Big Rig Media, based in La Quinta, California, has helped hundreds of companies across multiple industries transform their digital marketing. The business provides digital marketing, custom web development, and traditional advertising services. Jeff jokes that the website tag line should be: A full-service, no B.S. marketing agency.
Founded in 2000, Big Rig Media is celebrating their 20th year in operation. Owner Jeff Beyer says, “I started this business when I was 23 years old – a long-haired kid building computers.” We’re now celebrating our 20 year anniversary – for a tech company that’s like 140 years.
The long hair is a faded memory now, but Beyer’s ambition and drive are stronger than ever. He now has a staff of 17 with clients in all 50 states and has done business in 10 countries. We caught up with the busy CEO and founder of Big Rig Media to learn more about his successful business.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Jeff Beyer: I did a pet project building a website for an entertainment company that I was working for in 1997. When we launched the website we had orders within the first 24 hours. From there I fell in love with doing business over the Internet. Word got around that we built websites and soon we were building websites for bookstores, fashion designers, luxury interior design firms, entertainment companies, and more. I have a keen eye for catching vertical markets that were underserved.
Speaking of money, how did you fund Big Rig Media in the beginning?
JB: I self-funded the actual company. When I was starting out, I worked full-time in the entertainment industry for a record label. My business grew organically until it was sustainable and I made the decision to leave the entertainment business. It was very scary, but I made sure that I keep the overhead low.
What sets Big Rig Media apart from other businesses?
JB: My team and I really enjoy helping customers grow. We have a saying at the office: “ We Like To Do Business With Some One We Can Have A Beer With.” I treat everyone’s business just like my own. I often try all new marketing and software ideas first on Big Rig Media to measure the success and results.
How did you determine that an SBA loan was the right fit to fund your business?
JB: My business experienced 28% growth year-over-year, so I knew I was in a good position for SBA funding. I had taken out multiple lines of credit and that helped for a while but I needed SmartBiz to get away from the daily payment systems. The SBA loan allows us to keep more cash to invest because of the small monthly payments. We’ve now worked with SmartBiz twice to help meet our business goals.
How did you find the SBA loan application process?
JB: I worked with a great Relationship Manager who helped a lot. We have a CPA Firm VanHouten Tax & Business Solutions who is a Big Rig Media client. He helped me pull information together to make the process even smoother. P.S. He loved the process so much he signed up as a SmartBiz Marketing Partner and uses SmartBiz for his company.
What are your plans for the SBA loan proceeds?
JB: Big Rig Media is moving into SaaS (Software as a Service). Our platform is being exclusively designed for the outdoor hospitality and reservation industry. We’re going to use the funds for new technologies so we can capture more of the market share.
What are some business owner challenges?
JB: As an entrepreneur, one of the big challenges is prioritizing what needs to get done at that moment. What I’ve learned by reading mentorship books and attending high-level CEO conferences is that entrepreneurs have a lot of ideas. However, some of those ideas need to be tabled while others need to be executed on. You have to know the difference. Another challenge is product performance. If Big Rig Media is going out to market, we need flawless execution along with systems and procedures for scaling technology and customers success.
Do you have any words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs?
JB: Make sure you’re serving a need and people are willing to pay for that need. Furthermore, you got to prioritize what needs to get done at the moment that will make the biggest impact for your business.
What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur and owning your own business?
JB: I’d say the flexibility of time. I like doing what I want to do when I want to do it. For example, I wake up at 6:30 am to handle email and east coast clients. Then I go workout before I head into the office. I just really love the game of getting out there and winning. I love our clients and treat each of them like it’s my own business.