Too many small businesses are failing.
When I got out of college, I was an English major with no experience in business, excited about joining the awesome world of advertising. My first job was at a small advertising agency that closed its doors about two years later.
It confused me. Why had it closed? The people were great, the work they did was good — what went wrong? I really didn’t understand business, and I really didn’t understand what had happened.
So I decided to learn more about what makes small businesses tick, and what makes them fail. In 1990 I finished an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing, and did some marketing work with small businesses.
I worked for another small agency, and then moved to a new town and worked in some VERY BIG companies. Dial. ConocoPhillips. BIG organizations, big brands, and big big budgets.
But I missed the work I’d done with small businesses.
I missed the energy, the willingness to experiment, and mostly the determination of small business owners. I missed their dedication to finding success because they HAVE to — their mortgage, their kids’ college opportunities, their families’ security and dreams depend on their companies flourishing.
I went to work for another agency, which was great while it lasted, but still wasn’t giving me what I really hoped to find.
So in 2009 I started Audience Audit, providing custom research to companies trying to understand the things that really matter to their customers and prospects.
Through Audience Audit I’ve been able to help organizations like Infusionsoft, Gap, Tufts University, AT&T and Jayco discover the perfect fit between the people they want to help, and the products and services they offer. I love the work I do, and the people I get to work with.
But. [Read more…]