What motivates you to succeed?
We are in an industry where we love the work. I have put in 90 hours over the last 6 days. It is intensive work and you have to love it. Otherwise, you could not keep up.
What habits keep you successful?
Maintaining a high level of work ethic has gotten me to where I am, so that would definitely be it.
How have you developed key partnerships?
We all have different personalities and that has helped us connect to a variety of people.
What is one thing you find true that other people would disagree with?
Our approach to small business. We still do ad agency work but enjoy and are passionate about working with small businesses. We try to walk the line between both worlds and that is not a popular decision for other companies. It works for us, though.
How did you make your first sale?
While the three of us were still in school in Kentucky, Tommy reached out to a local dealership. He worked it out and Legacy Ford became our first client. We loved working with them and made quite a few videos for them.
What was the major turning point for your company where you became profitable?
The nature of the work is such that each production is actually profitable for us. It is the nature of what we do and our process. We did have some startup costs, but by keeping our budget tight we have long since overcome them.
How do you overcome the moments of doubt that stop most entrepreneurs?
It helps that we are still employed in the industry. Our existence is not dependent on Malt Maker’s success right now. This gives us more freedom than you usually have as an entrepreneur.
How do you maintain a high level of service on a tight budget?
You have to accept that if you want high quality you have to pay for it. Some costs are just line items that you deal with. There are situations where you can use existing material to create new services. That helps increase revenue and reduce costs.
How do you define business success?
We talk about a kind of triangle of success at Malt Maker. We want to be successful for our clients, have a varied portfolio we are proud of, and of course, we want to make a profit.
Have you achieved it with your company?
Yeah, we really have. There are moments where any business stumbles, but we are happy.
To what do you most attribute your company’s success?
Our team dynamics are great. We have something special and it is one of our unfair advantages. Most partnerships have a tough time, but we work together well.
All three of us have considerable experience in our own specialties. That experience allows us to bring a lot to the table for our clients.
What do you think contributes the most to a company’s long-term success?
Having people that love what they do and care about their craft. For all three of us, that has been true and I don’t expect it to change.
How important have your employees been to your success?
We use freelancers for our work, but having the right people is important. Knowing the right person for a specific role is critical.
How do you go about marketing your company?
We have used word-of-mouth so far. That has been our bread-and-butter. We also have a website.
What has your company growth been like for the last year?
We have seen steady growth and are pretty happy with it. We have added quite a few companies on retainer and are still growing.
What has been your biggest business mistake?
We worked with a client when we first started that had a lot of projects. The work we did was contingent on him getting funding. We ended up doing a lot of unpaid work. We had to stop working for him.
How did you handle it and what was your biggest takeaway?
We parted ways and learned that if you don’t have it in writing, you don’t do it. It was a difficult lesson, but one we won’t forget.
What has been your biggest success and what did you contribute to it?
The University of Cumberland was the biggest personal success for me. Knowing that we made a video that resonated with that many people is amazing. It got a lot of attention on social media and brought out a lot of positive emotions in people.
My contribution came from my skills in production. From a scheduling standpoint, it was intensive. There were 40 locations we had to scout in 2 days. There was a lot of work that went in and the final video is great because of it.
What is something you want people to know about your company that they don’t already?
We work with almost any budget. A lot of people worry over what can be accomplished on a tight budget. They would be surprised at what can do.
We are digital storytellers and there is a lot you can do without the expense of a full video.
If you could travel back to the first day of this company and have 15 minutes with your younger self, what advice would you want to give?
Don’t be afraid to connect with people in your community. We have met so many people by talking with our local chamber of commerce. Once we started reaching out it became clear we should have started earlier.
I appreciate Daniel taking his time to meet with me. If you would like to find out more, you can visit Malt Maker Media.