Sandy Gerber is a passionate small business advocate, having grown her successful marketing agency, NEXT, from her bedroom to one of BC’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies. She believes that most small business owners are passionate, committed, underpaid and overworked. She suggests summer vacation, as the perfect tool for business owners to leverage once a year. Stepping away from your business is effective as it forces us to pause our hectic workdays, and enjoy some time away from the office, to refuel for the fall business boom. If it is difficult to take time away, business owners should also take the opportunity to work on their own marketing initiatives and see if they are eligible for 1 of the 50 Business Boost Marketing Action Plans.
October is ‘Small Business Month’ in most Canadian cities, which means that events take place all over the city with the purpose of strengthening small businesses through summits, webinars, workshops and more. Sandy Gerber, the CEO of NEXT Impact Press in Vancouver is always busy throughout September giving talks all over the city. Gerber is on a mission to directly support small business in Canada and specifically, in 2018, Gerber will donate $400,000 worth of Vancouver marketing services (brand positioning and marketing strategy) to 50 qualified businesses. Below are some answers from Gerber when we interviewed her on her generous endeavor…
Q. What motivated you to donate $400,000 worth of Vancouver marketing services to small businesses this month?
A. I remember the feeling of being a small business starting my business out of my bedroom. You have limited resources and it’s really hard. It seems obvious now but the hardest thing at the beginning was to have a believer in my business. By having our NEXT marketing consultants as their mentor, and biggest believer and supporter in their business, we supercharge their business with a newly ignited vision. By crafting it and articulating it properly we get things out of them that they didn’t even know existed. It’s like we have set a rocket off, they suddenly know where they are going and what to say. My dedicated mission to help 50 small business owners succeed is the best way for me to make these services accessible to them financially, and to give back.
Q. Impact is a word that truly stands out in everything that you say and do. Where does your need to make a difference/impact comes from?
A. It shows up everywhere in my life. As a child, my father didn’t really like his work and yet he was such a creative person. My mother raised us and eventually went back to school in order to become an entrepreneur. I’ve experienced the two extremes – lack of impact and complete impact. I was always a very creative person dating back to elementary school with costumes and school presentations, doing things no one else did, always feeling the need to push creative limits. Impact is so ingrained in who I am. I have to know that what I am doing delivers value. Helping others has always been my nature.
Q. Why do you do what you do? What excites you about marketing strategy?
A. Ever since I was a kid people always came to me to ask me what to say in order to get the results they wanted – with friends, teachers, parents, etc. Marketing strategy is no different; it’s such a creative process for me. It’s a big challenge to find a way to be unique these days since everything has already been done. You can say that marketing strategy is my Grouse Grind. I get antsy when I don’t get to create or challenge myself?
Q. What can NEXT Impact do for small businesses that other marketing agencies cannot?
A. We craft their message. We specialize in messaging and positioning for businesses. We help position them in the market place and tell them what to say that cannot be duplicated by anyone else. On top of that, we also create their unique language that is tailored to their business. Some of them go on to trademarking the terms because they truly set them apart from the competition. Their unique language and messaging becomes an asset just like BRAND CHATTER™ is for us.
Q. Do you accept any company for this special program?
A. We accept business owners who are willing to invest a minimal amount to the process, while receiving 10x that value in their marketing and messaging strategy we create for them. This strategic work typically costs my clients between $20,000 – $50,000. For the 50 special business owners, their investment is less than $2,000 for the same services. The clients have to understand the value I deliver, they have to promise to implement and utilize the new positioning, they have to be a creative challenge for me, and I have to like and respect them. There has to be a good personal fit for me to enjoy this fun process and they also need to be excited about it. I really treat my clients like family, and root for their success.
Q. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
A. Only that I invite small businesses in Vancouver to take advantage of this great opportunity and to connect with us. We are receiving many applications, the ones who we have selected so far really explained why they wanted and needed support the most. The NEXT team and I are very excited to meet all of these amazing business owners and help them take the NEXT step towards their business success.
If you are interested in finding out more about Sandy’s small business marketing mission and want to apply to receive a Business Boost Marketing Action Plan, please connect with us today.