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So far Jessica Bertsch has created 372 blog entries.

Powerhouse Planning Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Powerhouse Planning Celebrates 10th Anniversary

If you have followed Powerhouse Planning for any length of time, chances are you know two things about us: We are a totally remote team solution, meeting our clients at their point of need, and we love to celebrate our clients’ successes, big and small. So, naturally, we wanted to celebrate our own 10-year anniversary—and in a spectacularly atypical way for us. For the first time ever, we met in person!

Yes, you read that right. Over our anniversary weekend, we met in Tampa, Florida for a whirlwind of in-person activities and fun, from our kickoff on Friday evening with a Zoom-attire-themed cocktail hour and a team photo in support of R.E.D. (more…)

2022-09-27T14:23:05-04:00September 27th, 2022|

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s Jessica Bertsch (and Powerhouse Planning) – The 10th Anniversary Edition

In honor of Powerhouse’s 10-year anniversary, we asked the team, “What comes to mind when you think about your experience at Powerhouse?” and these are their responses.

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s Jessica Bertsch (and Powerhouse Planning) – The 10th Anniversary Edition

While our “Spotlight” blog series isn’t 10 years old yet, we’re excited that Powerhouse Planning is! So, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we’re shining the spotlight on Powerhouse’s “oldest employee,” our founder and president, Jessica Bertsch. We recently sat down with her to reflect on the first 10 years of Powerhouse, lessons she’s learned, the way ahead, and why she chose Powerhouse Planning as the name we’ve all come to recognize as synonymous with successful, remote team solutions.

PH: Ten years is a significant accomplishment. Overall, when you reflect on the first 10 years, what are your thoughts?

Jessica: The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s a lot harder being an owner than it is an employee! Seriously. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The benefits of freelancing are so worth it. I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before, but it’s dreamy. Getting to work with people who chose Powerhouse, especially since you are all what I categorize as people who are overqualified and underutilized. Getting to recognize that talent and cultivate it on behalf of our clients makes me happy.


2022-09-26T14:51:52-04:00September 19th, 2022|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Ashleigh Messmer is delighted to join the Powerhouse team as a client care manager. With six years of experience in the hospitality industry, she is looking forward to using her customer service skills in a remote setting.

Ashleigh currently resides in central Maryland. She graduated with a B.S. in communication studies and a minor in business administration from Frostburg State University. She has since worked as an executive assistant and manager in a variety of small business settings including a bakery, wedding venue, and property management company. As a five-year military spouse, she knows the importance of multitasking, problem-solving, and developing true, authentic connections with those she interacts with. Ashleigh strives to apply these skills to her professional work and is excited to bring these qualities to her work with Powerhouse Planning.

When Ashleigh isn’t running around with her toddler, she loves to work out, watch Marvel movies with her husband, take day trips to Washington, D.C., and drink far too much coffee.

2022-09-06T20:51:39-04:00September 6th, 2022|

New Powerhouse Team Member

We are thrilled to welcome Randi Cairns back to Powerhouse Planning! Randi is a former (20+-year) military spouse and a national advocate for military families. She’s a nonprofit professional who has dedicated over three decades to advocating for vulnerable populations. She’s also the owner of Randi Cairns Consulting, where she provides nonprofit and small business consulting and freelance writing and editing services. Her favorite title? Proud mama of four of the world’s greatest military kids who she hopes will always have a passion for learning and a heart for changing the world for the better.

2022-09-06T20:46:58-04:00September 6th, 2022|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Kate is incredibly excited to join the Powerhouse team as a graphic designer. She has six years of experience working in fast-paced agency settings and is looking forward to bringing her skills to this remote creative team. Along with her bachelor’s degree in graphic design, Kate holds a master’s degree in project management. She has a creative eye for detail as well as efficiency and process improvement.

Kate was born and raised in South Florida and then moved to Alaska after graduating college. She quickly fell in love with the mountains. Kate enjoys anything that will get her outside—hiking, camping, gardening, photography, and archery. On any given night, you can find her watching the sun set over the farmer’s field behind her house in Oklahoma. Kate’s husband, Noah, is an active-duty Air Force pilot. They have two huskies that bring much joy, and fur, into their lives.


2022-09-06T20:46:01-04:00July 22nd, 2022|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Danielle is excited to join Powerhouse Planning as a finance specialist. In her 18 years in the financial industry, she has worn many hats. She started her career as a bank teller for a small community bank and quickly advanced into other areas of banking, finance, and tech. Her experience includes roles such as lending operations, project manager, IT support, BSA/AML specialist, internal auditor, and accountant. Prior to the pandemic, she was the senior accountant for Ron Jon Surf Shop but left to homeschool her children and focus on her family. Danielle currently holds a full-time position with Pershing of BNY Mellon in bank and depository balancing.

Danielle lives on Space Coast of Florida in Merritt Island with her husband and two teenagers. In her free time when she is not driving the kids to and from rehearsals or practices, she likes to work on home improvement projects, tend to her ever-growing collection of plants, or work on macrame creations for her side gig, Joy Bus Art. She also loves to travel, so she and her husband purchased a 30-foot 1998 Thomas school bus that they are slowly turning into a tiny home on wheels.

A creative problem solver with a great attention to detail, Danielle is always looking for ways to improve processes to make them more efficient while also remaining compliant to current policies and standards. She is eager to bring these skills to Powerhouse and is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with such a dynamic team of positive people with a passion for serving others.


2022-09-06T20:48:15-04:00July 7th, 2022|


Good Things Happen Over Coffee: How Two Entrepreneurs Brewed Success

By: Nicole Keeny

Strong. Bold. Energizing. The words we often use to describe coffee also happen to define the cofounders and co-owners of Alpha Coffee, Carl and Lori Churchill. This entrepreneurial husband-wife team represents what you get when you brew passion with discipline and dedication.

As a 21-year U.S. Army combat veteran, Carl sat down with his wife Lori over a cup of delicious craft coffee roasted by a family member to discuss their future, brainstorm business ideas, and determine what to do next. “In mid-2010, we found ourselves deep into the Great Recession, and the startup I worked for had just gone bankrupt,” Carl says. “Lori had a corporate massage business that also got crushed by the Great Recession. After no luck finding a ‘normal job’ due to hiring freezes and deepening unemployment across the country, we realized we were caught in a financial ambush and were going to bleed out unless we did something bold.” (more…)

2022-07-07T11:20:24-04:00July 1st, 2022|


Entrepreneurship is on the rise in America. After a steady decline beginning in the 1980s, the global pandemic has helped inspire the current growth trend. (It hasn’t been all bad!) According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the rate for entrepreneurial businesses was 38%, up from 29% in 2018. This growth rate spells great things because entrepreneurship drives economic growth, and according to Forbes.com, “Most job creation comes from companies that are 0-5 years old.”

As Powerhouse Planning celebrates its 10th anniversary, we’d like to remind you about the gifts we have for you. Check out the many free resources available on our website! From starting a small business, to making the most of conferences, to facilitating team building in-office or virtually, and more, our resources are designed to help you wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey. Curious about how Powerhouse can come alongside you to take your small business to the next level? Contact us today for details.

2022-07-07T11:19:12-04:00July 1st, 2022|


Four Tips to Market Yourself as an Entrepreneur in 2022

By: Julia Maier

There is no better time to be an entrepreneur than right now. When we look back on history, this very well could be considered the golden age of entrepreneurship. With icons such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk blazing trails; and companies such as Airbnb becoming increasingly popular, the desire to take your passion and be your own boss is all the rage. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration 2020 Small Business Profile, we saw 31.7 million small businesses started by entrepreneurs in that year alone. The glamor of owning your own business is everywhere. But the struggles these entrepreneurs face are often not shared with the public. Still, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “With great risk comes great reward.”

Just ask Powerhouse CEO and entrepreneur Jess Bertsch, who got very real about the high risk and high reward of starting your own business. So, what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? For starters, a support system is key: people who see your vision and are there to support you in the highs and the lows. Those people will also be your biggest marketers in the beginning. Most small businesses don’t have the budget big corporations do to get their brand out there. However, in 2022, it doesn’t necessarily take big pockets to promote your business. Here are a few tips to market your small business:

  1. Find your target audience. When you come up with your initial business plan, one of your first considerations should be whom you are selling to. Being able to know and understand the gender, age, culture, etc. of your future clients will be essential to how you run your business.


2022-07-07T11:18:44-04:00July 1st, 2022|


Investing in Relationships: Building Connections as an Entrepreneur

By: Meredith Flory

There comes a point in most small business owners’ journey where they have a clear idea or plan for a successful business decision, but they lack the capital. Sometimes the clearest plan of action is to obtain a small business loan or work toward accruing savings, but other times finding investors might be a possible way forward. However, asking for money is almost always an awkward and uncomfortable experience. There are some etiquette rules and paths toward forging connections that can make the experience better. The following are three ways to build a foundation to attract investors to support your business.

  1. Build business relationships. Any small business owner or entrepreneur needs to develop a network of relationships in the community: people ahead of you in business who can act as mentors, friendships with other small business owners, and community leaders to grow your opportunities for partnerships. You can start building these relationships at any point in the business ownership process—even with just an idea. Join a local leadership cohort, business course, or meeting series. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization that pairs community leaders with volunteer opportunities. And if you are already in business, make sure to grow your relationships with authenticity and respect. Any of these avenues might lead to introductions with possible investors and demonstrate that you are an enjoyable and trustworthy person to work with.
  2. Have a clear plan. A great idea is only the first step to starting or growing a business. To move forward, and to interest investors, you need a clear plan. Possible investors need clear points about your big idea. You must be able to present clearly what you need: Is this ask for product development, staffing, or operating space and budget? You need to be prepared to explain the specific numbers of what you need and the possible return on investment. While things might change as you progress, estimates for the projected timeline, milestones, and applications of funding are essential parts of the ask. A summary of research you’ve done, explaining the niche you are fulfilling, possible risks, and ways to market and sell your product, can prepare you ahead of time to answer investor questions. Need support? Powerhouse Planning can help with your planning with our business growth.
  3. Seek advice over money. With investors comes a possible sharing of control, yes. But investors also offer the opportunity for guidance from more experienced entrepreneurs and people in your field. When you are first starting out, or you’re at a crossroads in your small business, consider asking those with more experience or success for advice rather than money. Ask for a meeting to go over your business plan, or work toward developing a mentorship relationship with someone in entrepreneurship whom you admire. Share your idea, plan, or problem and ask for advice on a way forward. They may give you advice that doesn’t feel helpful, but they might also identify a way to be supportive as a business partner, a contract worker for a particular skill set, or connections to possible investors. Perhaps they even may be interested in investing themselves.

Focusing on relationships and building a solid foundation first will help you attract investors at the point you need them and set yourself up as a competent and resourceful person to work with.

For more information, tips, and tricks, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and check out some of our resources and blog articles.

2022-07-07T11:18:18-04:00July 1st, 2022|
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