Springfield Business Journal: What has been the key to your recent growth?
Brett Curry: It’s a combination of team building and culture. The other piece is thought leadership and being able to be in the right places, right events [and] right circles to meet great prospective clients. One of things that I’ve focused on is speaking at big industry events, podcasts [and] writing articles ... so that our ideal, prospective client consumes our content and says, “Wow, this group really knows what they’re doing.”
Chris Brewer: Reputation. You’re not going to find really any dirt on us online. Also we’ve got a reputation for turning away business in a way that leads them off to where they need to go in a positive way.
SBJ: You’ve said that you’re looking for a client that has a threshold of spending power. Is that a way you’ve managed growth?
Curry: For sure. It’s focusing on an industry that we felt like we could do really well in and that met our criteria for having great clients. That’s e-commerce. We’re focused just on rapidly growing companies that are investing a lot in digital marketing. Even more specifically than that, we started focusing on two key areas: Google and Amazon, and those ad ecosystems. And then digging in even more to YouTube, specifically for e-commerce.
SBJ: In late 2018 you moved to your current office and then late last year you expanded to the second floor. How has that move allowed you to grow your team and services?
Curry: The other piece is we leased a space in New Jersey, which was at the end of 2018, as well. The team growth is directly in step with the office growth.
Brewer: It fits with our culture. There’s plenty of companies that would have never leased an office (in New Jersey) because there’s three or four people. They can all work from home. But we really believed in the quality of the work and them being able to collaborate as a team.
SBJ: How have your goals changed?
Curry: It still goes back to culture. We’re just continually blown away by when (you have) the right person in the right position, what that can do for the company, what that can do for our clients. We’re also looking at maybe we start building our own tools. The other thing that I think has shifted as we’ve grown is looking at understanding we can help some pretty large companies. We’re now pitching some pretty large brands.
SBJ: Do you see the COVID-19 pandemic boosting the e-commerce space?
Curry: We believe that it will. The interesting thing about this rapid growth of e-commerce is it’s actually created some problems, too, with inventory and shipping and warehouses being shut down. It’s had some clients who are doing so well, they’ve had to slow down on ads to keep up with things. We feel like this is going to help fuel our growth into the future. There was about eight to 10 years’ worth of e-commerce growth that happened in about two and a half months.
SBJ: Where is the tipping point?
Curry: With a business that’s very labor intensive, we couldn’t add 100 new clients tomorrow. It would break us.
SBJ: What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
Curry: Follow your passion and the money will follow. That’s real B.S. What you should find is where you have an area of passion that also lines up with a deep market need.
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Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, talks about small business start-up trends in a post-pandemic year. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, says startups that offer new services and products to help people work from home or that enhance mental health could find greater success.
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Charlie Rosenbury, president of Self-Interactive, calls on his experience in programming to illustrate lessons he has learned running a business and life in general. Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas is presented by Great Southern Bank.
Darline Mabins talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about growing up after a tragic accident took the lives of her mother and older brother. Mabins is now the regional branch sales manager for Arvest Bank. No Ceiling is an SBJ podcast, going in depth with local women, sharing their journey to the top of their professions.
Caleb Scott, owner, coach and player for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about the ways that the team works to support each other on and off the field. Scott says you can’t force people to become leaders, they have to come naturally.
Steve Williams, owner of Crosstown Barbecue, discusses the role relationships have played throughout the 51 years that Crosstown Barbecue has been in business. He says that while he puts effort into providing the best food he can, ultimately “people like to do business with people they like.”
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, relates his experience building relationships with clients since he became a photographer. He says building relationships with his clients and perfecting his craft are the most important things he does to spread his business.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, shares the reason behind the business’ name. She says part of the inspiration goes back to a painting her daughter had in her room when she was younger.
Heather Kite, owner of Rooted Deep Farms, relates how she started up her business in the summer of last year. She says it was a long journey, but she is satisfied with the choice she made.