The First Story
The first story - a message from the owner
In business and marketing you often hear of the importance in "telling the why" - your reason for the choices you make, the people you hire and the reason you keep on keepin' on.
As a business, you often hear us - the kbENT team - talk about our love for small business and community building. You may think that is our why. And while it certainly is, there's also more to it. Lets start with the first story, my story.
My mom was a single mom, scrapping her life together to keep her business of 20+ years afloat after a divorce.
I watched her work late, crunching numbers on fee proposals or sales tax due, literally praying over index cards that contained identity sketches for the perfect and ideal clients. I remember her prayers for a client that was "ready, willing and able" to hire her for interior design services.
That woman is an incredible designer and all of this was before the landscape of social media sharing and even the somewhat more accessible pricing of glossy magazine adverts. I often wonder how much easier it would all be for her now.
At the time she was bound by the success rate of word of mouth and client referrals. It showed in her work. Did I mention she was damn good at what she did?
I was young and naive and had no idea the grueling weight of owning a business; managing the multiple personalities required to be parent, business owner, customer service provider, buyer, bookkeeper, employer..the list goes on. I wanted better for her and I wanted it immediately.
I wanted to get the word out as it were. Knowing nothing and being too young to know I knew nothing, I got to work. I designed flyers and mailers to send to just exactly who? I looked up ad pricing in print media and called the newspaper about doing a story.
I learned the hard way. What works and what was a waste. What a zero dollar budget can get you and man, I really wish I had signed a contract for some sort of commission rate because we started crushing it.
I look back on this time in my life fondly and with pride.
To this day it's that search and passion for success and seeing the "ready, willing and able" clients and customers come to my clients and make a move. I love watching the wheels turn and helping bring someone's idea and skill/craft to a profitable and sustainable path. It's why we at kbENT focus on local businesses and nonprofits. It's why we love working with startups and can get scrappy with a no-frills budget.
It's our origin story.