Timothy Wolf Starr of the Small Business Beanstalk
Meet Timothy Wolf Starr, founder of the Small Business Beanstalk, a local-first company that supports small businesses.
What is The Small Business Beanstalk?
The SBB is a local-first company that leverages connections of all types to support business and community growth. We use problem solving, networking, and relationship-building techniques to grow small businesses through a unique combination of matchmaking and concierge services. The Small Business Beanstalk also connects local retail businesses to our Neighbors, consumers from all throughout the Columbus community. The company makes this easier with the SBB card, which provides discounts for consumers at small retailers, restaurants and bars in neighborhoods throughout central Ohio.
Why did you start your business?
I wanted to help my community, and with my small business background I knew that the best way to help our city was to empower those who could help push it forward. I believe there is real, fiscal value when local businesses support other local businesses and when consumers shop local.
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea was originally a business-to-Business networking service but it quickly became obvious that we needed more of the community involved. The community card was an afterthought. Often, in business, the program will lead the entrepreneur in the right direction
What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of, and how did they help?
We have partnered with everyone from SCORE (a small business counselor in the greater Columbus area) and the SBDC (Small Business Development Centers of Ohio) to the Economic and Community Development Institute. We also work with many non-profits and media partners. Working with these organizations helped us to evolve our businesses to meet the needs of local entrepreneurs. Additionally, they allowed us to access their network of businesses, who were also potential clients.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
The biggest surprise was the willingness of my friends and family to help out. It takes a village to raise a child and the Small Business Beanstalk has been my baby.
Where did you find your first employee?
My first employee was a volunteer who earned a role without asking for anything.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Ohio?
Ohio is the perfect test market. We are a mix of everything and everyone. We still maintain the hometown feel but we are a very smart state.
What inspires you?
New business leaders and hungry entrepreneurs who are fearless yet willing to learn.
What companies or founders do you admire and why?
I have come to admire many of my clients and friends. Growing entrepreneurs like Jeni from Jeni’s Ice cream and Ryan from HOMAGE are inspirations for all of our clients as well as our community.
What’s next for you and your company?
We are seeking more of the proper partners and the right communities to work with and help grow.
Writer: Catherine Podojil