Today’s post is a bit different than the usual CycleWerx post on Marketing or Sales Enablement. Thanksgiving week has got me thinking about what I’m thankful for in regards to our business.
We’re not only still standing during this pandemic, but actively building the foundation for future success and growth of our agency. And for that I am very thankful — especially for all the people that have helped us get to where we are now.
CycleWerx Marketing is Still Here
I started CycleWerx late last summer. It took me a while to let go of my fears and apprehension to start my own business. I’ve been doing digital marketing for about 25 years now. After a layoff I aggressively sought out a new job. But, somewhere I knew deep down I would be happier with my own business.
I am beyond thankful to my job search support group for encouraging me to give my own business a go. These amazing ladies, even after landing jobs themselves, continued to encourage me to move forward with CycleWerx. This group was made up of Roz Bell, Rachel Tyler, and Karen Beck.
Biggest thanks goes out to Karen. She served as an informal coach my first 8 months. Starting a business is challenging. One of the things I run into constantly with entrepreneurs and small businesses is where to put your focus. I truly get it. I ran into this too. Karen helped me focus the million marketing ideas I had and just got me to take one step at a time. Having this amazing resource has been beyond beneficial.
Even though I started CycleWerx towards the end of last summer, it was about 1 year ago that I actually closed my first retainer. I am thankful for the clients that were willing to take a risk on a new company. These new clients put me on a strong growth trajectory out of the gate and left me feeling positive about the future. They showed me that I could take my career knowledge and apply it to successfully meet their marketing challenges.
Thanks again to Karen, who was hired as Director of Marketing for the PLH Group. They became a key early client for this growing agency.
And, a very special shout out to one of our initial clients that is still with us today, Shane Bender and Bender CFO Services.
Around March of this year when Covid really started to hit, my business took a nosedive. But, I don’t blame Covid for this. I had primarily been getting business by going out and networking. I was so busy working with clients that I stopped doing this. Then when Covid hit, I wasn’t able to get out and network at all.
But, while I was not thankful for what this did financially to my business, it did serve as a very important and early lesson for my business — I can’t do it all myself if I’m going to grow. It made me realize I didn’t want to be a marketing consultant, I wanted to have a marketing agency.
I needed to put people in place to spread the work around, so that I didn’t have to do it all myself. I found an amazing Marketing Assistant, Gabby Lecca, who has made a huge positive impact on CycleWerx this year. I am beyond thankful for her and her contribution. She is so talented, and I know she will have a very successful career. I’ve been blessed to see her at the beginning of her career.
Also, I brought on a fantastic Business Development Representative, Spencer Muskopf. I am so thankful for his positive attitude and being willing to learn and put himself out there. As a team, he and I have been able to create sale positionings, processes, scripts, and sales enablement strategies. Working with him helped me remember how much of my career has been spent in sales and sales enablement.
Lastly, my daughter, Kaleigh Belle, has been an amazing marketing intern. She is an amazing writer and editor for not only CycleWerx but also for our clients.
This team has allowed me to assemble the framework to build a strong foundation of the type of marketing agency I want to build and grow.
I am thankful that I have been able to partner with HubSpot. They have been the best partner a small agency could ask for. From amazing products to a great partner program, education, and sales training, they have made a huge positive impact on CycleWerx and it’s offerings.
HubSpot has the best marketing automation solution — it enables marketers to be extremely powerful and efficient. This allows my team to effectively manage marketing efforts of CycleWerx and our clients. Paired with a robust CRM, HubSpot’s offering is a force to be reckoned with and a strong sales enablement and marketing solution that every company needs.
Their partner program has been amazing by providing a boundless supply of resources backed by an amazing team. I’m incredibly thankful I’ve been paired with Isabelle Groper, an amazing Partner Development Manager.
Their HubSpot Academy with all of their fantastic classes allows me and my team to stay up-to-date on the very latest marketing strategies and techniques. Their certifications help us to demonstrate to prospective clients that we have the knowledge they need.
And, HubSpot’s sales training has been amazing too, led by two key HubSpot executives, Dan Tyre and David Weinhaus. Myself and Spencer, CycleWerx’s BDR, have received the type of sales training that enterprise companies would still pay a fortune for. This allows for our success and growth, and we can pass on our sales enablement knowledge to help our clients grow.
No thank you list can be complete without absolute and utter praise for my wife, Melanie Smith. She has been incredibly supportive. I have boot-strapped this business without taking out a loan to get started. This means that like most startups things are tight for my family as my business starts to grow. I am thankful that she works for a company that has provided her with a good income and good health insurance. She has been my rock, and CycleWerx would not be where it is without her help.
Also huge praise for my kids for being supportive.
A big thank you to you dear reader. CycleWerx is a tiny, but growing marketing agency. Thank you for your interest in what we are doing, and I truly hope we get the opportunity to help each other out in the future.