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Meet Our Small Business Neighbors: How Local Businesses Are Making a Comeback in 2021

By People, Small Business, Success Stories No Comments

Many businesses took a hit last year, in 2020, when Covid-19 spread both germs and lock-downs over the globe. They were forced to close their doors, losing customers and revenue. But there is a bright and shining hope for business to make a comeback in 2021! We want to share a few success stories with you!

Home Grid Energy

Home Grid Energy installs battery systems in homes that are chargeable by solar. This battery not only sources lights and fridges but can power all home energy.

When Home Grid Energy began marketing and sales efforts in November 2020, the team faced difficulty closing deals. They contacted solar companies, but it was challenging to build trust when there was no face-to-face contact. This slowed their potential for growth.

As lockdowns have ended in 2021, Home Grid Energy is able to visit solar companies in person and shake hands with them. This has made a night and day difference. Steven, the Marketing Director at Home Gird Energy explains that “Putting a face to our company makes others more eager to believe that it is legitimate.” They are picking up the pace for growth as things are opening back up. They plan to open up Hawaii, Texas, and California markets this year! This growth is also made possible due to the cheaper costs for housing and travel. Business travel is more affordable which makes their budget go further.

Home Grid Energy capitalized on an issue that arose from the pandemic. Energy consumption definitely went up in 2020 and is still on that rise as families continue to work and attend school from home. Additionally, the recent calamities, such as the power crisis in Texas, generated motivation to become more self-reliant this year. Families are more interested in sustainability through solar battery energy in their homes. 

Home Grid Energy is making a comeback this year as they expand their markets and provide a solution to the current energy issues!

Set Fire Creative

Set Fire Creative is a digital marketing company located in Orem, Utah. Their goal is to help give a voice to businesses that cannot find their own. 

In 2020, when various businesses had to lock down and say goodbye to customers, they also had to say goodbye to the digital marketing team at Set Fire Creative. McCain, VP of Client Services explains that “It is interesting being a digital marketing company that helps other companies grow, because when the pandemic hit and all these companies and industries were affected, that in turn affected [Set Fire Creative].”

In March, there was one specific day when Set Fire Creative received a plethora of calls from clients telling them that they had to shut down and needed to pause their contract. On the other hand, eCommerce clients turned to Set Fire Creative for guidance. The team predicted that people would be shopping online more than ever before– and they were right! Their eCommerce clients thrived during the pandemic and their mom & pop clients saw the need to go digital. 

Because of this, Set Fire Digital launched a new product at the beginning of 2021. The new Business Validation Process helps new companies establish their key audience and assess public interest in buying the proposed product. The pandemic taught both Set Fire Creative and their clients that successful businesses take time to develop and require research to back up business decisions. 

Set Fire Creative had an outward focus during the pandemic. It did its best to help other businesses stay alive through partnerships, outreach, and its marketing services. That kind of mindset comes back around– the more you give, the more you receive. Set Fire Digital continues to add value to its services to help other businesses grow. Along with its new Business Validation process, Set Fire Digital is making its 2021 comeback while helping others do the same. 

Big Red Jelly 

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, many Big Red Jelly clients were losing customers and struggling to keep their businesses alive. This resulted in a lack of revenue and Big Red Jelly lost many of their clients. 

However, Big Red Jelly didn’t let setbacks like these define us. Rather we doubled our efforts by choosing to focus on what we are best at – web design! We also created many strategic partners with other local digital marketing companies and have come back stronger than ever. 

By emphasizing the importance of online business and offering discounts, Big Red Jelly is growing clientele and making our own comeback this year. In March, we launched our new website digital.bigredjelly.com which offers domain name registration, website hosting, and website security in addition to the branding and growth services offered on our other website.

The year 2021, has become a bright and shining hope for the future. This is the year for small businesses to make a comeback– including Big Red Jelly. Noticing the issues that many small businesses need to overcome this year, Big Red Jelly is doubling our efforts to help their partners and clients come back stronger than before. 

We Can Help You Make a Comeback Too

Big Red Jelly is here to help your business get back on its feet and accelerate growth this year. We focus on three key concepts: brand, build, and grow. We can help captivate your audience and increase conversion rate through a well-developed, recognizable brand. We will set up your business with world-class digital tools and a website that will drive measurable success. And we will provide dedicated support, strategy and implementation to help your business grow.

Having a digital presence is critical to building your business, and we are ready to help you understand how and why. We have created a 2021 Small Business Comeback Guide. This is a free eBook designed to help small businesses come back bigger and better this year. You can download the free PDF guide here. If you are intrigued, or if you have any questions, schedule a free consultation with our team. There really are no strings attached. Our sixth sense is telling us that this is the year that small and local businesses will make their comebacks and we just want to help you make that happen.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our team members, to talk more about how we can help you make a comeback in 2021.

Women in Business: 3 Advantages of Hiring Women

By Leadership, People, Small Business, Uncategorized No Comments
Women are becoming increasingly influential in the business world each year as more females take on leadership roles and form their own businesses. In the year 2020, it was calculated that the US has 12.3 million women-owned businesses which generate about $1.8 trillion a year. Additionally, 40% of all US businesses are actually owned by women. Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see how women in business are becoming a driving force in the nation’s economy and why it’s important for companies to continue implementing women leaders. In celebration of International Women’s Day, here are three advantages that hiring more women can have on your small business:

1. A Diverse Team Leads to More Innovation

Diversity is the key to creativity and innovation. When a team is made up of people with many things in common, it can be difficult to come up with unbiased ideas and solutions. Teams that are composed of members of diverse backgrounds, however, are more likely to consider new perspectives and thus, open the door for innovation. Because men and women have different ways of thinking, forming gender-diverse teams can be crucial to coming up with fresh ideas for your business.

2. Women Lead Differently Than Men

Studies show that people of different genders tend to lead differently. These varying leadership styles between men and women can largely be attributed to neurological differences within the brain. It has actually been shown that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to emotional intelligence. In a 2017 study, for example, women typically scored higher on attributes such as empathy, interpersonal relationships, and social responsibility, whereas men scored higher on self-regard, stress tolerance, and optimism. While there are benefits to having leaders who reflect any of these qualities, creating a gender-diverse leadership within your business will help optimize the different strengths held by your team members.

3. Gender Diverse Teams Have Better Collaboration

As we move into the future, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to create cultures centered around collaboration rather than competition. And interestingly enough, research has actually shown that women can play a huge role in creating this culture of collaboration. It’s been shown that women tend to collaborate connectively, meaning they seek connections between their own ideas and the ideas of their team members. This collaboration is becoming vital for small businesses, in that it can help to create both a unified and efficient team. “It is pure mythology that women cannot perform as well as men in science, engineering, and mathematics. In my experience, the opposite is true: Women are often more adept and patient at untangling complex problems, multitasking, seeing the possibilities in new solutions, and winning team support for collaborative action.” (Weili Dai, director, and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group) Continuing to hire women leaders in business moving into the future will help to diversify skills in leadership and lead to more innovation.

3 Tips to Success as a Future Big Red Jelly Team Member

By Leadership, People No Comments

Be More Proactive and Efficient

This is one of the Big Red Jelly values. This gives you a little glimpse into the culture
and the internal workings of Big Red Jelly and our team here: Be proactive and efficient.
Let me read the definition of proactive: “Creating or controlling a situation by causing
something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. After reading
this phrase, I know for a fact so many of you small business owners out there think,
yeah, that’s definitely true. If everyone on a team made the commitment to be more
proactive, think about how much more you would get done. Think about how fast the
fires get put out. Think about how many problems would be solved quickly. Think about
how many problems would never appear because you’re being proactive and planning
on the problem.
There’s always an opportunity to be more proactive than you would think. A lot of
times we have team meetings, a lot of times that are action items that are discussed.
And you’ll see that someone is not taking notes. Or you might look at someone and say,
hey, I really need you to do this by 4:00 p.m. today. They look at you, they give you that
blank stare. They say, “Yeah, got it.” And you think, are you sure you got it? Are they
being proactive instead of reactive? That’s a big difference between the two classes of
people. To be honest with you, there’s always going to be the reactive type. They’re
checking the boxes that are already there. They’re responding to situations. They’re
answering emails that are coming into their inbox. That’s good. We need that. But the
next step is being proactive.
Here’s the definition of efficient: “Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted
effort or expense.” Imagine if all your team members were both proactive and efficient.
The reason why I say efficient is because at the end of the day, if you’re an efficient
team member, if you’re an efficient professional, if you’re someone who’s looking for a
job, and you can prove in an interview that you are efficient or in an internship that you
are efficient, you get the job done, you get done correctly and you get it done quickly
and efficiently with minimal wasted effort, both on your time and the rest of the team.
Right. If there’s less friction, then you are improving or increasing the bottom line for that
business. That’s just the end goal. Be proactive. Be efficient. Those are two great adjectives. Maybe in your next one-to-one with the team member to say, hey, how
efficient or proactive do you think you’ve been this past quarter? Can you give me some
examples of when you were proactive when you were efficient? What do those words
mean to you? Great questions to ask.

Get Good at Something

I know that’s poor English, but it’s important. It’s becoming more and more apparent that
in order for you to get an effective job or be able to participate efficiently and proactively
in a serious business, you’ve got to be good at something. That means a technical skill.
If you’re in construction, you’ve got to be able to build that thing. You’ve got to be able to
make that cabinet if you’re going into a cabinetry business. We need more employees,
team members, participants, citizens, who can do what they preach, who can walk the
walk before they talk the talk.
There are several examples that could be used here. At Big Red Jelly, team members
who were doing a certain thing for years, we pivoted their role or responsibility slightly
and they picked it up like that. We saw the passion align with that skill and they enjoyed
learning about it and it just took them to a whole other level. We are convinced that old
dogs can learn new tricks and you have to be good at something. You don’t have to be
the best web developer. You have to be the best coder. You don’t have to be the best IT
technician, but you have to be good at it and you have to have a solid, fundamental
understanding of that thing. Even if you are in a higher leadership position, challenge
yourself to make that part of your weekly, monthly, or quarterly learning process to go
back to the basics and see what’s happening.
For example, I run Big Red Jelly, and it would be easy to focus on big picture stuff or
have client calls from 9:00 a.m. till 5:00 PM, but to always be working on specific client
projects, both in the branding and the building and the growth is important. It always
keeps my tools sharp. I continue to learn new things, and especially in our industry
where things are changing all the time. I have to be on my toes and learning what the
latest plugins are. The latest software is with the latest updates are the latest design
trends. Now, how to apply this to incoming Big Red Jelly team members. Let’s think about the
resume. There’s a couple of things that will instantly jump out. Is it important that you’ve
got a degree? Yes, to a certain extent. That might help get an interview. I’m not saying
to drop out of school, but I’m also not saying that that’s the end all be all.
If they had at the top of their resume that they were Google Analytics certified, that they
were HubSpot inbound marketing certified, that they’d gone through and completed the
Facebook blueprint ads, online courses, if they went to a boot camp like Dev Mountain,
for example, that’s an instant qualification for me. That’s almost going to guarantee a
video interview unless something else in the resume, like just removes that positive
quality like as a minus one. That’s going to tell me some very important things about
these people. Those are real platforms that are used every day that are super important
in our industry. For you to say that you’re certified in that, it means that you know how to
use it, at least the fundamentals. That’s a huge bonus. There are tons of great affordable
boot camps out there. There’s a big movement to get back into trade schools. There are
great certifications that are free, such as HubSpot certifications, Google Analytics, and
Facebook ads.
In a recent episode of “The All In Pod”, they stated that coding and software
development will become the new blue-collar job. That will be the new engineering job,
the construction, the development job, and it makes total sense. We need to need to
wipe away these misconceptions that that’s a certain type of job. It’s something that
requires learning and skill.

Avoid Semantic Satiation and Phrases like “I’m waiting on a client to respond”, “Let’s Circle Back”, “Let’s Put a Pin in it”

Semantic satiation is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or
phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener who then perceives the speech as
repeated meaningless sounds, extended inspection, or analysis. Staring at the word or
phrase for a lengthy period of time in place of repetition also produces the same effect.
You’re already thinking, yes, I’ve experienced this. If a printed word is looked at steadily
for some little time, it will be found to take on a curiously strange and foreign aspect. This loss of familiarity in its appearance sometimes makes it look like a word in another
language. We sometimes proceed further until the word is a mere collection of letters
and occasionally reaches the extreme where the letters themselves look like
meaningless marks on the paper.
Take the word flower, for example. The flower in the field. The flower in the grass.
Flower, flower, flower, flower, flower, flower, flower, flower, flower. Keep reading it.
Over time it starts to lose meaning. We start to think what does that word even is not
even a word. What is that sound? What is that combination of sounds? This is
what’s called semantic satiation.
There are some phrases and words here at Big Red Jelly that are abolished.
Sometimes they will pop up every once in a while and we have to shoot them down. We
have to abolish them to remind whoever uttered those words that they are no longer
allowed. We send them away. Some of these phrases or words are, for example, and
many of you have heard these:
“I’m waiting on…”
“They haven’t got back to me.”
“Let’s circle back around to it.”
“Let’s put a pin in it” (One of my personal favorites).
“Let’s add this to the notes and talk later.”
Since we used to hear them so much at Big Red Jelly, they lost all meaning. And to any
serious business owner, they should lose meaning to you too. They don’t mean
anything. That’s not proactive. That’s not even reactive. No more semantic satiation with
these phrases. This small principle, even though it’s vocabulary, it can be applied to other areas. Don’t just do things because that’s the status quo.
So to sum everything up, be proactive and efficient, get good at something, and avoid
semantic satiation. Don’t be putting pins into anything for the rest of your professional
lives. That’s our challenge to you.

Advice For Young Entrepreneurs: 4 Tips To Start Off Strong

By Leadership, People, Small Business No Comments

You have a great idea, you’re passionate that you can solve unique problems, and you’ve started your own business. However, it feels intimidating for someone like you, who is young and inexperienced, to know how to move forward. Maybe you haven’t yet found a mentor or have heard the startling startling false myth that 90% of startups fail. You don’t need to worry because there is a plethora of advice for young entrepreneurs. You can ride on the backs of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs to build that booming business that you’re dreaming of. 

Here is advice from 4 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs to help you do exactly that: 

1. Henry Ford 

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” 

Henry Ford, who not only is the founder of the Ford Motor Company but also invented the assembly line, completely revolutionized the way businesses operate. Take his advice in your entrepreneurial project, being successful is all about time management. Being successful as an entrepreneur is not only about being diligent and working hard but also about working wisely. Read Big Red Jelly’s in-depth exploration of this here

2. Oprah Winfrey

“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of the rags to riches story and embodies this advice.  She grew up in a rural town in Mississippi and experienced sexual abuse as a child. She valued who she was and what she offered, eventually founded the Oprah Winfrey Show which ran for 25 seasons, her own production company Harpo Productions, and later Oxygen Media and O Magazine. As young entrepreneurs, it can be easy to sell yourself and your product short but success comes when you unwaveringly insist on the value that you bring to potential clients and customers.

3. Bill Gates

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Follow this great advice from the co-founder of Microsoft. As a young entrepreneur, it’s important to celebrate your successes but it’s also important to recognize that more often than not, you’re going to fail. This happened to Gates himself when he founded his first company, Traf-O-Data which later went out of business. Gates and his business partners realized from this venture that they needed more market research to be successful. They learned from their failure and eventually founded a wildly successful company. Gates net worth is now more than $129 billion.

4. Melanie Perkins

“Solve customer problems and make sure that the customer is representative of a large market and then you will have a pretty good formula.”

At only 32 years old, Canva founder Melanie Perkins has discovered the key to entrepreneurial success. She follows her own advice. Between 2006-2007 while teaching students to use design tools such as Photoshop and Indesign, she noticed that it was difficult for students to master these tools. That’s where her idea for Canva, a design tool so easy that anyone can use it, came from. This is vital advice for young entrepreneurs. Make sure your idea is solving customers’ problems and make sure you understand your target market. 

Follow this advice and you’ll find success as an entrepreneur whether you are young or old. Big Red Jelly is proud to support entrepreneurs. Schedule a free consultation with us to know how we can make sure you’re starting off on the right foot with all things digital here.

Big Red Jelly’s Devotion to Uplifting Its Customers’ Vision

By Marketing, People, Small Business No Comments

According to Hubspot, 93% of people leave a website for not correctly displaying on their devices. In the fast-paced environment — not to mention the lifestyle — that many people are exposed to, it isn’t surprising that users are always eager to get to the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

As a business, it’s your job to do your best in reaching out to customers. The technology we have today allows us to connect with people wherever they are. The most common way to do this is through your website.

Your website serves as a hub where all the information about your business can be found. That said, the harsh truth is that visitors will likely not care about your business if you don’t have something to offer. This is where your value proposition comes in. To turn your visitors into frequent customers, it’s crucial that you emphasize what your business can do for them — the problems that you can solve. More importantly, you need to let them know right away the solutions that you can offer on your website.

Our team at Big Red Jelly is dedicated to helping our clients highlight their strengths and turn their weaknesses into opportunities. Being a modern digital branding agency, we are equipped with the knowledge that will propel your business in the online world. Thus, we focus on your vision and turn them into something better through research and creativity.

Not long ago, one of our clients generously left us some feedback on Clutch. If you’re not familiar with it, Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews firm based in Washington, DC. Its team of independent analysts is committed to helping businesses identify and connect with the service providers they need to achieve their goals.

Here’s what a review on Clutch would look like:

For this project, we were tasked with the development of Yogi Zen’s e-commerce website. The challenge that we needed to solve was to improve upon the client’s existing Wix website since it didn’t function as intended. We sat down with the owner and talked about the specific areas of focus. Afterwards, we went ahead and did what we set out to do — craft an amazing ecommerce store that will gain our client more customer traction. Within seven days, we delivered a website the checks all the boxes for our partner.

“They always make sure that their finished product is something that we will be proud to have out there. Moreover, they really care about the people they’re working for. I like that the people we’ve worked with have been super informative and knowledgeable about designing the page and the store.” — Todd Roberts, Owner, Yogi Zen

To learn more about this review, along with our older reviews, don’t hesitate to check out our Clutch profile. You can also visit The Manifest, Clutch’s sister site, where you can find lists of top companies to aid you in your business goals. We’re currently featured as a top developer in Salt Lake City, so don’t miss out on that one.

Unlock your business’s untapped potential. Get your free assessment by clicking here.

man learning late at night

3 Management Lessons Learned in 2020 the Hard Way

By Leadership, People No Comments

Today I’ll be covering three lessons that stood out to me in 2020 as an agency and small business owner. These are valuable to any business owner and especially to small business owners and those who work in agencies or in the B2B space.

1. Being Busy Does Not Always Mean Being Productive

The first important lesson that I learned in 2020 here at Big Red Jelly, is that being busy does not always mean being productive.  Russell Roth, the president of Kotter Consulting to Forbes, has said “When we see people doing what they did last week or last month, just because they did it last month and not changing it because they want to get somewhere different, that’s busy. People think that it’s urgent, but that’s not urgent. That’s not focused. That’s just perpetuating what’s always been done.” I found myself doing a lot of that in 2020. I have a bad habit of creating a to-do list the day before and the length of my to-do list that I was able to get done the next day. In a way, I saw that as an accomplishment, which it is to a certain extent. However, over time I really started to learn that being busy does not mean you are being productive and it certainly doesn’t mean you are being smart or efficient with your work. Starting in 2021 it’s a big goal of mine to be a lot more efficient in what we’re doing.

I recently heard of a practice experiment to help improve efficiency. First, you write down the things you have to do the next day. Most of us wouldn’t have a hard time doing that. In fact, you’ve probably been down that road before. However, the next step is that you circle the top three things you need to get done. The point here is that the rest you don’t need to do and you shouldn’t do. Those are things that should be delegated. Those are things that you added because you felt like you have to. According to the quote from Russell Roth, you are just doing it because, well, that’s what you did last week or that’s what you did last month. Not only would you find that you’re doing this, but maybe people on your team are doing this at the company you work with. It’s a habit we need to get out of. We often see this especially in the entrepreneurial or the startup space. It’s cool to be on the grind, to always be so busy that you’re at the office at 10 p.m.

For a while, I fell into that trap. Here’s what I’ll tell you: it’s not cool. What is cool is to be efficient and productive. It’s a double whammy. What I finally learned in 2020 was that if you actually focus on those top three tasks and you delegate the rest, not only are you more efficient but in a bizarre way that I cannot explain, most of the time you end up getting more done by doing less right. You might have a three day weekend ahead of you or a full day off. And you say, oh, man, I have so much time ahead of me, I can’t even begin to imagine the number of things I’m going to get done and what inevitably ends up happening in those days where we have the most amount of time, we get the least amount done. However, when we have a busy day ahead of us and we’re strategic with it in a bizarre way, we get even more done in our personal lives and lives at home on those busy workdays. Maybe that’s just me, but I think that does apply to other people. Time management and prioritization make a big difference. So again, lesson number one of 2020 that I learned is that being busy does not mean being productive. 

 

2. Always Reserve Time for Long-Term Planning and Strategy

The second lesson I learned in 2020 is one that I am still learning: I need to always reserve time for long-term planning and strategy. I don’t know when this lesson really hit me, but there’s been this common thread that was going through my mind, through Q3 and Q4 of 2020.

 As I mentioned, I have a bad habit of doing a large amount of client work. I continuously have my hands-on projects to move things forward, I’ll do sales and digital marketing myself, I’ll be involved in design, etc. Often, I feel like I am giving to the team in that respect when the reality is that if you’re in a leadership role, whatever that might be, if you’re spending even a portion of your time doing that you’re doing a disservice to your team. This was an epiphany for me. Your employees are not capable of doing some of the things that you can as a leader because they don’t have the responsibility, access, or the credibility to make certain decisions. For example, they’re not going to go and hire new people. They’re not going to make adjustments to your services, your pricing, what services you offer, and how you offer them. They’re not going to make major changes to your processes, branding, marketing, positioning, who you have on the team, or your training. They are going to work on the client work which is what they’re best at.

That really hit me. Every hour that I was spending on client work was one less hour that I was spending on the business. And in that respect, I’m doing a disservice. I almost could visualize my employee’s voices or their thoughts, even though they probably weren’t thinking this all the time. But, you know, hey, Josh, we’ve got this. We need you to focus on what’s going to take us to the next level. We need you to hire that next team member. We need you to train the team better. We need you to prepare better processes. That’s what the team needed me to do. I started blocking off some time on a weekly basis where there’s nothing else that intrudes on that time. It’s just for me to sit down and go over some of the big questions. What services are we offering? How are we offering them? What does our team look like? What’s our culture look like? These are big things that only I have control over.

3. Understanding Managerial Output Will Help you Focus on High Leverage Activities

One of the books that I finished in 2020 that I would recommend is High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove, the former chairman and CEO of Intel. What I liked most about this book is that it gives real practical things you can do today and tomorrow. It gives practical techniques on how to be a better manager at the end of the day. This quote sums up what high output management is all about: 

What is a manager’s output? I asked a group of middle managers just that question. I got these responses: judgments and opinions, direction, allocation of resources, mistakes detected, personnel trained and subordinates developed, courses taught, products, plans, and commitments negotiated. Do these things really constitute the output of a manager? I don’t think so. They are instead activities or descriptions of what managers do as they try to create a final result or output. What then is a manager’s output at Intel? If she is in charge of a wafer fabrication plant, her output consists of completed high-quality, full-process silicone wafers. If he supervises the design group, his output consists of completed designs that work correctly and are ready to go into manufacturing. If a manager is the principal of a high school, her output will be trained and educated students who have either completed their schooling or are ready to move on to the next year of their studies. If the manager is a surgeon, his output is a fully recovered, healed patient. We can sum matters up, matters up with the proposition that and here’s the key. A manager’s output equals the output of his organization, plus the output of the neighboring organizations under his influence. 

This is an interesting way to think about it. Grove goes into the bread and butter of any business. A successful business is built on good management no matter what your size is. If you can be a good manager and those immediately beneath you can be good managers, you’re off to a great start. Part of being a good manager includes things like meetings, the medium of managerial work decisions, planning today’s actions for tomorrow, hybrid or dual reporting modes of control, task, growth, and maturity. These are real, practical solutions. When I actually finished reading the book, I applied some of these things the very next day.

When we understand managerial output then we better understand what constitutes high leverage activities. High leverage activities are the things we do that have a big effect on our businesses. At the end of his book, Grove has an exercise with various quick things you can do right now. Each one is allocated points and the goal is to get 100 points by the end of the week or the month. Now, when I try to allocate my time and plan out my day, I ask myself, is this a high leverage activity? 

There are several examples of high leverage activities that I do increasingly. Recording training or academy videos can be a high leverage activity. I record a video one time and it’s used an infinite amount of times for future team members implementing a process that’s going to touch probably hundreds, if not thousands of clients going forward. People like to frown on meetings a lot, but we have to remember that if done correctly they can be a high leverage opportunity because it’s communication from one to many instead of from one to one. Another high leverage activity is effectively training a manager or someone whos going to train other team members. If you can effectively train someone one on one then they will affect who knows how many in their team and throughout the organization.

In 2020, I learned that focusing on high leverage activities leads to strong outcomes. I really try hard when I find myself going down that tunnel vision road where I’m stuck on the client work or the technical work to remember that I need to take a step back and say my team needs me to focus on some of these other areas. When I focus on my output as a manager, then I understand what high leverage activities are.

The past year has been a year of learning. To review the three biggest management lessons I learned in 2020 were: 

  1. Being busy does not always mean being productive
  2. Always reserve time for long-term planning and strategy
  3. Understanding managerial output will help you focus on high leverage activities

Implementing these lessons at Big Red Jelly is helping us grow and become more efficient so we can continue to help our clients succeed. 

Today’s article comes from a previously recorded video. Check out the video here!

 

Case Analysis: 3 Ways Zach is Bringing Success to 2 Big Red Jelly Clients

By Leadership, People, Small Business, Website No Comments

Zach Webber has been with Big Red Jelly from the beginning. He was there when Big Red Jelly was just 3 brothers in a pool house creating websites and has been with Big Red Jelly every step of the way to become the established digital agency it is today. These days, he is the Director of Web Design and Development and leads the web team in creating websites that bring the business success our clients are looking for. Here are just a few ways that Zach is driving that success for two of Big Red Jelly’s clients: Summit Pizza Co and Yara Yoga.  

Focus Web Sites on Strategic Messaging 

Something unique that Zach brings to the table is that he originally studied Public Relations at Brigham Young University. This means that in addition to knowing all the in and outs of the backend of websites and understanding the tech side of web design, he also has been trained to create websites that reflect strategic messaging. He says, “a lot of what PR is in my opinion, is understanding your audience. That applies to me as a designer because I have to understand my client’s audience and what they want in a website.  Understanding your audience really is the first step to anything.” He knows how to create a website that not only looks good but also is strategically developed to resonate with your customers. 

 

Summit Pizza Co saw the benefit of this focus on strategic messaging in their recent website project where they worked with Zach. They came to Big Red Jelly because they were in the process of re-branding their website and changing their logo colors. Summit Pizza Co. was originally started 31 years ago by a man who was working at a big corporate Pizza Place and got tired of corporate life and started his own business focused on home-style pizza. It now has 3 different locations and has grown exponentially since then. Zach helped Summit Pizza Co refine and create a website that reflected the new Summit Pizza Co. 

 

The new website is focused on connecting with Summit Pizza Co’s target audience and reflects the brand story of how pizza is really all about connecting experiences with family and friends after they go hiking or at a family reunion or just anytime people want to be together. The website also reflects Summit Pizza Co’s mission to have top-notch ingredients such as cheese without fillers. Zach was able to create a website that not only looks good but is focused on telling a story of good food and good experiences. 

Understand The Business Goals of the Client 

One of the most important things that Zach does in his work is to make sure that the website the team is building is going to help the client meet their larger business goals. This all starts at the very beginning of the Big Red Jelly web design process when the web team conducts an analysis of the existing website and business as a whole before getting to work creating a digital presence that is going to follow a larger strategy. This emphasis continues throughout the web design process as the web team continually checks in to be sure that the website they are creating is holding to those key business objectives. 

 

This is something that Yara Yoga has seen in its recent website project with Big Red Jelly. Yara Yoga is a Yoga studio focused on empowering people to live well. Before Big Red Jelly got involved, all Yara Yoga’s sales were coming from word of mouth and they had essentially no digital presence. Zach was able to take its business goals and create a website that was strategically designed to help them meet them. Yara Yoga wanted to create a way to drive traffic to their YouTube channel, connect their social media, and display a calendar of their classes. Zach took that information and built a website that didn’t have fluff in it but was focused directly on those business goals. 

Focus on Problem Solving With Design 

Web design at Big Red Jelly is focused on being both artistic and professional. Zach describes how one of his favorite parts about his job at Big Red Jelly being restricted by the challenges and requirements of various clients. This helps him problem-solve with their website. He says, “I like that challenge in terms of how do I visually make something that is expressive creatively, but also very professional. That same idea applies in terms of problem-solving what people want to achieve with their website people. Sometimes that’s phone calls or emails and that’s easy enough but some people want solutions that are a little bit more complex and so finding tools or solutions that work for all those people is a lot of fun. That’s what I enjoy.” Zach knows how to take a website and find creative solutions that center around design. 

 

Design helped Summit Pizza Co problem-solve with design on their website. The success here came from the simplicity of the website. It was important that customers could find the information and order as fast as possible and Zach was able to design a website that allowed customers to do this. The simplicity of the design allows Summit Pizza Co to enjoy more business. 

How Can Zach and the Web Team Help Your Business? 

If you’re looking to establish the digital presence of your business then Big Red Jelly is the place for you to go. Zach and the Web Team can help you design or edit your website to be messaged strategically to your customers, that will meet your larger business objectives, and that solves problems with design. Click here to get started.

Many Digital Marketers are Young: Is That Good or Bad or Both?

By People No Comments

We know that Millennials and Gen Z-ers are the digital generations—tech advancements and Millennial’s growing age have mirrored each other, and Gen Z-ers were essentially born with screens in their hands.

“I’m leaving, Josh, I know this already.” 

Improve your attention span and hold that click, reader. Consider the ramifications of the rising generation’s digital competence in the business world—a field that is fretfully trying to adapt as technology evolves like lightning. And what does this mean for digital marketing agencies like ours? 

Well, let’s take a look. 

Meet our team leaders: Josh (27 years old), Ben (23), Sierra (23), Makayla (21), Coleman (24), MK (24), and Zach (25). Average age: ~24. 

Here are some of the pros and cons associated with their age and field of work that our team came up with:

PROS

“Growing up in this tech atmosphere,” said Ben, Director of Operations, “has definitely helped a lot of us here at Big Red Jelly to connect with tools, devices, and people that help us help others. Using digital since we were young children definitely helps.”

“We’re digital natives,” added Zach, Director of Web Design, “so we’ve grown up around computers, technology, and the internet. I think that gives us an advantage.”

“We’re more a part of [the digital] world,” concluded MK, Director of Social Media and E-mail Marketing, and “[w]e’re more aware of the changes that come.”

In other words, where older generations may struggle to find ways to stay current with their clients on-line, the BRJ team believes their young age has bred them with, not only the digital know-how to accomplish that very task, but the ability to adapt to rapidly changing trends and tech advancements.  

CONS

Interestingly, when asked about the cons of their age in the digital marketing field, the BRJ team only came up with one. That is that, occasionally, older business employees are skeptical of their general lack of work experience.

 “For younger people in general,” said Josh, Big Red Jelly’s co-founder, “it might be harder to earn some people’s respect. There’s been cases where I meet with business owners and that’s at least the feeling I got, was because I am 20 years younger, I don’t have the experience they do.” 

“It’s hard to meet with 50- and 60-year old people and try to have the same kind of reputation to your name,” agreed Ben.  

“When

first see my face, they might initially be a little bit skeptical because of my age,” added Sierra, Director of Online Ads.

“But,” said Josh, “I like to see that as a person by person situation.” Indeed, not every business owner is mistrusting of our age. If anything, those stigmas are quickly changing as older business owners are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that young people are the only hope for keeping their businesses digitally relevant.

WORK SPEAKS VOLUMES

If business owners are worried about our age, every team leader agreed that the best solution would simply be to earn their trust through the work.

“As soon as…they think that you can run with it and know what you’re doing,” said Makayla, Director of SEO and Blogging, “then most clients don’t question [our age].”

Ben similarly said, “Once we show them how well we know these tools, how well we know the industry, and how we know what we’re doing, it changes real quick.”

“Communication is key,” noted Coleman, Director of Lead Generation. “Going through reports that we’ve made for them I think is huge at building trust—saying, this is the work that we did and these are the results to show for it.”

Succinctly stated by Josh, “We let the work do the talking.”

A BLENDING OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE

In something Alison Coleman labeled “reverse mentoring,” the young’ uns—formally the least respected members of the office—are now looked to for help in all things digital by the older folks. The gap that used to divide employees by years of work is now more like a blending of youth and experience.  

A blending. This does not mean the older workforce is obsolete, nor does it mean that younger employees can shoulder the work, alone. Rather, the advancement in digital technology has created a beautiful opportunity for older and younger people to work together—to share the experience with novelty, time-tested methods with innovation, and understanding with an eagerness to learn. 

“One thing that all generations have in common,” notes Coleman, “is the desire to be understood, accepted, and valued and to feel a part of some sort of tribe or community.” 

With communication as a key point to our business, we are showing how much we value this blending of new and old. We love working with business owners whose businesses have been around perhaps longer than some of us have been alive.

We firmly believe that if any business wants to go far, then all generations will have to work together.  

Sierra Mendonsa Shares The Secrets That Helped Her Go From Intern to Director of Online Ads in Just One Year 

By Design, Marketing, Online Ads, People No Comments

So much of success comes from just getting started somewhere. Sierra Mendonsa shares how being passionate to continually learn has been the key to her journey. Just a little over a year ago Sierra started as an intern, looking for more experience. Now she is the Director of Online Ads for Big Red Jelly helping over 25 clients fine-tune their digital marketing strategies.

Involved in many projects at Big Red Jelly including graphic design, social media, and online ads, Sierra shares how it’s not just her degree in Digital Marketing that has gotten her to where she is now. Keep reading as she explains how to be successful no matter what industry you’re in. 

 

Q1: Tell me about your journey going from an intern to director of online ads in just 1 year. 

A: So when I started my internship I didn’t have any experience doing online ads at all, but I was interested in it. I wanted to get as much experience in all the areas that I possibly could. So one day I asked the girl that had my position before if I could learn how to do some ads and I really enjoyed it. When she was leaving she talked to Josh and said, “I think Sierra would do really well.” Then we spent the next couple of weeks training.

Since then we’ve grown so much. When I first started we were just doing Facebook ads. Since then we’ve grown. We’ve changed our processes. I built out the Google Ads service that we now offer to our clients, as well as the LinkedIn lead generation which is a more organic approach to advertising. So it’s been fun to see the progression. So much has changed on Facebook and Google even since I started the position a year ago.

Q2: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned on this journey?

A: I think it’s that you cannot get complacent. You always, always have to be forward-looking with what’s changing in the industry, and thinking outside the box because the issue with advertising is that people are used to being blasted by ads all day long. If you want to be successful you have to find a way to break through that noise and be different and show them that you really understand. You have to understand the customer: what they’re looking for, what their problems are, and what they want.

Q3: What do you like about digital marketing?

A: I think my favorite part about digital marketing is that every company and every industry needs it.  I’m someone that can get bored easily doing the same thing for too long, so I like that in digital marketing I have the opportunity to work with so many different clients in so many different industries. There’s something new every day that I come into the office. I like the marketing side because it’s kind of like business psychology. It’s really just understanding people and why they buy the things they buy. I like the digital aspect because I really think that’s the way the world is moving. That’s where our attention is and it’s exciting. It’s also nice that you can do it all online from your home if you need to. Working remotely? That’s awesome.

Q4: What is a strategy that helps you stay focused? 

A: Oh man, I’m a very big list person. So, I’ll write everything out for my week ahead of time. I’ve also learned that I need to set hard deadlines for myself. So a lot of times I will schedule a video call with a client before I’m even done and that’s my hard deadline, I have to get it done by that point. I also will schedule out time on my calendar, so from this hour to this hour, you are only doing this task. There’s a lot you have to juggle. I’m involved in a lot more than just online ads, though that is my main area. 

Q5: What’s a hurdle you’ve overcome?

A: I think the biggest hurdle is the same as any business degree. You have to start somewhere, and it can be hard! Most jobs don’t want to hire you without having experience. So I think that Big Red Jelly helped me overcome that hurdle. It not only gave me that experience but also let me experiment with all the different areas of digital marketing. So now I’m pretty well rounded in all aspects of digital marketing and I’ve got great experience on my resume working with real clients and getting real results. 

Q6: Who do you think has influenced you the most when it comes to how you approach your work? 

A: I definitely think Josh has. He’s awesome because he lets you do things the way that you want to do, but he also is there to answer any questions that you have and can give advice. Josh is really good with handling clients and making sure they’re happy.  He’s also great at reminding you to keep things as simple as possible and you don’t waste time on little unnecessary tasks. So I think that having Josh as a mentor and a boss, as we’re building out these new processes, has influenced the way that I attack new projects and manage my time in the office.

Q7: What is one thing that has made you successful? 

A: I just want to know everything about everything. I love learning. I was willing to ask for new experiences and responsibilities, even though they were outside my designated duties, simply because I wanted to learn. There are so many resources out there, especially for digital marketing. Free classes or videos and often you can get certifications for them too. So be proactive and learn as much as you possibly can, about as many areas as you can, because there’s so much overlap and being well rounded is going to help you out so much. Having that understanding of how everything works together is going to help you perform better in your area.

Q8: What is the best advice you’ve ever taken? 

A: There’s two things that come to mind. The first is that if you’re ever getting overwhelmed with how many things you need to do, instead of stressing, just get started. Start with one little task and once you get going it’s so much easier to get into a rhythm. Just open up the computer and start on the first task you see. Then before you know it, a few hours have gone by, and you’ve gotten a lot done. 

I think the second goes hand in hand with that. Always look for ways that you can automate or simplify what you’re doing. One of the things I’ve done at Big Red Jelly is take the tasks that I’m doing repetitively and find ways to simplify them. For example, Zapier is a tool that we use a lot at Big Red Jelly.  That has saved us so much time because it allows you to connect so many different things like Facebook ads, Google Sheets, sending emails and so much more. It allows you to automate a lot of those processes. On top of automating, find ways to simplify what you’re doing down to the essentials. So, keep it simple and avoid unnecessary work and just get started.

Q9: When you’re faced with a creative block how do you keep innovating? 

A: When I have a block I look at the competition and I see what everybody else is doing. And I’m competitive so that motivates me to find a way to do it even better than they are. 

Q10: How do you prevent burnout? 

I think, for me personally, by making sure that I can switch my tasks up. Since I am involved in a lot of different areas, social media, design, and online advertising, I can break up those tasks. I can say, “Okay, I’m going to do design. All right, now I’m going to focus on social media for a little bit because I need to break through this. Okay, now I’m going to do my online ads.” Just finding ways to break up your tasks really helps so that they don’t become mundane. That’s my biggest advice. 

Also, it’s okay to take breaks. If you are not being productive, that’s okay to take a little break to grab lunch or a drink, or something to get away for a bit and let yourself refocus. I think that’s one thing that I had a hard time with and still do. Sometimes you feel like you have so much to do that you don’t have time to stop. But you unfortunately can’t operate at 100%, 100% of the time so it’s okay to take a break and refocus.

Q11: What inspires you in what you’re creating? 

A: There’s a lot of creators out there that I’m following on social media or I subscribe to their email lists. I always keep an eye out for what other people are doing. Then anytime I see social media posts or designs that I like I screenshot it and make little notes about the elements I liked and ask myself “How can I tailor that to fit my needs? How can I do it even better than they did?”

Q12: What is one of the experiences that helped you grow the most? 

A: There are two things that I can say. The first is that I’m the kind of person that likes to research and have all my questions answered before I get started. It can be scary when you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, but I think that Big Red Jelly has helped me overcome that. When I first started they threw me in the deep end and watched how I handled it. But I learned so much by just jumping in.

The other experience that has helped me grow comes from those times that we didn’t perform as well as we had hoped for a client. As sad as we were to lose them, it helped us to regroup and say, “Okay, what was the problem? Why was this client unhappy? What do we need to do better next time?” We are able to take that feedback and hone in our processes to make sure that we can give all future clients the service they want and deserve.

Q13: What are you learning now and why is that important?

A: One thing I’ve personally been looking into is video and what makes “good content”. Videos overwhelmingly have the highest engagement and many prefer them. I was actually reading an article the other day that said Facebook timelines have changed so much.  They’ve cut out a lot of the regular posts and are prioritizing videos. People spend more time on the app if they are watching videos rather than quickly scrolling through images or captions. These platforms want you to spend as much time as possible on their app so it makes sense that they would show you videos more. Because of the importance of video, that is actually a new service that we are currently working to bring to Big Red Jelly.

Networking

By Marketing, People No Comments

What is Networking?

Networking is the process of interacting with others and exchanging information in order to develop either professional or social contacts. Networking is very important in today’s world of business. It is essential for helping you build up your business, explore new careers and working with others. 

Why is Networking Essential?

Networking provides many benefits to one’s self. It allows many opportunities for one to strengthen his or her’s personal or professional connections. It is an essential skill to make it easier to find people you need for projects. It also helps with building your list of references or are looking for a job you might need. If you are starting a business, networking makes it better for you to hire more people. Often it is said that in business, its not so much what you know but who you know that can help you land a job opportunity or find support for your business.

 

Networking is also good for building new ideas for business.  Getting a fresh perspective or second opinion on something that you are working on can be very beneficial to one’s goals and help them plan or carry them out in a business sense. Many ideas can be generated from a group of people. Even if the idea is from one person, having a network makes it easier to carry that idea out.

 

Having a network strengthens your position as well. The more people you know the more likely that you will be able to find help with solving problems or creating solutions to help others. The exchange of ideas and knowledge is essential in your business and professional career. It allows you to be resourceful when the need arises. Having a network you can rely on is a necessity for this.

How to Network

In Your Education

It is essential to take any opportunity where you can meet new people and build upon that. There are many opportunities to network. There are many opportunities that you can take to network. The college you went to is often a great place to start. If you are still in school, many of the people you attend class with are going into the same field that you will be, making them a great starting point for connecting. If you are in post-graduation, you might still have a lot of connections that you are in contact with. 

 

Professional Setting

The professional setting is the most traditional way to network. You’ll make many connections with people throughout your career. Your fellow coworkers are a great place to start with building connections and creating your network. You will also have many opportunities to find other people through business meetings, conferences that you might go to, tradeshows and business trips.

 

Social Media

LinkedIn is a social media platform built just so people can network with each other in a professional way. LinkedIn is set up so that you can upload your resume and make a profile for yourself based on professional needs. However, Networking on Social Media does not have to be limited to just LinkedIn.

 

Through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube, there are all sorts of ways for you to get started with networking. Instagram and Facebook allow you to have a professional business page so that if you have a business you can communicate that way. Even if you do not have a business. You are always free to reach out to other people and invite them to share contact information with you through professional ways.

How Big Red Jelly can help

While Big Red Jelly can set you up with the tools for you to successfully network. Big Red Jelly helps its customers by offering to build websites for them, run their social media or helping with search engine optimization so that more people can discover you through Google. 

Making you more visible online is a great way for you and your business to begin networking and building your clientele.