Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Giometti, Founder of Provaro Marketing, located in Santa Rosa, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We work with local business owners to master their online presence and attract customers who are actively searching for their products or services. Most of my clients are service-based businesses in the information technology, construction, and elder care fields.
Tell us about yourself
I wanted my work to have more of an impact on the people I was helping. I just wasn't fulfilled working in a corporate environment. I started working with smaller, local businesses 13 years ago and haven't regretted it for a moment. I can see how the growth of their business immediately affects their lives in a positive way. It's meaningful marketing and not all about the latest and greatest.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of the behind-the-scenes services I give my clients (which ties into the above and beyond below) is helping them own their own digital assets. You'd be shocked at how many small businesses don't own some of their most valuable digital assets, like domain names and social accounts. My first priority is to help them gain ownership of everything, and they usually don't even realize how at risk their online presence is until we do this work. It is a huge relief to them to have these things secured and protected.
I once had a client whose previous marketing agency highjacked his domain name for his e-commerce store, which did more than $2 million per year in sales. This shady marketing agency was holding it ransom for an additional payment that was not part of the agreed-upon services and also took the website down until he was paid. All of this was happening about a month before my client's busy season started when most of his sales happened. I helped my client negotiate with this marketing agency to regain ownership of their domain and website without paying additional fees so that they wouldn't miss any time during their busy season while the attorneys on both sides worked out a deal on the finances. My client's business would have been in a dire financial situation if he had lost out on online sales during his busiest time of the year.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's really hard to walk away from work for any length of time because it all rests on your shoulders. I haven't had a work-free vacation in more than 13 years. Even with a team, there are often a lot of things you still need to oversee on a regular basis.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't get in over your head. Pick 1-3 things to focus on that make sense together (i.e., I do websites, local SEO, and Google ads...they all go hand in hand together) and grow that. Once you've grown sufficiently and worked out the kinks, then add something else if it makes sense.
- You don't have to be everything for your clients. It's okay to say no and have boundaries. It's also okay to fire a bad client. That opens room for a better one to hire you.
- Give your clients/customers exceptional service and don't nickel and dime them. They are trusting you with their time, money, etc. They will tell everyone if you've gone above and beyond. They will also tell everyone if you suck. You have all the control over which experience they share with their friends and family.
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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