THE BRONX — Kasey Woods has always been a self-starter.
The mom of three has had her own public relations company, “Mecca Made Media” for 10 years.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur,” says Woods. “I totally believe in monetizing any and every idea I have."
When the city shut down because of COVID-19, she turned lemons into lemonade.
“My entrepreneurial mind started moving and I said 'what can I do during this time?'”
What she did was start three companies out of her Bronx home. One of them she developed with her 18-year-old son, Treylin. They named it “Movie Mayhem,” an outdoor movie rental business for viewers craving a group film watching experience once the pandemic shut down movie theaters.
With the nation seeing the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression, there is growing uncertainty of when some can or will return to work. For those who have lost their jobs because of the ongoing coronavirus threat, it just might be time to turn that idea for a business into a reality, and a real source of income.
For Woods and her family, “Movie Mayhem,” was borne out of a simple idea, that came about when her son wanted to go to a drive-in theater. Being in-tuned with the current climate and recognizing people’s newfound desires to go to drive-in theaters again, the business has taken off.
“We said, you know maybe that’s something we can do in our own backyard and that’s when I started thinking about the movie screening company,” said Woods.
Woods and son Treylin will come to your backyard or any outdoor area and set up a movie viewing experience for you and your group in a social distancing manner.
“I just have to be very aggressive,” said Woods. “We have a finite amount of time to actually do this company because how often are people doing movie screenings in the winter?”
They travel to anywhere in the tri-state area, charging a flat fee of $500. The fee includes everything from movie rental to set-up to removal of the 16 foot inflatable screen, sound speakers, even lighting. Woods had to purchase the equipment and she did so using her unemployment and stimulus checks. Her advice is, don’t wait.
“It’s not about who does it first, it’s who does it best,” said Woods. “Why wait, why let someone who’s not as great as you, not as dope as you, come in to your space and take over something you could be doing right now and doing amazingly? I launched Movie Mayhem without any blueprints to follow and I didn’t have someone who could show me or mentor me.”
Athan Slotkin owns “The Shadow CEO,” a company that helps develop business models for budding entrepreneurs. He says when it comes to a start-up, there are two core paths. A product business where you’re selling an item, or a service business where you’re offering your skills.
“I would say step number one is figure out what you’re good at,” said Slotkin. “In terms of assessing which direction you should go in, you have to look introspectively to determine what is it that I’m good at, what’s a marketable skill that I was doing previously.”
Slotkin offers additional tips. Research as much as possible what the opportunity looks like. “Speak to people, speak to potential customers, said Slotkin. “See whether it’s a real idea, see if people actually want this to begin with and if so, how many people potentially want it.”
Next, create the product and have a place where people can see your product or service, like a website.
Finally, market and promote
“It’s about making sure the product and services are available and clear but also getting the word out there that people are aware,” said Slotkin.
That has been a big part of kasey Woods success. She’s using a website and various social media platforms to get the word out.
“I’ve tapped into my son and having him as a business partner, he’s 18, so he knows different techie things, he put us on TikTok, I’ve never use TikTok but this 18-year-old kid does,” said Woods. “We are reaching out to different organizations to see if they want to do a screening we actually put the idea in some of our clients’ heads.”
Slotkin adds all our technology makes it easier for start-ups to reach the consumer.
“If this pandemic had happened in 1995 or 1990, it would be more of an issue for people,” said Slotkin “Obviously the pandemic is not good but the lucky thing we have going for us is that we are at a time right now where there are digital platforms where you can provide services and make money online.”
They're proving you can turn a passion, a hobby or a side hustle into a business and it’s a good feeling being your own boss
“I never feel the fear of not being able to provide for myself because I know if “Movie Mayhem doesn’t work and I need to find a way to bring in income for myself and my family, I can come up with something that works and put it in motion,” said Woods. “They say you should always have seven revenue streams coming in, seven different ways of bringing in money to yourself and I’m a firm believer in that.