ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM STORIES
Co-Founder & CEO of Porchside Deliveries
After noticing the lack of food delivery services available in Lakeside Ohio, a vacation community along Lake Erie, Daniel McNamara and his friends decided to fill the need with Porchside Deliveries. From an early age, Daniel was interested in entrepreneurship. While most kids wanted to become famous and play for the NFL or NBA, he looked up to the individuals that built America, hoping to become the next Ford or Carnegie. As a student at St. Edward High School, Daniel worked throughout the school year to develop his business plan and on Memorial Day of 2021, the team launched Porchside!
Now half-way through the summer, we checked-in to see how Daniel is doing!
Tell us a little about your journey to entrepreneurship?
As a little kid I was always making business plans from lemonade stands to pop up snow cone shops. I always wanted to be in business.
Who helped you get started as an entrepreneur?
I was always inspired by my dad who works for a steel company as well as my grandpa who taught me about the stock market. When I came to St. Edward High School, I was delighted to see a full entrepreneurship program run by Mr. Schenosky. Mr. Schenosky has been such a supporting mentor in my entrepreneurship journey.
Where did the idea for Porchside Deliveries come from and how did you go about developing this service?
Lakeside Ohio is a small resort town where there were no delivery solutions. Families did not have any other alternatives other than traditional sit-down restaurants or at-home cooking. A few friends and I saw the need for a food delivery service and decided to fill that need.
What was the process like going from planning your business to the actual launch?
The biggest change from start to launch was the shift between sales and marketing. During planning the biggest challenge was sales and convincing restaurants to partner with Porchside. After launch, the challenge we face is to make Lakesiders aware that food delivery is now available in the area.
Did anything surprise you about running Porchside Deliveries? Did you need to pivot at all?
The biggest surprise was how challenging it would be to market Porchside to the general public. There is a much bigger learning curve than we expected.
What advice do you have for other students that are in the process of developing a business?
The biggest lesson I have for teens looking to start a business is to start. Once you have started you will be inclined to go and that’s the key. “A year from now you will have wished you started today.”
I have two pieces of advice that I would like to share. One, keep your business and personal life separate, you will need at least some time for yourself. I struggle from overworking myself and sometimes need to take a break. Two, be conscious of who you are working with. Make sure that their goals line up with yours.
Have you participated in any Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum (VYEF) programs? How was your experience?
Porchside entered the Veale Entrepreneurship small business challenge and unfortunately did not win. I loved that competition and wanted to see how I would do against my peers.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur and how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is the sales aspect. A lot of restaurants are not willing to work with teens. With hard work and networking Porchside has managed to carve out a niche.