How My Small Business Started

How My Small Business Started

Note: New Initiatives Marketing is part of The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast of which this is one episode. The podcasts are produced and recorded for the ear and they were designed to be either watched live on video or listened to via audio. If you are able to, we strongly recommend listening to this episode which will include emotion and emphasis that isn’t obvious when reading a transcript. Our transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans. They may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. This is not meant to be marketing advice.


Welcome to the Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast. In this podcast, you’ll get discussions and interviews 100% dedicated to helping small business owners tackle their marketing challenges. The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast is produced by the marketing guides for small business, a collection of five small business marketing consultants with dozens of years of combined experience in helping small business owners plan execute, measure their marketing plans and strategies in order to grow their business at a rapid pace. 


Your host and panelists include:

  • Ken Tucker, Owner and Chief Marketing Strategist at Change Scape Web in St. Louis
  • Paul Barthel, Chief Technical Officer at Change Scape Web
  • Dan Gershenson, CEO of Caliber Brand Strategy in Chicago
  • Ian Cantle, President and Chief Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing in Bradford, Ontario, 
  • Jen Kelly, Founder and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing in Toronto.



Hello, everyone. Welcome to this episode of marketing guides for small business. This is our 52nd episode. So yes, yes. Good job, everybody. And thank you to the audience for being there with us and growing with us. We thought today that day in and day out service to other small businesses for the marketing, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about how each of us started our own small business, and share a little bit of the stories of how our companies came to be and what that path has been like, and some of the changes that have happened. And maybe he will share some funny stories too. I’m not sure what what today is going to involve. But it’ll be great. So let me kick it off with you. First, Ken, how did you start change scape Web?



Well, I started it probably for not the right reasons. I was vice president of Solutions for a company that did it solutions. And I love the job. I was a Solution Architect. My job was to build out it practice areas for networking and software development, security, project management and hardware software reselling capabilities and all that kind of stuff. And I also managed all of our federal and state and local contracts. And I was running a business of $30 million, my unit alone a year, we had seen a lot of growth. But I started to get frustrated because the owners were really shifting direction with the way they wanted the company to go. And I found myself not in congruence with what they wanted to do. They wanted to move off into the IT staffing world. I love solutions, I love solving problems, I’d like being able to deliver high value for somebody instead of just putting a button to see which is sometimes all literally a staffing requirement is not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not what I wanted to do. So out of my arrogance, and hubris, I probably decided to start my own company thinking, hey, this is a piece of cake, I took a business unit from basically nothing and grew it to $30 million a year. I forgot one thing, I was spending somebody else’s money as I was doing that. And so when I started my company, and I’ve always self financed my operation, I’ve never borrowed money from anybody other than myself, I started it kind of to prove a point, it’s like I can go do this better than you. That wasn’t a good reason to start a company. So that was 2005. So I’ve been doing this for over 15 years. And in 2008 when the economy blew up, I reinvented my company, I realized I really didn’t like the it. What I was doing is it portfolio management is really the practice that I was looking at, where it was very much aligning information technology and marketing strategically with business goals and objectives. And that kind of brought me into the whole marketing realm. And it also proved to me that I really didn’t like to do the IT stuff as much as I used to. And I’ve never been super techie in terms of detailed hands on stuff, I get it. I do a lot of big picture things. I’ve been trained in a lot of like Enterprise Architecture, Planning and corporate information improvement processes and things like that, that were really cutting edge and sophisticated, and gave me a great insight into how to build solutions. Well, first of all, we had a pipeline of 120 or 250 customers that were ready to buy a lot of security products from my business, that all shut down completely. All of those people lost their jobs. Or maybe the third that were left, we’re basically told stop we’re not spending any money unless it is absolutely critical to keeping the business running. And that included security products. So I talked to my team, what do we like to do? Digital Marketing was exploding So we just decided in late 2008, let’s just do what we like. That’s when we made the shift over completely to be digital marketing focused business. Unfortunately, you know, the first several years were pretty rough, because marketing was cut severely in 2008. A lot of people literally just as like, I just need a website. That’s all I’m gonna pay for. I was trying to be a HubSpot partner back in the day, up through like 2011, I think I was a HubSpot partner. But the market that I was selling to was absolutely not ready for that. So make a long story shorter. This is like, change Kate 5.0. And I incorporated the name change for a reason. Because I think change is constant, especially with what we do. And so I think it’s healthy for you to reinvent your business on a very regular basis. But that doesn’t mean you’re walking away from something that maybe you did before. But you always need to reevaluate and rethink. You can’t sit still in the marketplace and expect to be successful.



And what were you How did you start your business?



Yeah, I heard somebody a few years ago, use the term corporate refugee, and I thought that was good. If anyone’s been in the corporate world, and then they leave the corporate world, I thought that was a wonderful term, not so much that you’re abandoned and that you have no place. What I found is I was in the corporate world, I had actually had an original small business years and years ago, after I did my education, that was a boutique graphic design and web development agency. And then I got rid of that I got, I went into the corporate world, and I spent a good chunk of my career in the corporate world, and loved it love building teams love the systems and the processes. But what I found was in the marketing realm, similar to sales is that you you have a shelf life, and that shelf life tended to be between two to five years, mine was generally four years at a place. And so after going through this cycle several times, and I should have said to when I had my original business, one of the things that I really didn’t like about having a business was that I’m very much a people person, I love being with people, I love spending time and building teams. And so when I put that business aside and went into the corporate world, I had actually kind of vowed and said, I can’t do that it was too lonely. It wasn’t energizing to me, because I spent too much time alone. And so after one of these corporate cycles, my wife and I were talking Sherry And realizing as wonderful as the corporate world is, as much as those experiences are fantastic. And you are spending other people’s money, which is wonderful, too. As Ken said, what we realize, you always think of the corporate world as being stable. But it actually had this pre selected instability built into it, because of the cycles that these internal marketing teams always went through. When the the head person got let go, and it would trickle down and other the new person would bring in their own teams. And so after revisiting that, and talking through, you know how I didn’t want to build a solopreneur business, that wasn’t what I wanted. So we talked through that, in that time, Sherry had also built her own bookkeeping business, a home based bookkeeping business. So that was also a little bit of a player in that I knew at least I wouldn’t be alone, physically, which much to share Easter grin. She’s in the same office with me a lot. But when I left the corporate world, one of the things I knew is that I wanted to work with small businesses. That’s one of the things I was really passionate about. In some of my corporate gigs. I was supporting small businesses from a manufacturing standpoint, but also as a we would support their marketing and help them market themselves in order to move more of our services and products. And so I knew I was passionate about working with small businesses. But I also knew there was a very large need with small businesses. And that’s something that big businesses do have. And that’s people, processes and systems and strategy. And so especially when it comes to marketing, businesses have lots of systems, small businesses usually have systems. But marketing was a system that many small businesses don’t invest in and don’t know how important it is. And so I wanted to bring that to my target audience. That’s actually how I became a duct tape marketing consultant. Because I wanted to bring a systematic approach to small businesses, and instead of building my own system, which I was ready to do, I would much rather find a good system than reinvent the wheel. And so that’s been a fantastic boon to my clients to be able to bring a systematic approach to marketing to them and so I’ve been in business for six years, loving it, love helping clients. My word for the last few years has been thrive. I want to help my clients thrive and and part of that is freeing them up from the marketing drudgery so they can focus on what they love best.



That’s awesome. Paul, what about your journey? How did you start working for yourself?



I took a slightly convoluted path. My background is actually in systems administration. And I actually enjoyed it. Because I’m weird like that. But I, towards the end, I was spending a lot of time doing threat mitigation, which sucks. And I got burned out. I didn’t like it. So I started a business on site computer networking. And basically, I would help small businesses set up their internal networks, make everything work together. A lot of that. Then, me and Ken, were on the St. Charles County Chamber technology committee together. And that’s how I met Ken. He called me I think he was doing his duct tape training in Kansas City. Is that correct?



Yep. The first one. Yep. And he



called me and told me what he was doing. And it sounded really interesting. And so I started working with him. And I enjoyed it. I wasn’t with Ken back in 2008. But in the time, we’ve been working together, as the businesses move forward, and we’ve changed a lot of things and the direction we’re going now with a lot of the marketing, automation and funnels things that we talked about in the podcast, it’s a good direction, and then I really enjoyed it. So and I do enjoy it. So my path was a little bit different. That’s kind of how I got to where I am now.



Oh, that’s great. And, Dan, how did you come to work for yourself?



I’ve said this before, maybe you guys have heard me say it. I’m not supposed to be here doing this. If you would have told me in 2003, you’re going to be doing a drone business for like, 15 years.



I’d say your effing out of your mind. Like, there’s no way I’m gonna do that. Because I was on a path. I knew what I was doing. I was happy. I was working at an agency thought I would do that for the rest of my life and be pretty happy. And I was not even remotely anticipating going into business for myself no way in the world. Thought I was going to follow a traditional advertising agency path of copywriter, associate creative director, Creative Director, maybe, maybe some management maybe. And that was fine. I was happy. I was going to do that for the rest of my days. And I think around 2003, I was at the top of my game. I had print ads out there I TV ads out there, I’d radio spots out there. What are those? Yeah, I know, right? It’s all ancient now. And then one day, someone says, Hey, so and so wants to see in their office. And I was done. I can’t even tell you how off at the bottom of the mountain you suddenly go to. So I fell into a pretty big depression for like six months, a lot of self doubt. And there were no opportunities around at the time, it’s different. It was different time. What’s so different. Now you can go there’s so many different types of agencies you can go to now. It wasn’t that way. So I did like the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, which was leave my home, my family. And it was just me and my wife at the time. And long story short, two years into working for a marketing firm down in Florida. A guy came to me one day, and this is so ridiculously lucky. The guy next to me and the next cube and the guy in the cube next to him, we just hit it off. It’s about as dumb as you can imagine, serendipity, whatever you want to call. And I said, Well, I’m a writer, you’re kind of a new business guy. You’re kind of a design guy. The hell are we doing here for these guys are idiots and we shouldn’t be working here anymore. And what did we know? We were so naive, but we were very passionate about getting out there and doing our thing. And so we made a million mistakes. I can’t even tell you the things that everything that you can imagine a business owner could go through, and then some I have gone through. And then so after about five years of doing that, and we just had a heck of a time and it was a great, great time. I’ll never forget, we won awards. We added employees it was it was great. Then I said well, I miss home, I’m going to go back to Chicago. And I thought that would be it too. I thought again, I’m going to go back. I’m going to work for an agency. I’m not going to do this anymore. This is crazy, like, no way. And then my wife said, No, you can’t work for anybody else. I know you. You’re never going to enjoy it. Because you’ve been your own boss now. And once you’re your own boss, you never want to work for anybody else ever again. At least you don’t Dan Gershenson I know you. You’re going to open your own business and you’re going to call it caliber because you do the highest caliber work possible. And that was nine years ago. It blows me away almost every week that I’m doing this because I’m not supposed to be if it was me I just be working somewhere else. It just goes to show you guys have said it. When you have other people, whether your spouses, partners, family, friends, those are the people around you that push you to go do this stuff and stick with it. Because there are days when you definitely want to be like, oh, hell, no, I’m not doing this anymore, and then they keep you going. And that’s what has kept me going the last 15 years, and I think it’s safe to say is even touched on, the reason I stay in it is because of the circle of colleagues that I have, including the ones on this call, and all the ones that we know, they are the reason I’m doing this, because without them, it would be a very lonely venture, you need a family, as I often call them, like that’s, that’s what keeps me going. And the last thought I’ll say is, Ian, I believe said, I get a lot of satisfaction of helping the marketing, the small business owner, who has no marketing department, maybe one person at best, and really needs a hand. And when we can come right to their rescue, versus somebody who’s going to charge them up the wazoo, or somebody who knows very little on, say, fiber, we come in, and we actually are the senior person who can help them. And that is about as emotionally gratifying as it gets. And I would never go back to my old life. After doing this, no matter how hard it gets. This is the life I have chosen, having people around you to do to cheer you on in those days. This is everything. Oh, for sure.



It’s everything. This is great, godly enjoying this, I’ve known all, I don’t know, maybe four years, five years, depending. And I’ve never heard your story. So this



is this is great. I’ll only say one other thing. I went through a thing called Strengths Finder. And it has like, it tests you on like 50 skills. The number one thing I got as a strength is empathy. And I think I know like some of you why that is, is when you’ve gone through everything like all five of us have. We can empathize so much more with the small business owner, because we are small business owners, we know all of the stuff that gets thrown at them. So we’re not like agency people. We’d like their partners and friends. And I think that’s what really helps us in this life. That’s something that I think is all of our collective strength.



Hmm. And Jen will, will you share your story with you?



I’d love to share my story with you. It’s my story, if what did you call yourself in a corporate refugee, corporate refugee, I was gonna say my title would be it would kind of mirror Dan’s a little bit, I would be the reluctant entrepreneur, because, like you, I never thought I would be doing this. I grew up in a household where my dad was the entrepreneur. So I have seen the good and the bad, you know, just sitting around the dinner table, let me tell you as a kid growing up, so I had no illusions of small business or entrepreneurship or doing deals as being anything glamorous at all. So I was kind of far away from it. I went to school for marketing, came out and was all super corporate marketing lady. So we’re talking like Financial Times, we’re talking Siemens, Motorola, that kind of thing, but always in a marketing department. But it was it was very interesting, because I was either always joining teams or a division that was new. And so there was a lot of we don’t have a job description yet. But we need a few things done. Can you just go and do it? And so going and getting it done was something that, like I said, develop the skills around that around. Okay, where’s the big idea? How do we make it happen? I was minding my own business in Siemens, 2009. And then yeah, the world dropped out. So like a lot of people in 2008 2009, we got affected by the financial crisis. So I was laid off at the time to this was in Toronto, so trying to go and find another marketing job at that time. I mean, everybody was being laid off. As I look back. Now, I think the thing that kind of gave me a little bit of a light bulb, was when I was walking out of my boss’s office, I think he had a team of nine, he had to lay off and he got to stay. And I said, How you gonna get all this work done? And he’s just like, Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. And that and that was the thing that I thought, boom, well, if he can’t get all his work done, and this kind of whole industry is going through this kind of shedding of marketing jobs. I bet you there’s a bunch of other companies out there that have to still get the campaigns out the door, but can’t hire back full time staff. And so my big idea was to freelance for a couple years freelance out of the recession. And so that’s what I did. I kind of hung out a shingle, you know, marketing manager, marketing director for hire depending on you know, where I could get in with certain companies. And to come in while you’re on a different budgets and come in, they could let you go at any time you’re here to just get some things done. So I was doing that for a couple of years, and always wanting to get back into, you know, the corporate world have a real job, that kind of thing. And what I noticed was the jobs I had, they weren’t coming back. And even to this day at Siemens, our department has not been reinstated at all. So as a years later, and so it just got to the point where I was, boom, this is really interesting. I can essentially go out to any business and pitch to win the business. There’s no competition in the way of it from coming from the corporate world, right? You’re always waiting for a new opening, you’re always waiting to like, Oh, can I get this promotion? There’s absolute freedom to go and drum that up that business yourself. So I thought, I don’t know, maybe there’s something here. And at the same time, you alluded to this as well can certain marketing companies were doing the HubSpot thing, certain clients weren’t really ready for what was happening in marketing, but there was a great change happening. Whereas marketing was really exploding to the point where you couldn’t even have an in house team do everything that you need to do, because it was starting to become so specialized and so quick. And so in depth, that it was like, how do you staff this all in house? Anyways, fast forward, I hit a point being on my own, where it was like the feast or famine thing was starting to get to me. So I was essentially independent consultants, go into a company for a certain amount of time, run their marketing, or get things up and running. And then you know, the project would end and I was introduced to the idea of having a pipeline because I was so used to just working on the work and then going out and finding new work. And so that was little unnerving. As much as the famine, part of the feast or famine was crazy, the feast part was crazy, too. Because as a single, you know, independent consultants, if you get too much work at once that you don’t have the systems in place to be able to handle, you have to turn work away. Can you talk about changing your business and whatnot. And I remember the point that I had to change from being this consultant to, I have to turn this thing into a team or a system or something, I had this really great opportunity with this one client. And he had three businesses, and he wanted to, you know, the field full meal deal for all three businesses. And I remember coming back to my office after the meeting, and just going, like, I can’t do all this, I can’t do all what he wants, I can’t do all what he needs. What am I going to do, like, I’m too small to be able to, like go to the next level. And I hadn’t thought about implementing systems yet. Like it, just it just coming from the corporate world kind of moving into doing your own thing, and then moving into changing your own thing into a process. It was really a hard leap for me to make mentally. And so I remember I had to call him back. And I had to say, I’m sorry, I mean, I’m at capacity, I can’t take your work. And I remember it was like a turning point for me, because I just thought this is a terrible answer to give this this potential client, what am I going to do now, as luck would have it the next day, I’m listening to a podcast from John janss. Duct tape marketing. And I have to tell you, I’ve been listening to that podcast since 2008. And he never used to run commercials. And on this particular episode, he started with his first commercial for the duct tape Marketing Network. And he was talking through all the pain points that I was experiencing right then. And I was like, Where is this webinar have to get on to it. And so I did. And then sort of the rest is history. And actually being part of the network really helped me change the business from just one person kind of starting from scratch with every new client, only a certain amount of capacity to understanding how to think about marketing as a system, how to be able to supply marketing as a system, how to be able to grow the team and actually make this into a real live business that is not just just me doing all the work. Dan, you alluded to, or you talked about this support is just so so so so key, it is really lonely. Running your own show, even if you do have a team that you end up building you at the top or you had



you at your desk late at night kind of thing. And then if you don’t have folks in your social life or in your family that are used to or other small business owners, no one can understand like why you got to do invoicing on Saturday or why all you want to talk about is the next business deal. Like you just seem to start to find a different tribe that’s more supportive to you. So anyways, with the duct tape marketing network that’s been really absolutely supportive. I know John, he says, folks come for the tools and stay for the people but I say it is equal. There’s there’s just so much to be exposed to there about the tools and the the new things about marketing, but also the other consultants, where else can you get together with a bunch of competitors? And you can say things like, what do you think of my pitch? Or what do you think of this or what do you think of that? Or what do you think of the price I’m charging for this package? And you know, when you get really really helpful feedback that that helps you grow your business



I remember, I think it was April 2015, we had a boot camp in Chicago. And it’s where we defined the packages, which is what I had been working on since 2008. And I had my own packages. I was an inbound marketing guy, I always have been, thanks to folks like Ray Perry and Phil Singleton, and some other people who chimed in, in this meeting, we walked away collectively as a group of consultants with a solution set that we could actually offer to deliver for our clients. On top of the intellectual framework of the system. It’s always been important. I’m an INTJ. I’m an architect at heart, I consider myself to be a Marketing Solutions Architect at this point in my career, that’s what I love to do. And I get it. I love to see how these big picture things work. But you also have to have that tribes out there to validate and say, I’m not out there, you know, in the ether proposing something that’s absolutely crazy. Good work. I mean, I get that all the time. But



what’s, what’s one thing from running a business that was his most surprising to you?



How hard sales is?



You still mine?



I’m an introvert. You know, I do a lot of public speaking. I mean, you guys know this about me. And I’m comfortable speaking in front of a group, but you put me in a networking group or a small group, and now one to one, I’m okay. But I am not going to go seek that stuff out. I ran for office, I knocked on 9000 doors, myself running for office, and it just about killed me. Because I had to put myself out there, I had to flip the switch from being an introvert to an extrovert. And it just wore me out. And it literally wore me out for a couple of years. And it’s changed me forever. While that experience was fantastic, and I’m really glad I did it. I didn’t win, obviously, which is I’m disappointed about but but it was



you’re the puppet master behind all of political figures today, though, right?



Yeah, right. Right. It was a really interesting experience. I loved it. This was still in a politically charged time. It wasn’t that far back. I was expecting a lot of nasty conversations, knocking on people’s doors and interrupting them. I mean, that is disruption, marketing, right there. You’re knocking on somebody’s door, interrupting their day. I personally only had like, two difficult, uncomfortable conversations. And one that was just crazy. not dangerous, crazy, but just crazy. And so that experience was was great for me. And I grew from it a lot. But it also has changed me. And one of the things I love about what I do is I can do what I do from wherever I’m at as long as I have access to the internet. And so crafting this inbound process for my own agency and finding a way to generate the lead flow and the conversions. I know how to do it. It’s still a challenge. There’s a tremendous amount of work. And I just don’t like to pick up the phone and call people, especially out of the blue. It’s just not me.



What about you, Ian?



Yeah. What was the question again, Jen?



What is the one thing that is either was most surprising or still is most surprising about running your own business?



Sure, yeah. I’m actually going to talk about the antithesis of what Ken just said, I knew sales would be hard, just from observation and being involved in the corporate world and supporting salespeople, and not being in that role before. And I did find it difficult for the first few years, but then a switch flipped. And it was because of some of the people I was listening to as far as experts in the area. And one of the things that really opened my eyes that really changed how I view sales, is that it was talking about serving people, and I love serving people, I always try to be kind, I don’t try to be pushy, I am not a pushy person. And so when that switch flipped, and it talked about delivering the very best service you possibly can and serving people through it that changed the sales discussions to How may I serve you discussions. And so that was very surprising to me, because I knew how hard sales can be I actually really get charged up now I still, you know, they still freaked me out. I still get hyperventilating occasionally, you know, it’s a big deal coming down, and it’s changed the way I view those and I get charged up and excited about



beautiful, Paul, what about you?



What about me? What do I do with



surprised about with running your own show?



But I don’t know, if it’s surprised so much. It’s like what you talked about about being focused on getting this done and moving on. And something Ken have talked about a lot lately is scalability, scaling a business. And



now second choice, Paul, with everything



that’s been going on for the past, what year and a half, two years, whatever. I think it is forced people and something we talked about is marketing as a system and it is forced a lot of small businesses to start looking because it has forced them to do things in a different way and to utilize technology that they in the past didn’t and you have to have systems and processes in place, I don’t care what kind of business you are, if you can automate the redundant things, that in itself is a big step in the right direction. So to grow a business, you have to have the systems and processes in place. So I don’t know if it’s a surprise so much when you stop and think about, it’s not a surprise, but it’s something that as a business owner, you just don’t stop and think about because you’re focused, you’re overwhelmed, you’re busy, and you, I gotta get this done, I gotta get this done, I gotta get this done. And you don’t stop and think about automation as a way to help you get these things done. I think that’s the biggest takeaway that I have.



Beautiful. Dan, what about you most surprising thing? Oh, boy, the



thing that I think is definitely surprised me, I would not have thought that I would have had to wear so many different hats, especially from the first business to this business. Like No way. But I think you pretty much have to be really good at it really quickly, or you’re probably not going to do that well, because I think there’s a lot of people who go cash, if I just had a salesperson, if I just had this person, if I just had that person. Well, guess what, you’re that person. You don’t get to delegate that you’re that person is so you decide pretty quickly, I better get frickin good at trying to fake it until I make it on some of these roles that I have, I think to something Ken alluded to, I was petrified of setting foot in a room. If I didn’t know somebody, like for a networking event, no way in the world, would I have ever done that in the last business? Here, I don’t care, the biggest thing that I think I’ve learned is that you just do it. Now, that doesn’t mean you say, oh, I can do everything. When you’re kind of not you don’t know anything about it. That’s not what I mean. I mean, there’s probably some things that you do know, deep down, that just have to be nurtured and brought up and you have to wear that hat. You’re the only one who can wear it for a while. That was really big. And I think the other thing, I think we hear a lot about the rosy part of owning your own business. Like there was a guy saw yesterday, and he’s I’m so thrilled to own my own business. I have such freedom to go and play in the yard with my children during the day and all of that. And I’m like, Oh God, you know, really like, No, I’ve never found this to be liberating and freeing and only Sundays are free now. No, it’s never happened. Never felt like it’s freeing. It’s the hardest damn thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I work,



too, isn’t it? It’s always in your head.



freedom in what I do, when kidding? No. And I have help. And I don’t find it freeing. Can it be better? Yeah, but don’t ever come into this life thinking that, Oh, I have such freedom now because I can set my own hours. That’s such a myth that I believed, really. But I would say that’s been the wake up call, even more so in this business now is that you will work you will never work on anything harder in your life than this, this is it. But you will never have more passion for that and say, You know what, that’s okay. Because this is what I love. And I can’t imagine doing anything else are good and bad. And so that’s really the wake up call that I think I found in doing this. There’s there’s no easy days. There’s great days, there’s hard days, but there’s no easy days. It’s you’re always thinking of what else you can do and do better.



Interesting. Let me give you my learning. And then let’s wrap this up. My learning would have been what the sales for sure. Basically everything that you guys all said. But what I was most surprised about, or most surprised about the leap that I had to make was from order taker to more consultant educator, right. I mean, it’s easy to oh, well, they said they wanted a website, but I know they need all these other things, but they didn’t ask for them. So I better just do a website. I mean, that’s what we how we operate now. But starting off, it’s just so wonderful to get to order you almost want to like shut up and take the money and get the work done. Right. I guess, more time in the saddle just realizing that, you know, you got to educate your client on what they actually need, what would be helpful for them, how certain things actually work within marketing these days, especially on the digital side of things and not be afraid to say okay, you know, you say you need a website. That’s great. Here’s how these things all work. together, here’s what else you’re going to need. And here’s how it’s going to help your business. Yeah, the million from the order taker to either educator consultants knowing that they need you know, they asked for a you know, they need the whole alphabet, but how do you help educate them, so they know that they need it, too. That was the real big switch for me, for sure. Feels like we should get some beers and keep going.



Yeah. That’s another thing you’re gonna need if you own your own



business. Well, you need some friends to go out for beers. But that’s for sure. Yeah, well, listen, we had a really great time talking about how we all sort of did our business and we’re feeling some of the joys and the same pains as some of our home business clients that we serve. Thanks for joining us today, and we’ll see you next time.



We want to thank you all for taking the time to listen to today’s podcast. Please be sure and subscribe to the marketing guides for small business podcast in your podcast software. We’d love for you to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And please don’t forget to visit marketing guides for small For more episodes, free resources and links to set up free consultation calls with any of the hosts of this podcast. Thanks again and stay tuned.


Jen Kelly runs New Initiatives Marketing (NIM), the marketing team for businesses who don’t have a marketing team. With implementation and execution as NIM’s focus, we’ve been working world-wide remotely since 2009. NIM has supported marketing strategy execution in companies as large as the Fortune 50 and those as small (but growing) as $2M in annual revenue. 


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