As an entrepreneur and business strategist with three decades of experience, Ajay Prasad has been helping various small and medium size businesses maximize business productivity and unlock new revenue opportunities. Prasad has helped small businesses navigate web strategy and has guided entrepreneurs on the road to start new web-based businesses.
(Photo courtesy of Ajay Prasad)
You describe yourself as a serial entrepreneur. What are your past business ventures?
It really all started in the corporate world. Every position I took, I introduced something interesting to the company. I was called an intrapreneur. My first venture was to head a dot-com company back in 1999, which went upside down like almost every dot-com company back at that time. My next venture was to create a portable navigation system that I created under the banner of a company. After that, I started my own company, a digital marketing agency called GMR Web Team. In the beginning, I just did strategy and design work for companies. When I started thinking about offering digital marketing to my clients, because I was not comfortable with what worked and what didn’t work, I created a new company, GMR Transcription to be a guinea pig for it. Of course, I knew there was a demand for transcription at the time. The digital marketing took off, and GMR Transcription is now thriving. It’s a seven-figure business. I thrived in the corporate scenario by either creating businesses, product lines, products or processes for my own companies. I have two fairly successful companies right now and three in the infancy stages.
What made you decide to open a digital marketing company?
When I first started this business, there was no concept of digital marketing for small businesses. I didn’t want to work for big companies anymore. There was absolutely nobody out there at the time that was doing digital work for small businesses. Everyone was focused on the large companies. I saw an opportunity to hone in on a niche and started focusing on the small businesses. Many of the small businesses could not afford my traditional fee as a consultant, so I had to create services for them. Other than strategy, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. It is a very technical kind of thing.
What should people consider when hiring a digital marketing company?
- Make sure that the digital marketing company is operated by marketing professionals. Too many digital companies are run by technicians/artists.
- Make sure that they are strategic in their approach to digital marketing, which will result in a customized solution for each business.
- Analyze market opportunity, competition.
- Develop a custom solution based on the analysis.
- Track results.
- Make improvements to improve results.
- Experience of bringing results for businesses like theirs.
- The digital marketing company must have an in-house digital marketing team of programmers, graphic designers and digital marketers, not outsourcing to other companies.
- You should always check references.
This article was written by Robin D. Everson for Small Business Pulse