I started my first business on June 6, 1994. I was 23 years old and I opened a car stereo shop! People laughed. I left a steady job with a local newspaper to go out on my own. My old boss predicted that I would be begging for my job back within six months. I never went back. Today, my latest creation, 1sixty8 media, offers a powerful, effective and measurable alternative to all forms of traditional advertising. Including newspapers!
Over the years, I became increasingly frustrated with traditional media. They made the rules. You either agreed with the rules or you didn’t advertise. They promised results. They spoke about why their medium was superior. They used fancy metrics from companies like Arbitron and Nielsen. They talked about reach and frequency and CPM. All of this was great for companies like Coke and Taco Bell but meant little to a small-town merchant.
I wanted to create a marketing company that would treat people the way that I wished I was treated. I wanted it to operate on a level playing field, fair to both company and client. I wanted to create a company that would prove itself to its clients so that, once they saw the results, they would want to continue the relationship.
I have succeeded in creating this company. I will never ask you to lock into a long-term contract. If you don’t see a value in our services, then I have failed and you should not continue to pay. On the flip side, as a businessperson myself, I know that, if I am producing measurable results, you will continue to work with my company.
Do I want to make a lot of money doing this? Well, of course I do. Like any good businessperson, I have big dreams and visions for my venture. I would submit that you shouldn’t hire me if this were not the case. But I want to get there by having many happy clients paying me a fair value for what I do, not by having a few dozen paying me huge fees.
My frustration with traditional advertising reached a tipping point – and I’ve found myself in a position to do something about it. It is my stated mission to empower local merchants to cut the ties of traditional media and embrace more affordable, more productive and truly measurable options. And I will do it while keeping solidly grounded in my roots as a local retailer.
Quite honestly, this business is a bit of a crusade for me. I’ve seen the local business landscape change drastically in the past two decades. The Internet has done a lot of damage but, at the same time, has produced tremendous opportunities for small businesses to compete with the giants. I’d even go so far as to say that, when using the Internet is done right, the odds are stacked in our favor.
Give me an opportunity to earn your business. If I cannot create a win/win situation then the opportunity is not right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – but I’ll bet that we will end up doing business together for a long time!