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Small Business Interview: the Creative Strategy Agency
In a tough economy, there seems to be a beacon of hope.
This hope stems from the world of small businesses, people who start a new company in a trying economy. Alfonso Santaniello, Business Owner and Marketer, knows exactly what a grim future looks like, but he also knows what just three years can amount to. Back in August of 2009, Alfonso set out to prove wrong all those who told him the economy would never support his dream.
Now owner of Creative Strategy Agency, Alfonso sat down with us here at Staples and told us just what it took to start his own small business.
A: Ive owned the Creative Strategy Agency for three years. It all started when I decided that my main goal was to help companies succeed through successful marketing initiatives. Passionate business owners have always been my inspiration and helping them reach their marketing goals is what truly continues to inspire me every day.
A: Yes, but it was a slow build. Whatever I had at the time I invested and as time progressed, the more I had the more I invested. Each step was small, but it was successful because I was realistic with what my goals were. Each time I was able to put more into my company it was a great accomplishment.
A: Its a 24/7 job. Even when youre away you have to be accessible for the first few years. Until you have enough people in your company to help you answer your customers questions you have to be ready to be there. Another aspect of my personality is the fact that I am extremely passionate about my clients and what creative asset will work best for them. Honing into this has helped me best serve the needs of each individual client.
A: I use a submissive type of advertising. With this, I am able to get my face and name out there for potential clients by self-promoting at networking events. With word of mouth from past customers and positive feedback, my company has soared. In my initial attempt to help small businesses through my company I ran Webinars. These Webinars not only helped other small businesses, they helped me as a provider to know what small businesses needed most. I also found the key to having a successful advertising plan was to listen to the customer and make sure that loyalty was the number one factor.
A: For my company, most business comes from networking and word of mouth, loyal customers and a small amount come from the Web. My clients are my best form of advertising! When Im out at events Im not only able to share who I am, Im able to share what I do. Being a sponsor of local community events also really helps my company. Im currently a part of Young Professionals of Greater Springfield where we put on monthly events for young professionals of the surrounding Massachusetts area. My belief is to keep the younger demographic and business owners in the loop of whats going on in the business world. There are currently a few hundred members and the group is growing.
A: Support from my family and friends has helped to really escalate my success. This support helps you on days that owning a small business is challenging. At the end of the day, its not the number of clients you have, its the number of lasting relationships you have with customers that will make the difference. Communication is what helps keep my business where it is, and learning how to communicate the best way starts with your own personal relationships.
A: Make sure to research and plan. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and know exactly what everyone else is doing in your profession. The intent for this is so that you can try and do it better. It took me a good six months of planning and researching before I even started to think about it.
For more information on Alfonso or his marketing firm, please follow the links below:
Alfonso Santaniello: http://tcsaonline.com/about/team/alfonso/