Service Agencies Are Startups Too

I joined the Brendan & Brendan family in April and officially as a partner this July. The company itself had its first client in November 2012. Are we considered a startup?

I have worked in two startups and many more as a consultant. Both Brendans have worked in multiple startups and have had their own as well. But Brendan & Brendan is my first experience as an entrepreneur, and I love it! After working in the marketing space for 10 years for other people, I am building my own business with my partners. I have never been more motivated, inspired and invested in my work. I think it is partly due to professional growth but mostly because I got the startup bug. Yes, I consider Brendan & Brendan a startup and here’s why.

Problem/Solution Fit

Bringing solutions to a multitude of problems is all we do. Trouble acquiring customers? Unclear brand and messaging? Lacking design? Can’t get press coverage? etc… Businesses are either strapped for resources or simply don’t have the skills internally to conceptualize and execute innovative tactics to meet corporate objectives. I consider us lucky that we are not solving a single problem, but many.

Validation

We validate on multiple levels: our services, our customer segments, our customer verticals, our pricing and of course every solution we bring to clients. We do this internally and externally. We read an enormous amount of material and stay on top of marketing trends.

Our MVP Analysis & What We Learnt

We have gone through our first version of an MVP (minimal viable product) analysis. As we validate our services and customer segments, we learn, and learn some more. Most excitingly, we feel that we have done enough study and analysis to begin preparing for our first iteration of our “Official Services Offering” to be released in the coming weeks. It takes hard work and close customer relationships to understand where we bring value and where we can improve. We are fortunate to have paying customers who are happy with services rendered who help us shape our voice and how we package services.

For example, we hear all the time that our website design is fantastic, but visitors are not clear on what it is exactly that we do. That was a big red flag for us. How will we convert website visitors to customers if they cannot see a fit for their problems. Another case in point, is that we have been told on multiple occasions that we won a bid because we can do almost everything they need from media buy to website design to press. We also receive a lot praise for our company culture. The biggest compliment I have received was that we seem to practice what we preach.

In one recent case, I received an email from a client who told me he was having a bad day until he saw a Facebook post from Brendan & Brendan and he felt suddenly inspired and his mood changed. Wow! If we have that impact on our community, we are definitely doing something right.

Moving Forward

I loved working with startups for three reasons: the experience of executing agile product management, the prospect of bringing change to the marketplace and the inspiration to create and the fun, friendly vibe. I think that is why forward-thinking individuals jump into the startup scene and never leave. What I see now is that being an entrepreneur takes guts. It takes determination. It also takes a formula. Our formula is evolving, but to sum it up its comprises equal parts inspiration, iteration, debate, alignment, obsession with quality and customer delight. Moving forward, we will keep working to sign on new clients, but increasingly it will be about finding the the clients that will most benefit from our solutions and culture.

Thanks for tuning in to the Brendan & Brendan story and evolution. Do you have a service startup? Share your story in the comments!

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