Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Claudia Papa, CEO of 1GS Digital Agency, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a full-service digital marketing agency based in Miami, FL. In the last four years, we have grown to a team of 11 and have serviced over 50 companies in multiple industries, including insurance, childcare, and law. We craft a unique online presence for our customers by creating fully customized marketing funnels that consistently generate leads and new revenue. We work with small to medium size businesses that want to scale. We create full websites, manage their social media accounts, and ultimately boost their revenue using our proprietary digital marketing and sales systems.
Tell us about yourself
I went to the University of Miami and studied Finance and Marketing. After I graduated, I worked in the advertising industry, and I discovered I had a passion for Marketing. I decided to move to NY to pursue a Master's in Integrated Marketing and Brand Management at New York University. A couple of years later, a marriage and a baby later, to be exact, we registered our company in Florida, thinking it would be something small that I could do part-time. However, when COVID happened, I dedicated countless hours and weekends to growing the business. We didn't have a team, so it was on me to deliver everything to our clients at first. I remember having to answer emails from the hospital bed right after having my second baby.
Every day is a little chaotic now. With two little kids, I'm wearing at least ten different hats on any given day. We've seen so much success and growth in the meantime, and I'm so proud of how far we've come. I'm definitely motivated by my family, my team, and my clients, and I wouldn't change a thing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The team and systems we have been able to put together. We have very skilled people doing what they enjoy and what they are experts at. This allows us to provide excellent value, and the clients continue to stay with us month after month. Nowadays, it's all about automation, and with marketing, it's all a big puzzle. It takes a great amount of expertise to put all the pieces together in a way that is sustainable.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Delegating tasks, for sure. I think it's in our human nature to believe nobody will be able to do certain things as well as we can; when you do things yourself, you know what needs to happen and can get the task done fast. But think about it, if you take some extra time to teach someone else to perform that same task the same way you'd do it, then the next time that task has to be done, someone else can help do it. That way, you can focus on growing the business and making sure things are done correctly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just do it! It- Like a Nike commercial... It's never too late to start something new, especially if it's something that you're passionate about.
- Fake it till you make it - Don't lie, but be confident in the value you bring to the table. I can't tell you how many times I was nervously running a meeting or a reporting call for a client in the earlier days. Fast forward four years, and I can do those same things in my sleep.
- Surround yourself with experts - One time, I heard that if you're the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Keep wanting to learn and improve your skills. Remember that time is money, yes.. but knowledge is power!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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