Bill Massey is the CEO and a product development consultant at TimeAway. An optimistic and persistent inventor, he has been featured in the Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, Forbes, and many other outlets with his infamous and innovative invention, The RestroomKit. Dynamic and collaborative with an acute problem-solving ability, Bill brings over 12 years of experience as a consultant in the product development space.
An Army Veteran with an entrepreneurial spirit, Bill has been involved in many start-ups after working for the federal government for 21 years.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Bill Massey: I am Bill Massey, CEO of TimeAway LLC, a veteran-owned product development company located in Clinton, Maryland. I am an Army veteran with a background in Information Technology, real estate investing, and government contracting, among other entrepreneurial experiences. I founded TimeAway LLC in 2012 after going through the real estate debacle of 2008. I was looking for an opportunity that was recession-proof.
During that time, I was developing a product to solve a communal problem everyone has when using public restrooms. Most public restrooms are found to be messy and undersupplied, missing essential items such as toilet paper and soap. While going through the process of developing what eventually became The Restroom Kit (TRK), I took my experience and relationships built over the years and established a company. TRK became TimeAway’s first client and flagship product. In October 2015, was launched TRK, and the company has been on fire ever since.
TimeAway LLC is founded on a single belief: “Everyone has at least one great idea.” We are here to assist them with bringing their concept or idea to fruition.” TimeAway focuses on the physical quality of life products that are sold over the internet or in brick-and-mortar stores. We assist our clients with every aspect of product development beginning with feasibility, research and development, patents and trademarks, concept drawings, manufacturing, and much more.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Bill Massey: Businesses can thrive in 2022 by being creative and getting outside their comfort zone. Just because you are thrown a curve does not mean you cannot hit it. Sometimes sitting back and watching the ball break gives you an idea about how to attack the situation in a different manner. A good example of companies that hit the curveball is those that developed masks, shields, and other safety equipment to keep us safe in 2020 and 2021.
Our company learned a lesson by listening and watching how companies evolved over the past couple of years. Our company realized how important personal protective equipment became during this rough time. We realized that our clients and potential customers were more concerned than ever about their overall well-being, especially when sharing public spaces. We changed our messaging and bought more attention to public restrooms and how they are known to harbor more germs and bacteria than other high-traffic public spaces. We then gave them a solution to reduce the risk they may encounter by introducing our flagship product, TRK. Who does not want fresh, clean, quality restroom essentials in today’s pandemic environment? TRK is a compact, all-in-one, an individually sealed kit that contains the four most essential items for restroom use when you are away from home: a patented oversized toilet seat cover, three feet of 3-ply toilet paper, and lightly scented hand and tush wipes. TRK allows our clients to have sanitary personal hygiene toiletries regardless of their location or destination.
In addition to assisting our clients with developing their products, our company has marketing and advertising experience that can help a new entrepreneur, inventor—or anyone who has no idea where to start with marketing their great idea.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Bill Massey: I believe the pandemic state we are in now is here to stay. Welcome to the new normal; we had better get used to working in it. In 2022 TimeAway will continue supplying our clients with real-time assistance using the latest technology available to ensure we reach the goals we mutually set with our clients. It is our job to assist our clients down the road of least resistance. TimeAway’s mission statement is Producing Personal Products and Brands at a Reasonable Cost. Our mission does not change because of the world’s circumstances. Any of our clients could be the creator of the next big-deal invention. At TimeAway there is a sense of urgency with every project we accept, and we know it only takes the right person, company, or situation to see a concept that can change our clients’ lives.
Disruptive times create new opportunities. Businesses were created during the worst of the pandemic. You may have pitched your product to someone who did not think there was a need for it prior to the pandemic, but there may be a need for it now. The pandemic has changed a few situations, and you can revisit some missed opportunities. We did, and it worked out for TRK.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Bill Massey: The pandemic turned up the heat in our industry. It brought opportunities to see companies pivot, create equipment, or design what they were working on to meet the needs of the public. Our customer base consists of people who want to solve problems, so they come to us with more enthusiasm than ever.
Because our clients come to us at various stages of their product development, our tasks vary with each project. A client may come to us with what they think is an innovative idea. We must vet the idea. What problem is it solving? Is there anything similar on the market? Is there IP infringement? And so on. We have clients who need help with raising funds, so we go through the process of determining whether they can use personal funds, government grants or loans, crowdfunding, family and friends, or other sources. We have clients who are ready for manufacturing. Where do they manufacture? How much are they willing to spend and how much product are they getting? All these questions are answered knowing sales platforms designed and developed are forthcoming.
Some clients come to us with it all figured out as we did with TRK. They have developed their customer avatar, including gender, age range, frequency of travel, pain points, number of children, income, and more. They have identified who their target customers are and how they are going to reach them.
For example, TRK attracts women ages 34 to 64 who travel with family, which is great for us because they plan most vacations and what is carried on the trip. We feel TRK is made for everyone, especially in today’s pandemic climate. We also want our clients to get the same type of notoriety TRK has received; it has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and the Washington Post, to name a few media outlets.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Bill Massey: The advice I wish I would have received when the pandemic started is “I heard this pandemic started in China; maybe you should find out whether this is going to affect your company’s logistics.” You must be able to receive products to sell products!
In 2022 I intend to improve our overall revenue with TRK. We have potential franchising and licensing opportunities on the horizon. We want TimeAway’s clients to be more aggressive about turning their dreams into reality. My team will do this by improving our overall communication level with our clients and adding experience entrepreneurs to our staff.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Bill Massey: The pandemic has made technology a part of the business you can’t do without. Going forward in 2022 and beyond, more industries will continue to take advantage of technology that has been made available to them. Being at the forefront of technology allows those who can afford to move quickly and learn to thrive.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Bill Massey: Being from the IT world, I can honestly say I spend plenty of hours in front of a computer, smartphone, or television screen. Client meetings, documents, certifications, and conferences all happen while I am in front of a screen. Being an entrepreneur is not a 9-to-5 proposition; screens are a part of my business and personal life, so I spend at least 12 hours a day there,
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Bill Massey: Using my personal experience is the best way for me to communicate in the workplace. The trials and tribulations I have gone through building this business easily translate into stories I use to motivate as well as persuade my team. Some of those stories are used to educate my client because they will go through some of the same situations. It has been said experience is the best teacher, but if I can save someone time, energy, and money by giving sound advice from my past, it will be done.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Bill Massey: Our challenge right now is to make sure our clients get good opportunities to display their products and services. The pandemic has limited the events that afforded inventors and entrepreneurs opportunities to display their products’ values. Many products, such as TRK, that are made to improve our client’s quality of life are not being seen through normal buyers’ sales channels. Internet and social media platforms do have some value, but it is nothing like putting a physical product in the buyers’ hands.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Bill Massey: Technology is wonderful, but by the time we secure a reasonable understanding of one form of technology, along comes something new. Crypto, NFTs, and online marketing are all forms of technology we have or will get a firm grip on. It is simple—get on board or get left behind. Cryptocurrency has our attention right now to accept payments for TRK and TimeAway services.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Bill Massey: That is not me! Yes, I am sure that many leaders think they are capable of leading, which in many cases is why they have been given leadership roles. However, individual leaders need to look at those statistics and recognize that today’s employees may be a little different from those of the past. Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials may have different employment values.
It is easy for me to sit back and make wholesale changes thinking that will improve the workplace resignation rate. We must do a deep dive to research the issue and listen to employees’ concerns. Doing that will help understand their perspective and may lead to the ability to develop positive retainment strategies.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Bill Massey: If I had the ability to pick a business superpower it would be The Perfect Pitch MAN! The superpower would allow me to pitch any product or service to any investor and be 100% successful every time. I would pitch for every one of my clients.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Bill Massey: It has been a tough couple of years, but there are three things I want to happen for us to consider 2022 a successful year. First, our clients who have fully developed their products must see revenue this year. Second, we must meet the goals we set at the beginning of the year. Third, we must see TRK become a global product in 2022. That is success in 2022 for me.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Bill Massey for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Bill Massey or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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