When we think of what it means to be a founder, we often have a sort of picturesque view of a stuffy suit against the backdrop of a downtown corner office.
When we think of what it means to be a founder, we often have a sort of picturesque view of a stuffy suit against the backdrop of a downtown corner office. Traditionally, of course, this isn't far off. Brick and mortar enterprises often need to be run with the founder close at hand to meet with clients, organize staff, and ensure the smooth daily operation and productivity of all departments. But today’s founders are a little different, and bear a striking resemblance to regular, everyday people...and that’s because they are. Today, ideas and concepts are shared so rapidly that nearly anyone with a strong idea and a little guidance can become the founder of a successful business, and the best part is that you can do it on your own terms. With the evolution of remote work and the SaaS world introducing constant innovative methods of connecting teams across the globe, opportunity awaits like never before.
Today, the founder who has caught our attention is Jeanna Barrett, and you certainly won’t find her sitting in a stuffy office – instead, you’ll have to search the beach, or perhaps the tropical jungles of Belize. Jeanna started First Page Strategy to pursue her goal of developing a non-traditional marketing agency that focused on the talent in place of the typical corporate structure. Here’s how Jeanna turned her dream into a successful reality.
How Digital Collaboration Alters the Business Landscape
Jeanna describes her business as a vehicle to drive traffic and revenue growth for her clients, but it operates in a unique way. Traditional marketing agencies often have unnecessary costs associated with elaborate offices, equipment, and, the pinnacle of any business – an impressive boardroom. But First Page keeps a lean overhead by collaborating with talented and remote experts around the world who bring a wealth of industry knowledge and best practices to the virtual table. This shift away from other agencies enables First Page to offer a higher level of value to their clients, and guide them towards efficiently scaling positive growth.
We pride ourselves in going against the traditional agency model. Instead of account managers/directors, we only hire marketers who are experts in their channel to own strategy, build plans, and execute for our clients.
What Does It Mean to Be a Founder in 2021?
Many entrepreneurs begin their journey with an idea or belief that they can make a difference, solve a problem, or, perhaps most importantly, create more freedom in their own lives. Jeanna designed her business strategically to give herself more balance between her work and her personal time, and the result has enabled her to provide increased value to her clients without running herself into the ground. Her focus on self-care has extended into all areas of her life, and has not only allowed her to become a better business owner, worker, and colleague when compared to the everyday office job, but also a better friend, too. The lasting relationships that Jeanna can nurture outside of her work have benefited greatly from this new-found mindset.
Like any business, some struggles are unavoidable, but Jeanna’s unique agency structure has paid off. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, First Page was equipped to handle a blow that put many businesses in a frantic state.
We did not lose clients and revenue, and we were already working from home every day. So, First Page has come out far better than a number of businesses this year, which I’m incredibly grateful for. We still have our challenges though, for me and for those who work for First Page, I think burnout has been real.
While it presented uncharted territory, adapting to the restrictions that the pandemic caused wasn’t as challenging for Jeanna’s team as it was for many businesses worldwide. Through the pursuit of a more flexible work model, First Page has been able to weather the storm and see a clear sky on the horizon.
“I think we’ve all just learned to adapt, and the good thing about working from home and having ‘time freedom’ is that you can adjust what you need in your schedule to accommodate kids, schedules, or stay-at-home orders for specific times to grocery shop or workout outside.”
How Incfile Made a Difference
Jeanna describes herself as a digital native, constantly in pursuit of smart technology to help her and her team grow and achieve. After reviewing several vendors, she discovered the benefits that were important to her and sought to implement them with Incfile.
“When vetting vendors to start my LLC, Incfile was less of a dinosaur, didn’t have hidden costs or fees I couldn't figure out, and just seemed to fit who I was as a business owner. I like how I can log in to their dashboard and it’s easy to navigate to additional services, find my documents, or understand what I need to do to keep my LLC compliant. Now, what’s my favorite thing? The automated compliance reminders. I know that's a very niche thing to love, but it’s something I don’t have to waste time thinking about — which, if you’re also a founder, you know we’re limited on time.”
After forming First Page Strategy with Incfile, Jeanna continued to take advantage of multiple features. “The services I value the most are things like the extensive contract library. Having access to freelance writer contracts, professional services contracts, and more make working with a team that much easier. I even purchased my EIN with Incfile because it was just so simple and straightforward.” Since forming her LLC, Jeanna has been able to grow her business over the past five years to a point where she can expand her reach and give back to the communities she’s invested in. In 2019, she formed a nonprofit with Incfile to provide children’s books to underserved areas in Belize, where she spends a great deal of her time while running her marketing agency.
Jeanna’s Advice for Those Considering Business Formation
Since partnering with Incfile, Jeanna’s business has grown 450% in revenue and she has gone from a team of 2 to a team of 18. First Page Strategy has been entered into the 2021 Inc 5,000 Regional Awards for Fastest Growing Businesses in California, and while the word is still out on the finalists, Jeanna says that the growth of her business has been fun and exciting overall. Her advice to those considering entrepreneurship involves three important points:
- 1 Know what you’re good at, use technology and outsourcing for the rest.
- 2 Get project management software and a project manager as soon as possible.
- 3 Network with other people who own businesses just like yours.