My father, Dr. Edward Fox, was the kind of person who always wanted to help people—this guided his life’s work. For 35 years he ran his business, Intervention Strategies, until, in 2020, my family was struck by a devastating tragedy.
A small business with a big heart
Growing up with a father who was a small business owner, I saw how much time and effort went into making the business successful. I saw how my mom would help him with billing and management when she could. It was a true team effort by my parents and I admired their ability to work together towards a common goal of helping as many people as possible.
Located in Paramus, New Jersey, my father’s business was divided into two branches: providing psychological treatment to patients dealing with drug and alcohol addictions and offering business consultation to help government and private companies create a positive productive work environment.
While he was an incredible consultant and therapist who helped save lives, my father was not great at organization. As long as he was running it, things seemed to go pretty smoothly. In fact, many of his customers said they thought he had a huge operation behind him. But, it was really just him doing everything behind the scenes.
A new reality
In December 2020, my whole family tested positive for Covid-19. My father got the worst of it and was hospitalized, spending 20 days on a ventilator, before succumbing to the virus at midnight, on Christmas Eve.
At my father's funeral, so many people—some familiar, others complete strangers—came up to us to say that he had saved their lives. I always knew my father had a positive impact on many, but it wasn’t until after he passed that I truly saw the incredible difference he made.
Although he had to deal with very intense and difficult issues as part of his work, he never let those things bring him down. He was always the life of the party and a genuinely happy person. These character traits rubbed off on his patients and made them want to get better so they could enjoy life the way he did.
When he died, on top of the grief, my family also had to figure out what to do with the business. It has been so meaningful for us as well as for the organizations and patients it served and we wanted to carry on my father’s legacy. A lot of the burden fell on my mother, who was trying to make sense of his system.
A tech solution for the non-tech-savvy
We could see the stress on my mom's face as she tried to operate the business. We wanted to do everything we could to take as much off of her plate as possible. That’s when I introduced her to Melio—the online business payment service I started to work for as a sales rep a few months prior.
Like my father, my mom isn’t very comfortable with technology. Still, I hated seeing her sitting at the kitchen table for hours writing checks out to our therapists when this could’ve taken just five minutes. It took some convincing on my part, but as soon as we started to transfer all of our payments over to Melio, she saw how easy it was. She’s been using Melio ever since, saving hours a week on administrative work and bill pay.
In my father’s footsteps
When I began to think about what I wanted to do with my life, I knew I wanted to help people. I wasn’t meant to be a psychologist, like my father, that much I knew. But I still felt there were other ways for me to make a positive impact. When I started working at Melio, I realized I could help small business owners like my father grow and succeed.
It’s very meaningful to me that I'm not just trying to sell a product that I myself wouldn’t use. I have seen the impact our service has had on my family’s business and I’m happy to be a part of that.
At the end of the day, small businesses are the lifeblood of our nation, and we need to do everything we can to support them. Working at Melio, a company set on keeping small business in business, is my way of following in my father’s footsteps and helping people and businesses alike.
If you’re a small business owner, I urge you to sign up for Melio after experiencing firsthand how digitizing our payments helped my own family business thrive.
Spencer Fox is an account executive at Melio.
*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.