Hello and welcome to the Autism Advantage Podcast where we sit down with some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs dedicated to proving how capable people with autism really are.
Our team believes that individuals with autism are an incredible untapped resource for many businesses and this show is dedicated to proving that it is not only possible to employ people with autism, but in doing so you can create a business with real competitive advantages.
The Autism Advantage Podcast will not only inspire you to see the possibilities but will also help teach how you can join the autism entrepreneurship movement.
Lessons From the Trenches – A Follow up conversation with Brewability Labs
Brewability Lab has been open for just over a year. Tiffany’s employees have experienced incredible growth since then, thanks in large part to the systems she has set up to facilitate the process. For example, there are braille labels on the bar taps so that a bartender who is blind can function at his best.
Diversifying Impact – A Follow up conversation with the Chocolate Spectrum
Since our last conversation, there has been a huge change in the training side of things. Valerie Herskowitz explains that she has mostly just gone with the flow with the business, following the opportunities that presented themselves, instead of having a huge long-term master plan. She explains in this conversation that it occurred to her that they should see if the coffee industry could possibly be something that would work for individuals with autism.
Growing Smart – A Follow up conversation with Katie’s Snack Cart
Tom D. sits back down with Wendy Kohman, the founder of Katie’s Snack Cart. Wendy talks about how she’s taken what started out as a side business for her daughter Katie, to a business that has grown to employing 6 total staff, across 9 clients.
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
One important thing we’ve noticed that we’re lacking is continually engaging with our community and customers, and telling our story. We realized that, while many of our customers understand exactly what our company does, there are quite a few who had no idea. This was our fault for not being clear and outgoing enough with communicating our story. We decided to do this through digital marketing instead of opting for standard car wash marketing techniques, such as door hangers or printouts.
Typical Staffing Needs – Recruiting Training Deploying
Now, moving into the second half of the season, we’re ready to talk about the other 20% of our staff -- the employees who don’t have autism. These employees are incredibly important to the overall structure of the organization. They navigate the communication, explain the service, and set expectations. While they’re vital to our organization, it can be challenging to find typical people who want to work at a car wash and see the work as an opportunity to grow and have impact.
2nd Store Open – Frontlines from 1st week
Now that we’ve finished up the first week of operations with both stores running, we’re ready to talk about how things went! Instead of putting all the new employees in the new location, we knew it was vital to have a mix of experience levels. We moved about half of our experienced employees to the new location, so each of the two locations is now staffed by half experienced employees and half new employees.