Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in branding and marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rob Barnett, Principal & Brand Strategist of Straydog Branding, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Straydog, We're a digital and creative agency of obsessively curious individuals who build powerful websites and brands for ambitious and good-hearted teams. Our customers range from small start-ups and entrepreneurs to large multinational companies with thousands of employees.
Tell us about yourself
After 20 years in the consumer packaged goods industry in sales, marketing, and brand management, I switched gears in 2008 and opened up Straydog Branding. I was motivated to help brands and companies solidify their positioning in the marketplace through cohesive, well-designed brands and effective websites.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Definitely sticking it out and never gave up in the first few years. Getting a new business off the ground can take 2-3 years of sweat, personal sacrifice, and lots of money, and I never gave up. I knew that starting my own business was the right thing and that it would eventually pay off, so I kept at it, was focused on the long term, and treated every small failure and challenge at the beginning as an invaluable learning opportunity.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Never really knowing what the next 2-3 months will look like. There's no guarantee that this year will be as good as last year, and there are just so many factors that affect success. It's just so important to adapt, be flexible, and continue to believe in your capabilities.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Have a business plan, and invest properly in your business, especially at the beginning with a well-defined and designed brand, name, and website. These are invaluable assets (not expenses) and will pay you dividends for years to come; plus, they give you pride and confidence that you have something unique and representative while presenting a professional brand and online presence that indicates to your target markets that you're serious about your business.
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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