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Client Case Study

Strategic advisory and chief of staff counsel to an education-based company.

Client: Possip

Industry: Education Non-Profit Management

CEO: Shani Jackson Dowell

Headquarters: Nashville, TN

Website: www.possipit.com

Core challenges: Long-term sales strategy and operations

Client Spotlight: vChief blog

What were the pain points you were facing that made you decide you needed a vChief?

My pain point was connected to my working full-time while also self-funding this startup venture. I knew I needed a really high-caliber person who could keep me moving and accountable. I really enjoy my full-time job and it has an important mission, so I sometimes found it easier to devote my time and attention to a job that’s concrete, rather than to my startup. At the end of my work day, I’d be overwhelmed with everything I needed to do for Possip but without the partnership or energy I needed. My vChief helped make my startup real and tackled many of the operational priorities and held me accountable to moving forward.

 

What skills does your vChief bring that complement your own skill set?

My vChief has a lot of experience in the startup space—she knows that space well and has helped me with the blocking and tackling required to launch this startup. She’s also helped with many of the operational functions like finding tech, legal, and other resources that will help me stay a couple of steps ahead to whatever is coming up. And she’s worked with me to create a dashboard to help me stay accountable.  

 

She’s also a real partner—launching a startup can be lonely, and it’s great to have someone I can confide in and share successes with.  

Chief of Staff Services Profile

Virtual placement with on-premise meetings as needed

 

Part-time placement support bandwidth needs

 

Operational support

Long-term strategy to support business development growth

Outbound communication and outeach

"My vChief helped make my startup real and tackled many of the operational priorities and held me accountable to moving forward."

How is Possip in a better place because of your vChief?

My vChief has been able to help me distinguish between the things I should be doing myself and the thing I should hire other people to do. I was so caught up in the day-to-day stuff before I hired her that I didn’t have time to focus on outreach and sales. With her help, I was able to prioritize outreach and sales, and learned which things I should hand off to others. That distinction helped Possip land the seven schools we’re currently working with—and gives me time to work on adding more schools.

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