Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in branding and marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Del Esparza, CEO of Esparza Digital + Advertising, located in Albuquerque, NM, USA.

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

Esparza Digital + Advertising is a full-service digital and advertising agency serving a broad array of clients. Some of our clients include Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Oppenheimer Funds, and Invesco, as well as a number of local and regional brands.

Tell us about yourself

I have a finance and an economics degree. I don't have an advertising degree. So when I first thought about getting into the business, I thought my background would be a weakness. In reality, it has been a point of differentiation and strength. Because of my degrees, we lean heavily into analytics and return on investment to ensure we are always getting desired results.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

After 23 years in business and growing the business into the largest advertising agency in New Mexico with clients nationwide, I can honestly say my biggest accomplishment is mentoring and watching my team of employees grow into industry experts. I am extremely proud of my current team members and what I call "Esparza alumni." Being a part of their growth into industry professionals is one of the biggest accomplishments I can claim as a business owner.

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

Ensuring the culture of the agency remains intact with every new employee hired. As our industry has evolved into a much more analytical and data-driven industry, we have had to evolve and hire new employees with new skill sets. Whether they come from another industry or another agency, ensuring the integrity of your culture is adhered to and protected is paramount. Your culture is your organization's playbook for how to act to reflect your brand. If growth turns your culture sideways, you compromise your brand. With your brand being your delivery promise to clients and prospects, it needs to be guarded and protected.

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

  1. Clearly articulate how your company is different from others in the marketplace and structure it to disrupt the current competitive landscape.
  2. Ensure you set aside enough money to market your business effectively. Just because it is a great idea doesn't mean it will be successful. You need to ensure you are in front of prospects who will contribute to your success. Over and over again.
  3. Ensure you have a great lawyer and accountant to set up the corporation correctly. If it is not structured correctly at the onset, you risk failure down the road.

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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