Born and raised in Jefferson City, Kate Kuse graduated from Jefferson City High School in 2001. Initially an education major at the University of Missouri, she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
After an internship with her father and stepmother’s company, the Benders Walker Group, she has served as a senior branch office administrator at Edward Jones since April of 2006. She and her husband, Jason, who works at Modern Litho printing, have two daughters age 6 and 9 who both attend Moreau Heights Elementary. While very busy as a wife and mother, Kuse has slowly developed her business.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
Kate Kuse: When my grandmother was still alive, her health started deteriorating and she couldn’t do regular household tasks. While she could still go to the grocery store she could no longer carry in the groceries. She hired people to help her and over time they became like family. That’s when the idea for my business started forming. At Edward Jones we have a lot of older clients and they would complain that it was harder to keep up with their chores. I felt like there was a need there and not that many people providing those services.
What are the services you can provide?
KK: I can go to the grocery store, run errands, pet sitting, cook meals, wait for the cable company to come, organize a move, transportation and lawn services or set up medical and dental appointments. During the holidays or anytime I can go shopping and bake cookies. Some people may need help organizing closets or taking clothes to the Salvation Army. Our motto is Need Help? That’s what we do. 365 Days a Year.”
How will you market the company?
KK: It will be word of mouth at first. I’ve launched already but it’s a soft launch with a handful of clients. I’ve done some home safety checks for a few clients who are out of town, watered flowers for another one in Mexico, and cleaned the apartment of one who is moving. For the busy, professional woman, I will promote how my services can take some of her to-do list items, which will allow her more time with her family.
What is the charge for your services?
KK: Services are usually offered by the hour. Generally that’s $20 to $25 an hour, where I can combine errands like going to the grocery store and the post office in that time. I also have bronze, silver and gold packages for 4, 8 or 15 hours that are good for a month and offer help on an ongoing basis.
What’s been the most challenging?
KK: Getting the business up and going legitimately has taken a while. I attended the Starting A Small Business class through the University of Missouri Cole County Extension Center and also participated in a Pitch It & Win It event, sponsored by StartUP Jefferson City, Rural Missouri, Inc., and Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. I also had to get my business license and form an LLC and learn about insurance. The whole process has been a learning experience. Getting started and getting clients under my belt is my focus right now. I want to do this full time.
Any strategies to build the business?
KK: I would like to find someone I can partner up with, but who isn’t a competitor. Then we can refer clients to each other. After the business takes off, I’m sure I will put together a team of people. This work would be ideal for retired adults and students.
Why you? Why will you be good at this?
KK: I am very organized, like to help people and I’m a go-getter. One of the biggest problems with the job I have right now is that I sit behind a desk. I want to do work that takes me out of an office and allows me more flexibile hours. I want to help people make their lives more enjoyable.