A Story of Entrepreneurial Inspiration from the Beaches of Bali

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No one understands the needs of entrepreneurs more than those who have started multiple businesses. Together, Tripp Kuehnis and Julie Vails have started 15 small businesses through the years. One of them is The Mahalani, an oceanfront resort in Bali. But when COVID halted their operations, they pivoted to help other business owners instead.
Now the couple also runs Pluck Business Solutions. The company aims to help other entrepreneurs gain efficiency through tech tools like Zoho One.
Their business journey hasn’t been linear. But it has led them to plenty of insights that may be helpful for other businesses. Read about the company and the couple’s entrepreneurial tips in the Spotlight below.
What the Business Does
Help small businesses be competitive in today’s digital market with powerful & integrated technology.
Pluck Business Solutions offers big business technology to micro and small businesses offering a low cost suite of 40+ integrated, mobile software solutions for websites, sales, marketing, retreats, social media, accounting and more. We help clients customize the tech solutions that work for their specific needs and further support their growth with tech support, virtual assistance and social media management.
Business Niche
Offering completely custom solutions for solopreneurs who need to rapidly build their online services end to end.
The company partners with Zoho One. So they can provide the entire suite for clients. But they can also offer plans that just include the one or two software products that each business needs.
How the Business Got Started
Pivoting due to COVID-19.
When the pandemic hit, operations at The Mahalani stopped. And Julie, a physician, got called to the front lines. This may have slowed some entrepreneurs. But they didn’t quit.
Instead, they took the opportunity to help others in the business world with Pluck Business Solutions. This allows them to offer the software solutions they found useful in their operations to other entrepreneurs.

Biggest Win
Helping clients improve efficiency.
The couple began using Zoho One about a year and a half ago. Since it helped them improve efficiency so much, they wanted to help others do the same.
Vails says, “I love the fact that I get to help other people. I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel.”
Biggest Challenge
Finding the right business tools.
Before jumping into entrepreneurship, Vails worked in healthcare. There, she used software like Microsoft Teams and QuickBooks, which were not especially agile or customizable. These tools carried over to the early days of the couple’s business journey.
She said operations at the time were disjointed and cumbersome. She adds, “I would describe our business process as simplistic, and not in a positive way.”
When they found Zoho One, that all changed. They loved having a user friendly, customizable CRM and access to multiple tools in one place. They also found that it really helped them improve relations with customers.
She says, “The original goal was to know the customer, and it is definitely helping us do that.”
Lesson Learned
Value privacy.
Vails says, “Because I’m a physician, privacy is really critical.”
Luckily, this is one of the areas that Zoho really focuses on. The company doesn’t collect or sell data or even use it for advertising. And Vails believes this increases the value of the products.
She says, “It’s a nice reprieve to not have ads everywhere you go. And enhances the professionalism of the product.”
In fact, the privacy aspect, especially the ability to set permissions and access, impacts their Pluck clients as well.
Vails explains, “Many of them have proprietary agreements. They don’t want anyone stealing what they built or created. Zoho has so many features that allow business owners to share only what is necessary with their remote teams.”

How The Business Has Changed Since COVID-19
Unfortunately, operations at The Mahalani are still at a standstill. But Zoho still allowed the couple to manage relationships with customers.
Vails says, “When I got called to go do front line physician work, I was still able to take great care of our customers from my phone remotely.”
For now, they’re focusing on bringing the solutions that have helped them so much to other entrepreneurs. And Vails says that operations at Pluck are going well as the company achieves that goal.
Images: Pluck Business Solutions, The Mahalani
This article, " A Story of Entrepreneurial Inspiration from the Beaches of Bali " was first published on Small Business Trends

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