Interview with Our Founder Sean Parnell
Our founder, Sean Parnell, was recently approached by a casting company seeking entrepreneurs in Chicago to take part in a commercial for a major credit card company. They asked some good questions, so we thought we'd share his answers. Enjoy...
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do for fun? Passions? Hobbies?
A: By night, many know me as Chicago's historic bar expert: I wrote Historic Bars of Chicago and Created the Chicago Bar Project. By day, I run a marketing consulting agency that I founded 10 years ago. My wife is from Colombia, so we travel there often with our 7-year-old son. Otherwise, it's tennis, baseball, hockey, piano, and basking in the continued afterglow of the Cubs World Series victory.
Q: Tell us a little about your business. What kind of business is it? What goods/services do you offer?
A: We accelerate the profitability of small businesses needing to sell to other businesses (B2B) through marketing consulting and managed services. This usually includes some combination of market research, marketing planning, website development, content marketing, and SEO. An investment in our services usually generates over $100,000 per year in new business for each of our clients.
Q: What year did you start/open your business?
A: 2007: it's fun ramping up a new business during the Great Recession! [insert somewhat sarcastic tone here]
Q: What challenges did you face when starting your own business?
A: Did I mention starting a business during the Great Recession? We've had ups and downs and are in the third major evolution of our business where we expect 20% growth per year over the next five years. Only once we understood how much time we spend on each client engagement, did we finally understand how to price engagements – and what engagements to pursue and what to avoid.
Q: What is the best thing about owning your own business?
A: Freedom and the absence of office politics.Q: What is the worst thing about owning your own business?
A: Taxes, insurance, bookkeeping, and the occasional pang of insecurity.