Springfield, MO

Startup Corner: Brandon Welch, Collective Ventures LLC dba Frank & Maven Partners in Communication

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Minimally viable product …
Advertising and communication expertise that helps businesses get attention and sell.

Problem solving …
With an honest, outside perspective, we first help find the most powerful story to sell a product. We then write ads, build websites and media plans to deliver that story clearly and efficiently.

Seed money …
I bootstrapped the first three months with $5,000 I had saved. I used that to hire our first employee, rent a room in someone else’s office and buy our business cards. After a few months, I had enough business to start paying myself one-third of what I made at my previous job.

Hurdles overcome …
1. Starting the business without debt.

2. Building a team that does not need micromanaging, so I can focus on a bigger picture.

Next phase …
1. Streamline training for new team members so they more quickly understand the principles of what we do and why we do it.

2. Duplicate our successes in key industries in new markets.

3. Locate and develop a new office space that allows for more collaboration, comfort and event hosting.

Pivot …
I have let go of needing to micromanage each project, because I want Frank & Maven to be a hundred times bigger than me. This has involved turning over key administrative and creative roles to team members.

Biggest mistake …
I would have not moved forward on a couple relationships that really didn’t believe in our “why.” We wasted a lot of time for too little pay and an eventual parting of ways. We should have said “no” more often in our first and second year.

Advice …
Best: Hire people smarter than yourself. Starve the ego, feed the soul.

Worst: Wait a little longer before you go out on your own.

Greatest need…
An executive assistant.

Food for thought …
Startups should be born from passion, dissatisfaction with the status quo and a vision for bringing the world a better way. The chaos of running a business will distract you from your true passion if you let it.


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