and expertise I put into it.
Did you think you would be able to accomplish so much as such a young age? I have been pleasantly surprised how much my previous work and life experience has prepared me for this entrepreneurial expedition. I have drawn upon lessons learned from making steak subs at a race track, traveling without knowing the native language, improving operational and process improvement at non profits, and managing the integration of a new franchise into my family’s business. My networks of friends, family, colleagues and ambassadors have made it possible to accomplish the first phases of my business development.
What are a few short term goals and a few long term goals you have set for yourself? One perpetual short term goal I have is to learn something every day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in frustrations or unknowns but if I focus on the new things I’m learning it becomes more manageable. Other short term goals are to launch Nearby Registry and to make sure that our customers get what they need out of the service. We can’t wait to bring this to independent businesses and nonprofits. We want to make sure we are providing the tools needed for them to be successful. And we need to make sure that our gift registrants and shoppers see the retailers, service providers, farms, artisans and nonprofits that they know and love.
A few long term goals: 1. Become a go-to service for local gift registries of all kinds: wedding, baby shower, graduation, holiday wishlist, birthday wishlist, etc. 2. Be able to quantify the value we have offered to the local communities we service. 3. It is true that when you own a business you live, sleep and breath that business. When I wake up my to-do list is the first thing that pops into my mind. When I go for a run creative solutions to business problems cram my brain. My long term goal is to be able to create a comfortable balance between intense business thought and production and the rest of my life.
What are a few tips you would give to potential young entrepreneurs? Use your networks. Get into routines and stick to them. Make a habit of asking all sorts of people what they think of your business idea. Be professional. Stay positive. Acknowledge the support of your friends, families and followers.
Nearby Registry is an online e-commerce and gift registry service for local, independently run merchants, service providers, and nonprofits. Allison is also the 2011 winner of the Manchester Young Professionals Network NH Start-Up Challenge, a statewide business plan competition.