Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Direct Marketing Success Story Pt. 6

JDS: What are your thoughts about having and/or dealing with business partners? Some businesses partnerships seem to thrive, while it destroys others.

Peter: In the previous ad agency I worked with I was one of four partners. We each had our own area of expertise, so each partner provided unique talents to the company. We all started off as friends, but I found that over the nine years we worked together we started to grow apart and egos got in the way of working effectively together. I think you need to choose your partners carefully and make sure you feel you can work with those partners through both the good and bad times and that you have similar philosophies about how you plan to manage and grow your business. A partnership is like a marriage, so you need to be prepared to live with your partners over an extended period of time.

JDS: What's the best advice you've received?

Peter: My wife told me it was a great idea for me to start my own business and go out on my own. At the time I started my business I had a fair amount of anxiety and fortunately she had the confidence in me to know I had what it takes to make my business a success.
JDS: What most impresses you about a person?

Peter: I admire people that are self-starters and who work hard to achieve their goals. We've had several people in our company who started out as receptionists and worked their way up into important positions within Koeppel Direct. My COO started working with me as a college intern and eventually worked her way up to a top position in my company. I'm also impressed with entrepreneurs who have a great idea and are able to do whatever it takes to bring that idea to market. Often this type of person has the ability to bounce back from rejection and has the ability to maintain their drive and desire to succeed through some trying periods.

JDS: If you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently?

Peter: I probably would have started our online division sooner than I did, looking at the tremendous growth in online advertising over the last five years. I also would have invested in an advanced, direct response media buying and tracking system sooner than I did. The system we have today gives Koeppel Direct some definite competitive advantages.

JDS: Who inspires you now?

Peter: I think that Donald Trump and Donny Deutsch are two successful entrepreneurs that have some good advice for people looking to start or grow their own business. I'm also think that Steve Jobs is a marketing genius and the guys that started Google seem to have a real vision and the resources for growing their business over the long term.

JDS: Do you have any pointers or words of wisdom to give Entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to follow in your footsteps?

Peter: Get involved in a business that you enjoy, since it will consume a big part of your life. Also, surround yourself with smart people that you like to work with and understand their strengths and help nurture those strengths.

JDS: I would like to thank Peter for taking the time to share his insights and story with all of us.