The latest in a long family tradition of entrepreneurs, Jim Stratton from Newbury Park, CA has always wanted to start a business. After finishing his education, Jim worked for several marketing companies, using his time as an employee to gain the skills, insights and “real world” experience he needed for the day when he would become his own boss.
“I learned a lot from my work experience,” said Jim. “Both in terms of the kinds of things that I definitely wanted to do with my own business, as well as the types of things I wanted to avoid doing. Once I felt confident enough in my knowledge and abilities, I decided it was time to get started on a business of my own.”
Jim Stratton runs Discovery Marketing Solutions, LLC, an internet marketing firm that helps clients use search engine marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click ad campaigns, and other online marketing tools to find new customers and boost their profits.
Jim says that one of the biggest challenges facing his business is overcoming the skepticism that many business owners have about “Internet marketing.”
“The challenge of being in the Internet marketing field is that many clients are unfamiliar with what we can do for them,” said Jim. “And unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people out there who call themselves ‘online marketing experts,’ who take people’s money without really knowing how to deliver results.”
Jim Stratton prides himself on running an ethical online marketing business that provides measurable results and delivers real benefits for his clients. “We spend a lot of time educating our clients about the financial math of customer acquisition: how much it costs to acquire a customer, how to do it cost-effectively, and how to increase online conversion rates,” said Jim. “We show every client how our work relates directly to improving their business results, and we can also design custom marketing programs that are results-driven, so we don’t get paid unless they’re making money off of our recommendations.”
Jim takes a personal stake in creating success for his clients. “I try to treat every client’s business as if it were my own,” he said. “I put a lot of effort into making sure our clients’ marketing dollars are spent wisely, and that the right online marketing programs are put in place and perfected to become more successful over time.”
Asked what he loves most about running a business, Jim said, “The freedom. I have a wife and two young children at home, so the freedom and flexibility of my time is one of the most rewarding things I could ask for. There is also the financial freedom of knowing that when I apply myself, there is no ceiling to my income potential.”
Jim is relatively new to entrepreneurship, but he’s seen his share of ups and downs. Asked what advice he would give to others who are starting a business for the first time, he advises perseverance and persistence.
“Whether you are just now starting your own business, or have been at it for years, there are always going to be hurdles in the way of your success,” said Jim. “Try not to let the weight of the obstacles bring you down and make you become too discouraged, instead just continue to apply yourself and use each hurdle as a valuable learning opportunity.”
One of the hardest lessons for many entrepreneurs to learn is that success doesn’t happen overnight. Just because you’re excited and passionate about your business doesn’t mean the rest of the world will immediately take notice. You have to spend a lot of time and effort to build an audience and find the market for what you do.
“One of the surprising things I’ve learned from running my own business is that success does not come easy, and it has to be earned through a lot of hard work,” said Jim. “When I was first starting out, I thought it would happen overnight, but what I found instead is that there are so many moving parts to running a business effectively, and to achieve your goals it takes focus and energy – not just for the parts of the business that are most interesting or exciting, but for all of the details and mundane aspects as well.”
Jim Stratton decided to incorporate a business using the tools and guidance from CorpNet. “We got some great assistance from CorpNet and they helped me get the information I needed to decide that an LLC was the right business structure for us,” said Jim. “The biggest benefits I see to incorporating with an LLC are the taxation and limited liability protections.”