A company that provides virtual assistant services has increased revenue by 112 percent since entering the business incubator program at Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in 2012.
LongerDays.com, which moved into MAREC last July with 12 full-time employees, added 10 more positions throughout the year and plans to add 10 more positions in 2013. The company also plans to expand office space at MAREC to accommodate up to 32 employees. The company provides American-based outsourcing services such as Web design, copy writing and administrative support to more than 100 clients worldwide, including companies in Montreal, South Africa, Alaska, U.K. and Costa Rica.
Chad Lawie, a Muskegon native who founded the company in 2010, said the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), which is housed at Grand Valley, and MAREC staff members have worked closely with LongerDays.com to develop finance and business plans for the company. “Their assistance and advice has been invaluable over the last year, and their involvement with LongerDays.com has been instrumental to our continued success at MAREC,” he said.
Joe Graczyk, incubator manager for MAREC, said LongerDays has an attractive business model and its staff is well equipped to provide new-economy services through technology. “Their success bodes well for others considering technology start-ups in the greater Muskegon area. Entrepreneurs like the LongerDays team can benefit from the many entrepreneurial services now offered locally by MAREC and other organizations,” he said.
Lawie said he sees businesses of all sizes turning to employment centers such as LongerDays.com for their office staffing needs in years to come. “High speed Internet is changing the way we work,” he said. “The days when people had to be in the same office to talk face-to-face are behind us. My goal is to make sure Muskegon becomes one of those centers of employment.”
LongerDays.com provides a unique, cloud-based staffing solution that allows businesses to hire a full-time virtual team for the cost of a single part-time employee. LongerDays.com employs more than 20 people who make up the virtual staff for more than 100 companies located around the world. LongerDays.com’s core services include business and personal assistance, virtual reception, website development, graphic design and creative writing.
About MAREC Business and Technology Incubation Program
The MAREC incubation program supports the commercialization of innovative technology with both existing and new companies, and promotes the application and use of alternative, clean and renewable energy sources. MAREC has the community and institutional resources to create a successful, collaborative environment and achieve its vision of energy and technology development for a sustainable economy in West Michigan and beyond. Visit www.gvsu.edu/marec for more information.