Amidst covid restrictions and closures in the District, Jaime found new ways to expand his business venture Brandgoat 84, reach the clients he wanted, and help other struggling small businesses in the city. Read more about his startup story and see what you can learn from the value of marketing your services or products.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Jaime Rivera moved to Washington, D.C., in 2019 to live with his partner, and in his own words, the city ended up choosing him. With this move, he was also eager to embark on a new adventure of becoming an entrepreneur. With 10+ years of experience in advertising, branding, and marketing and a great passion for it, Jaime knew he wanted to set up a small marketing agency that catered to other small businesses in Washington, D.C. Then, in January 2020, Jaime launched Brandgoat 84.
Jaime realized he had what it took to start this venture since he was in Puerto Rico; his experience on the island included working with multinational and boutique marketing agencies on special events and major publicity campaigns for significant national and global brands. With Brandgoat 84, Jaime's vision was to transfer these more comprehensive marketing strategies to smaller businesses that lacked an online presence in the city. He also clearly understood who he wanted his clients to be; he wanted to help other entrepreneurs from marginalized communities, particularly Latine entrepreneurs.
With a clear idea of his target audience that he feels deeply connected with because of his background, he was ready to develop those one-on-one relationships and provide his knowledge and advice to these smaller businesses. He also understood that he needed to gain the trust of any small business owner by meeting them in person, especially if their online media presence was nonexistent. However, March 2020 had different plans for all of us.
A true extrovert, the pandemic was a heavy hit on Jaime's business's core process and operations, which consisted of in-person meetings, particularly with those clients he was trying to reach. For Jaime, business relationships require the same trust and care as other personal relationships. So, finding new ways to create that human emotional connection was initially difficult during the pandemic, particularly for his newly established business of only six weeks.
Then, as he mentions, "with new challenges come new opportunities." Jaime started reaching out to multiple organizations in the DMV to offer his expertise and generated free online seminars for other Small Businesses in English and Spanish. He also created a six-chapter workshop focused on branding and marketing for small businesses. And through the workshop and seminars, Jaime started building those personal relationships, getting to know key members of the communities he wanted to help, and facilitating a voice for those entrepreneurs to tell their unique stories and advance their businesses.
One of the organizations Jaime reached out to was LEDC, further understanding the reach entrepreneurs in underserved communities could gain through appropriate marketing of their business. To this day, Jaime has worked as a consultant for multiple LEDC programs such as ProBiz and Future Baltimore Small Business Accelerator, helping even more small businesses with their sales through marketing, and in turn, benefited from our organization's technical assistance offered by our Small Business Coaches, acquiring more knowledge on the licenses he needed to operate his business.
All the challenges brought on by the pandemic, especially for Jaime's business, allowed him to reinvent his business goals and find new ways to market and help others. By working with other organizations and creating these workshops, he better understood his target audience's needs and further improved his own business.
To this day, Brandgoat84 is in a healthy state and steadily evolving. During the second year of operations, Jaime's business saw a 69% growth in billing compared to the first year, and this year the projection indicates an increase between 55 and 60%. "The plan is to continue to offer the best possible service to expand the team in the next 18 months and increase the list of cities where we can offer our services," Jaime mentions.
Jaime Rivera at DC Corazon Fonda & Taquileria. A Small Business that connected with Brandgoat 84 through LEDC's recommendation. Jaime provided his marketing knowledge and creativity to help expand DC Corazon's presence in Petworth.
Jaime attributes the success of his business to this pandemic reinvention and still highly recommends the use of marketing for any entrepreneur struggling with starting or maintaining a business. "Small businesses will not gain recognition for their excellent products or services if they don't tell the world why their product or offering is unique. They need to advertise and use appropriate branding to attain the consumers they want and even obtain new clients…Marketing is essential to growing any business and doesn't have to be expensive... I also believe small businesses should not try to imitate the marketing endeavors of larger companies and focus more on telling their remarkable stories… If a small company wants to start investing in marketing, a healthy number to put towards marketing is about 10 to 20% of the business' monthly income."
You can learn more about Jaime's services and products for your small business and plans through his website: 🔗BRANDGOAT84.🔗
Author: Sofia Iszard, LEDC Communications