Jennifer Pilcher, Founder/President, MilitaryOneClick
Military Spouse-Owned Business Success Story Profile
On November 14, 2012, MilitaryOneClick, a military spouse-owned small business, was inducted into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, a targeted recruitment and employment partnership connecting businesses, nonprofits and government agencies with a skilled workforce of military spouses seeking portable, fulfilling careers.
This momentous occasion was another highlight in the short but eventful history of MilitaryOneClick, an Opportunities, News and Entertainment site with the mission of enhancing the lives of military families and friends of the military in just one click.
MilitaryOneClick was founded by Navy spouse Jennifer Pilcher in March 2011, and was named a top Military Startup for 2011 by Inc. Magazine.
Jen was raised in a small town in New Jersey and has been a Navy spouse for fourteen years. She's lived at six duty stations and understands the career challenges facing military spouses. She started her career as a speech/ language pathologist but put her career on hold to nurture her two children Katie, 10, and Griffin, six, and care for the family's crazy English bulldog Sophie. Jen's passions include family, writing and advocating for military families.
Prior to the launch of MilitaryOneClick, Jen was a freelance writer for Military Spouse Magazine. She co-founded the Military Mothers of Preschoolers program in the Washington, D.C. region and was former Manager of Military Strategy at Cafemom, a social media company.
Jen had been thinking about MilitaryOneClick for quite some time before starting the business. She admits the idea for MilitaryOneClick wasn't novel but making the decision to "go for it" was critical in making her dream a reality. The timing was right - her children were in school full-time, she had fifteen years of information stored up, and she was ready to use her writing and communication talents to develop a flexible, portable business connecting military families to opportunities and resources to make a positive difference in their lives.
The past two years at MilitaryOneClick have been an incredible rollercoaster ride. Jen confessed that starting a company is much harder work than she'd anticipated. She credits her success to having a wonderful, virtual team with a wide variety of strengths and talents. Jen is able to focus her efforts on her areas of expertise and pass tasks to other team members that match their strengths. Most of her employees are military spouses who are thrilled to have the job flexibility and the opportunity to help other military families. Jen's ten-year-old daughter Katie is also excited about MilitaryOneClick. She has written a blog post for the website and even answered questions on one of Jen's radio interviews.
Challenges, Partners and Successes
MilitaryOneClick is a "happy site." The content is positive, informative, and entertaining and concentrates on opportunities available for military families. MilitaryOneClick focuses on community partners and information on the military community - health and wellness, employment, education, recreation and more - all available with one click. Thousands of people in the military community access their website daily. The current events and blog sections are very popular and have garnered corporate support from organizations including General Motors, MetLife, ProTrain and Amazon. The personal touch the team strives for has helped build their Facebook presence to over 40 countries and over 500,000 hits a week in less than two years.
MilitaryOneClick's partners include Joining Forces, Hiring Our Heroes, MilitaryTravelerApp.com, RealWarriors.Net and most recently, MSEP. Jen is very proud of the MSEP partnership and said "being vetted as a partner was a humongous validation - both personally and professionally." They will be promoting MSEP companies and their job opportunities and helping other MSEP members connect with military spouses.
Jen had the privilege of introducing the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama, at a May 9, 2012, White House event honoring military moms and their children. She was also recently nominated as Military Spouse of the Year from Joint Base Andrews, representing the Navy. She's overwhelmed with the honor but believes if she wins, she can create an advocacy platform to spearhead change and improve the lives of military spouses through military spouse employment and job portability.
Advice for Other Would-Be Spouse Entrepreneurs
Jen offered several suggestions to other military spouses thinking of starting a business:
- Find one or more mentors. Utilize their know-how and business sense to keep from hitting roadblocks and reinventing the wheel.
- Be prepared to work hard - harder than you might have imagined.
- Take things one step at a time.
- Realize success doesn't happen overnight.
- Talk to other military spouses and enlist their support - they will help you keep going.
Jen's hard work has paid off. She is thrilled that MilitaryOneClick provides a steady paycheck along with schedule flexibility, challenges her to go outside her comfort zone, permits her to try new things and offers career portability during a move.
For more information on Jen and MilitaryOneClick, visit the MilitaryOneClick website. If you are a military spouse seeking information or assistance with employment or education opportunities, visit Military OneSource SECO or call 800-342-9647 to talk to an education or career counselor. Search for positions with companies seeking the expertise military spouses can offer at the MSEP Career Portal.