Kyle Reyes | Crain's Connecticut

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Kyle Reyes

Background:  

Silent Partner Marketing is a Manchester, Conn.-based boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in the digital age.

The Mistake:

I started with the core values of storytelling when I started the agency. The questions was, "How do I make businesses grow in the digital age?"

Well, it's simple. It's about telling stories: stories about who they are, why they got into business, how they've grown the business and what their unique selling proposition is?

That is very wide; it will fit any business because every business has the need to tell their story regardless if it is a restaurant, an automotive dealer or a marijuana grower. After I launched the business, I very quickly had a massive number of businesses that came to us saying, "Tell our story."

There was a pivotal moment that made me realize we had too many different businesses coming to us when we launched a campaign that within 48 hours received international media exposure for one of our clients. We did the world's first delivery of food by drone and then all of the sudden the client defaulted on paying us.

I quickly realized the company was associated with a convicted felon who had been charged with tax evasion.

We were trying to be everything to everybody. And I finally stopped and I took a step back and I learned that the best way of growing an agency and to be a very successful organization is by finding companies that are a good fit.

The best clients hold values that align with your own.

The Lesson:

The best clients hold values that align with your own.

The first question I ask is can this company afford our services? Second, are they going to be progressive in their thought processes on how to market and advertise?

If the answer to both of those isn't yes, they are out of our sales model. I don't want to have to fight to educate them on why they should be doing certain things.

I need organizations that are going to be open to the fact that there might be a lot that they don't know about the digital age. But they are open to learning and they acknowledge that what they have been doing for the last 25 years no longer works.

Do you have a good story you’d like to share, or know someone we should feature? Email cberman@crain.com.

And be sure to sign up for your local newsletter from Crain's Connecticut.