Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Arthur Germain, Principal & Chief Brandteller of Brandtelling, located in Huntington, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Brandtelling is a brand storytelling agency for professional services firms, including technology, manufacturing, and other small- and mid-sized businesses. We focus on establishing, strengthening, and promoting start-up and grow-up brands to build stronger customer experiences and increased sales. By building brand stories based on value and benefits, we differentiate clients from their competitors so they can focus on serving their customers' needs and not competing in pricing wars. Our clients are smart, growing small- and mid-sized businesses that need a strong and differentiated story to share with their customers to break through to the surface and rise above competitive noise.

Tell us about yourself

My background includes over a dozen years in technology and business publishing and two dozen years providing public relations and marketing agency services, as well as client-side marketing communications. Along the way, I have become known as a brand storyteller for technology, manufacturing, and other services brands that need to find and share their voice.

Brandtelling was founded in 2005 as a technology public relations firm doing business as "Communication Strategy Group." Over the years, we honed our practice to better serve the challenges our clients had, creating and sharing brand stories. This is markedly different than what we saw other PR firms and digital marketers doing for their clients. Instead of creating an endless parade of content and looking for incremental gains in ever-shifting search engine rankings, Brandtelling builds the core brand story that is the very foundation of each brand we serve.

I enjoy working with clients to uncover those stories and shape them into easy-to-share narratives that find their way into what I call "Story Leadership" content like articles, podcasts, presentations, and videos.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest business accomplishments include working with clients to completely redefine and refresh their brands and creating content and collateral to support their new stories – including managed services providers, technology solutions providers, clean energy contractors, and engineering firms.

My biggest personal accomplishment since founding my business is helping to raise my two daughters and see them through school, college, and the beginning of their professional careers.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The most difficult thing about being a business owner is realizing that you can't always perform every role necessary to operate your business. Once you recognize what your strengths are, you begin to assemble a team of professional advisors and providers. For example, I am not an accounting and finance professional, so early on, one of the first people I hired was an accountant who specialized in working with small service businesses like mine. Over the years, I have hired writers, art directors, videographers, and others with stronger skill sets than I did in each of these practices. Trying to do everything yourself doesn't save time, money, or aggravation.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Over the course of 17 years, we have reinvented and rebranded our agency. It's important to stop and assess where you are on an annual basis in order to make sure you are serving your clients to the best of your ability. I would recommend taking four steps to do this for any other small business owners:

  1. Assess who you have been serving for the prior year – have the demographics of your clients changed? Did you service any new industries?
  2. Assess the specific services you have provided for the prior year – did you introduce new services, drop older services, or change the way you deliver services?
  3. Assess the profitability of your services mix – based on your responses to the last two assessments, which of your services were the most profitable, repeatable, and sellable?
  4. And finally, assess your marketing – has your brand story changed, are clients connecting with the value and benefits you provide, and are you struggling to meet and work with new customers or provide additional services to existing customers?

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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