Minn. Couple Share The Ups and Downs of Entrepreneurship

By Frederick Melo
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Advertising entrepreneurs Jonathan and Stacy Anderson share their often tough yet exciting journey of business ownership. Jonathan recalls key choices that helped the company, “Creed Interactive” focus itself and evolve over the years.

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

The recession was good to Jonathan and Stacy Anderstrom. Their start-up web development firm, Creed Interactive, was nimble enough to absorb clients unwilling or unable to spend top dollar on higher-end partners. It “actually helped us because it shook up a whole bunch of business situations, and cracked open the door for a small business like us,” said Jonathan Anderstrom.

But the national economic recovery was almost disastrous for Creed, which couldn’t compete with higher-paying job offers for its staff.

In a single month in 2010, the third of their four children was born. Half of the Anderstroms’ employees resigned. And their workload doubled.

“We went from four people to two,” Jonathan recalled. “We needed eight. I thought I was going to die.”

So Jonathan, the public face of the company, did the unthinkable. He scrolled through Creed Interactive’s list of clients, found the smallest and least lucrative — the “busywork” — and got rid of them. “We fired half our clients,” said Jonathan, “which in the ad agency world is heresy. I’ve worked at a number of different firms. I’ve never been part of a firm firing clients before, let alone half of them. That was gut wrenching for a young entrepreneur.”

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