Case Study: The Exciting Journey from Corporate Consultant to Digital Marketing Agency Owner!
Company: CEO of Digital Consultants Canada Toronto, Canada
Owner: Jenani Paul
Type: Blam Partner Franchise
Company Summary: Digital Consultants are passionate about helping businesses and non-profit organizations to market their product and services and attract the right client leads to you. We would like to partner with you to excel your business and sales growth. We are certified digital consultants who will go the distance to deliver value to your business.
Location: Toronto, Canada
A Blam Partner for Five Years
I’ve been a Blam Partner for almost 5 years. My husband and I decided to start it together part-time because we were both doing different consulting and insurance jobs. I was trying to do this at the same time as I was working as a consultant for large corporations and the projects would take between 16 to 24 months.
Then around the end of 2019, we're like okay we have to kind of make a decision: 'what do we do?' At the start of 2020, we decided I'll go full-time as a Blam Partner and my husband will continue with his job…..it's been an awesome uphill drive since then.
Managing Everything Online Without Being There Physically
I think I had my legs in both oceans: 'which way am I going right?' I loved digital marketing, I loved working with Blam and, from a website perspective, this is the direction right now in the future because businesses need to have a digital presence. I wanted to build a business where I can manage everything without always being in the building.
Before going full-time with my Blam business, I had just a handful of clients and they were quite needy from the client's perspective which was great. For me, it was more about understanding the ins and outs of the onboarding process, how to deliver a good experience for them to be able to transition online and get their website launching.
The Difference between The Corporate World & the SME World
I think it took me a while to figure out because it's a little different from the corporate world of consulting. When you're dealing with smaller businesses as well, they can be so different from one end of the spectrum to the other. Plus, I was used to corporate vocabulary and long, drawn-out projects.
Then I realized, these guys are just different in the way they understand the process. They don't need a whole document explanation, they don't need an approval process, they just make a decision and they run with it. The turnaround time is a lot faster and the communication is so much easier because there's not a large number of people having to make decisions so it's different.
Closing the Deal Naturally when you've come from a Corporate Background
You have to get all the risks signed off and communicate all the issues. Whereas entrepreneurs and small businesses are all about taking risks so it's like 'let's just do it and let's see how it goes'. I had that mentality of having to cover every boundary, I had to put it all into a detailed document and that's the learning curve that I've been on.
No Contracts, No Risks for Clients
Without a contract, it gives clients more freedom to say, 'okay you know what I can try'. I personally don't like contracts much, so why would I want to put my clients in one as well? If we do a great job why would they want to leave? So my goal is just to get them over the line and then show them how good it is.
Working with the Blam Design Team
The experience with Blam's designers has been very positive. Originally I was thinking of doing the designs myself but it would take so long and it was a lot of pressure on top of what I was already doing. I think we have a good flow happening right now where I understand what the client wants to get out of their value proposition, what they're trying to communicate, and then brief it over to Blam's designers: Hey, can we professionalize this and make it more modern? I think the website team at Blam probably knows us very well now and hears from us at least once a day.
Scaling the Business and Taking on Staff
"I’ve got to figure out ‘what’s the best use of my time?’... it’s a good problem to have!"
As an entrepreneur, you try to do everything on your own. I've got to figure out what's the best use of my time, I think that's where I'm at - where, when, and how do I get a team together? I have taken on some recent graduates who are helping me figure out how to simplify and streamline some of the activities so that frees me up to talk to more new clients and be able to communicate the value of being online. So yeah it's a lot but it's not a bad problem, it's a good problem to have.
Because you've been through quite a rapid growth stage last year where you were very hands-on and you really want to deliver an absolutely A-plus service by giving all your customers loads of support. It means that you get pulled all over the place, so we can actually help you with a lot of that support by helping you put systems and processes in place...for me, you're at the most exciting stage. I'm excited, looking forward to scaling up and getting to a place where we're going onto the next stage of growth.
The Growth of the Business over the Next Two to Three Years
I want to grow to become a medium-sized business with at least 150-200 clients. So we're trying to be aggressive in our sales but it's not about us just building websites and apps then never seeing the customer again, we're not that kind of business. It's a partnership with our clients where they're able to see us as their digital consultancy team and, in turn, have a service from Blam as well. This approach also means I'm at the point where referrals are coming in or people are talking to us because of the good experience our clients are having.
It's growing. I don't see it being a small boutique agency but I don't know if I'd be seen as a big large corporation either so somewhere in the middle would be good. I don't want clients to just feel like a number, I want them to know their business is important. When you go into a bank you know you're just a bank account number and they don't know you personally. I don't have to know every single client personally, but at least someone in my team knows them and has their best interests at heart.
The Number of Clients from Referrals
The majority of new clients are from referrals because I connected with them through networking meetings or they heard about us. Then there are few other things I do such as pure cold calling or just emailing.
During the lockdown, it was a lot easier because the market kind of pointed towards our direction which helps. After making a lot of connections, a lot of calling, and getting to know new people I've been able to get more and more referrals. You know that you're doing it right to some extent because if I have clients who can't refer me then are we actually adding value to them?
Blam are Genuinely about Helping Partners
Well we're Digital Consultants Canada and we love helping people. You know what? We also want to thank Grant at Blam, he’s been a superstar in helping and supporting Partners and you know I try as much as I can to come to his live [training] sessions on Facebook. The Blam guys are genuine which is why it would be hard for me to part ways or take on full-time consultants because they are genuinely about helping partners.