Episode 1 – Building a Systematic Business from the Ground Up with Sidney Jackson

Show notes

Welcome to the EntreNetwork Podcast! We’re happy to see you here!

Revision Marketing Group is comprised of 4 young men and women in their 20’s. We’ve made it our mission to create authentic marketing strategies for small businesses & entrepreneurs. As a part of our mission, we’ve created a brand new podcast, EntreNetwork.

EntreNetwork is a podcast to help business owners get through the toughest parts of business while working smarter through knowledge, systems, and marketing. Host Sidney Jackson, MBA is the owner of Revision Marketing Group. Sidney & his team helps business owners with marketing, branding, and technology to grow their businesses.

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Mikayla Anderson 00:00
Welcome to entre network brought to you by revision marketing group. This podcast is meant to serve as an entrepreneurial knowledge base of wisdom and practical tips in marketing, branding and technology to help grow your business effectively. Welcome back to entre network. My name is Michaela Anderson and today I will be interviewing Sidney Jackson on auction network. We will be going over all of the important systems for business growth, entrepreneurship, and most importantly, how you grow within your competition. Well, the podcast,

Sidney Jackson 00:31
thank you for having me on his introductory introduction, podcast episode, of course. Yeah.

Mikayla Anderson 00:39
So Sydney, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Sidney Jackson 00:42
Yeah, so my name is Sydney Jackson. I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. So now I live in Shreveport, right? So I’m married with two kids or one kid and one on the way. My lovely wife, Victoria Jackson feels my heart, right? And then add a line and then we have a baby boy on the way. But aside from that, just a regular guy trying to build the marketing agency and go on after different things. So I’m in the entrepreneurial room.

Mikayla Anderson 01:17
Okay. So, um, when he met your wife, right. So you took you’ve told me the story of when you met your wife? Yes. Did you meet her in college?

Sidney Jackson 01:27
So no, we actually met in high school. I was I was in jail ROTC, which is military camp kind of thing in school. And we went to I think it’s called Camp Beauregard, which is pineville, Alexandria, the middle of Louisiana. And we just kind of met there, she threw a rock at my head, or pebble, but it was as big as a rock. And we just kind of started having a super open conversation. And then from there, we went back, she went to NACA dish, I went to Monroe, we went to um, so I’m from New Orleans, but we went to Monroe, my family and I are family, and then in 2005, the day before Katrina, but fast forward to I want to say 20 1011. That’s when I met my wife. And then at the Summer Camp, we went back to our hometowns, or I went to Monroe, she went to Matt cottage, and then fast forward two years after that, I went to Northwestern, and then happily ever after, in a sense. That’s so sweet. Indeed.

Mikayla Anderson 02:41
So I’m with entrepreneurship. Did you start that right away in college, or did you get into something else first,

Sidney Jackson 02:49
I got an, I got into a lot of stuff. So entrepreneurship. I got into it in high school. So I picked up a camera and I was the historian for the yearbook. So I took pictures of, for the yearbook of our class and stuff like that. And then on the side, I started doing music videos, which was interesting. So that’s where I gathered a love for video production. I’m not super creative in terms of overall production and staging for shots and stuff like that. But I really enjoyed the editing process. So I think that’s where it really came from. I knew I wanted to do something. And I had a job at Cracker Barrel, which was, it was interesting. Because I’m an introvert, and I was the greeter. So if you ever been to Cracker Barrel, it has to you have the retail section, you have the kitchen, or the restaurant. Yeah. So with that I was the greeter for the retail section had to try to sell people on different things. But for the most part, it really opened up my shell pretty quickly. And I was I started having open conversations with some of the guests about pretty much everything, pretty much everything. So I really gravitated towards people trying to understand them. So I can grab onto that wisdom. So I can use when I have a kid or when I become a grandparent and stuff like that there was a lot of good conversations. But entrepreneurship, I think all of those experiences kind of shaped me, because I had a manager who allowed me to kind of handle the truck. So you have shipments and stuff like that. So I was over the, the team that kind of unloaded the truck and put everything where it was supposed to go outside looking at forecasts for on different sales and stuff like that. So looking at the numbers and then crunching and I was like oh this is awesome. This is what I want to do. But that’s where the entrepreneurial journey kind of started. And then when I went to Nagesh, I was the it slash marketing consultant for the LSB EDC which allowed me to meet with over 70 small business owners and provide value in terms of implementing systems but also doing marketing. And on a side I was still doing music videos for not West, low NACA dish rappers in a sense. But yeah, that’s where it kind of came together. It’s a lot more to the overall story, but super long winded So

Mikayla Anderson 05:33
no, no, I love it. So as far as like your entrepreneurial journey, when is the when can you pinpoint a moment where you really felt like, Okay, I’m going to actively start my own journey of really starting a business and eventually moving towards that full time.

Sidney Jackson 05:56
With that, it never was, like a defining moment in time got laid off, right? So that, that puts a lot of pressure on you. But but for the most part, it was a combination of all of those experiences. I think a really good moment, for me was when I was doing music videos in high world college, and then my academic advisor on Curtis pin ride, this guy, incredible. He referred me to this local real estate broker. Sorry, name is Janice. So she acquired this additional, what is it brokerage brokerage. So she went from, I think, seven to 12, or 14 agents. And she hired me to kind of implement different systems and do the marketing. And in the hourly rate, and I charged was like, I want to say 75. Wow. 75. And when I was 21, or 20. At the time, I was like this is a lot of money. Yeah, so I think that opened me up to what was possible, in terms of people actually paying for the knowledge. And yeah, but of course, it was another two or three years before actually weren’t? No, I think it was like another Yeah, two or three years before I actually went full time with revision marketing group.

Mikayla Anderson 07:28
Okay, so was there a specific time where you felt like, okay, I only want to do marketing, or what exactly made you gravitate towards systems and marketing and videography. I know you have a background with making videos, music videos, and doing different stuff with systems with like, the real estate broker. Um, but how exactly did you land on marketing? Overall?

Sidney Jackson 07:57
That’s a really good question. So I love systems. That’s my biggest passion. I think marketing is secondary for me. But I saw the power of systems early on. So in terms of use of utilizing the resources that I have, I picked up a camera and started doing music videos, because I’m Monroe, from the south, well, in the south side, right? You have rappers. So seeing that and saying, okay, I can probably get someone to pay me for this service, right. So using what I have, in a sense, and then from there, I knew that I always want to do some kind something in technology. So I went to school for technology. And that really allowed me to do both in a sense where you implement systems and then you do marketing, and then you systematize it to help small businesses grow. Because when I saw what I saw, within the SBDC, as it slash marketing consultant was, you can do really good marketing. But on the operation side of it, if you don’t have systems in place to keep up with the leads, or automate different processes, it’s just going to be super fat. And ascent is terms of business. So you have a lot of overhead or you have all of these things that don’t really work together. And if you throw out marketing and that increase brand awareness, increase sales, and you you’re not efficient on a system, systematic approach is just not really going to work or be scalable in the sense. So I think both of them go hand in hand and that’s how I kind of got into marketing.

Mikayla Anderson 09:39
No, definitely my mom she actually started her own cleaning business. And when she first started, she had like this really cute logo and she had all these people who did like super cute word of mouth marketing for her and like she had so much going for her, but she couldn’t keep up with And so she gets all these client inquiries, but the biggest thing is is like, can you follow up with them? Are you keeping up with who you follow up with? Like, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned is like you can have 20,000 people want to see you. But what are you going to get the most out of it? And who are you going to know who to talk to? Yeah, as far as that aspect, how have you figured out within the systems of revision marketing, what’s the biggest thing that you feel like has like changed your business,

Sidney Jackson 10:37
the implementation of a client relationship management program. So its acronym is CRM. So with that, I started that process pretty early. When I came to the office, which is in downtown Shreveport, I had Candace Betty’s, we was downstairs in this dedicated, open co working space, right? And I told her, Hey, I forget names and stuff like that. So I’m put you in a CRM. She’s like, what’s this? Yeah, and I was like, What is just a place where I keep all of the prospects and clients and stuff like that, so I can keep up with them. Because I’m really bad at remembering people’s names. But once the business started scaling, that was kind of like the backbone to the company where it’s like, okay, you have this account, they’re affiliated with this person, they have these contacts in there, this is the phone number, this is the email, this is all of the email correspondence. So that really was kind of like the backbone to the company. And it plays a vital role in the company today. Um, so that’s one of the biggest systems that we have, that really kind of help the business grow and be scalable.

Team RMG 11:50
This episode is sponsored by project grand reconstruction, if you’re a business owner, looking to grow your business in 2022, but you’re not truly satisfied with your website and social media content to do a big push and generate leads, revision marketing group has created project brand reconstruction, to redesign your website and social media to be consistent with your brand, which will allow you to generate more revenue. To learn more about project brand reconstruction and join our waiting list, visit our website, www dot revision mg.com backslash brand reconstruction.

Mikayla Anderson 12:23
That’s awesome. So I know, before I worked with revision marketing group, I did work for a very large company. And they probably had over like 2000 employees, which is pretty good, and obviously, right. And so we did have a very big CRM, but it was outdated. But there was nothing really wrong with it, it was just a little age. The biggest thing I found with CRM before coming to revision, is I felt like there was so much excess information, like there was so much that I didn’t need to know. And so how do you? What advice would you give people on like, what is like the actual good stuff to keep? Or what is stuff that you’re really not going to need to keep record of?

Sidney Jackson 13:18
So my it background, I would say keep everything? keep as much as possible if you have the data for it, or capacity for it, right? Because in the realm of marketing, if you have all of this data, Take for instance, on Facebook, they keep track of everything, right? So they have a lot of systems and a lot of heart Well, yeah, systems and hardware to actually actually keep track of all of these Mac met metrics. So what do you actually click on? How long do you stay on this page? So with that, it’s like, well, this data doesn’t really matter, right. But once you take a holistic approach to it, and you have all of these data points to kind of pull from you can make super informed decisions. But on the other side of it from an entrepreneurial standpoint, data is super important. Get as much data on your clients as possible, or your prospects as possible, collect it, hoard it, make sense of it, when you have time to make sense out of it, because data is a really good foundation to grow in terms of marketing. But in terms of segment it right, once, once I was like a one man band, it was easy for me to kind of know what were within the CRM and within, like Google Drive and different systems that we have, but once you start bringing on people, you have to have that, that focus, right, so it’s like, okay, does Michaela actually need access to this part of the business or does she need access to human resources operations does that she need to know all of the data Details on the website visits. So just kind of customizing that on a per person basis. So limiting it as much as possible, because you can have information overload. So it’s just all about customizing it to each individual role. And I’m not to sell ourselves, but we kind of specialize in that to actually automate and systematize businesses. It’s super critical.

Mikayla Anderson 15:28
But yeah, no, that’s awesome. I think that’s a really big thing is that they don’t want to get rid of the data. But they don’t know how, who to give it to, or how to distribute it. And so everybody kind of has everything, which is like, too much. And it gets very overwhelming to somebody. So as far as improvement that somebody would be able to do in like an entrepreneurial ship set, right? So how would you feel like you would be able to help somebody improve who, let’s say does have a CRM, what would you recommend for them next kind of thing.

Sidney Jackson 16:13
So with that, take full advantage of it. So if you have a proper CRM, and it’s tracking what it needs to track, um, you have a lot of information on your clients. So from that you can do a lot of automated marketing funnels to actually gain more revenue from those particular clients, right? And then if you you’re good on a revenue side of it, well, everybody can use more revenue. But with that, if you have that data, you can kind of make more informed decisions, right? So if you have this big old CRM, and you say, okay, we’re collecting as much information as possible on client, how do you actually make sense of it, right? Because a lot of businesses, once they grow, they collect this data, but they don’t actually make sense of it. They don’t run analytics on it to see what’s the trend our client buy in here, are they going to this page and buying. So just kind of making sense of that data at your house within your systems is super practical one, but it also increases the return on investment of that data. So I think small businesses just collect as much data as possible, you don’t really have to truly understand what it’s going to be used for. But you can make sense of it later. Of course, you can also be strategic upfront and say, okay, we need to have this information, this information, this one before you get started. But um, yeah, just get started.

Mikayla Anderson 17:39
That’s awesome. Well, I know you’re starting this podcast, specifically for entrepreneurs and small businesses. So when I always keep saying, once a specific moment, but when did you really feel like you were you were an owner of a small business, you were like, I kind of know what I’m doing. Like, this is really awesome. I’m super proud of where I am right now. And I feel like, I kind of made it in a way, right.

Sidney Jackson 18:13
Um, so with that, it’s, it’s always reset, and it’s always resetting, um, at, I don’t have one of those moments. It’s Yeah, it is just always, constantly changing. And for the most part, it’s so a lot of failures. But I think that’s internal, right? So I see it as failures. And then I learned from it quickly, and then it just repeats and repeats and repeats. So it’s always people on outside that see stuff and say, okay, that I see you, in a sense, but on an internal level, it’s always not done enough, or Okay, I could have improved upon that, which isn’t bad. Sometimes you have, sometimes I have those bad spells where it’s just like, or it’s just sad, but for the most part is super optimistic, like 360 days up out the years, like, Okay, I’m learning as much as possible and applying and stuff. So for that, having a moment where I felt like a business owner. I don’t I don’t have it. And because I’m still I’m still doing a lot of the work, right. And I’m alongside the team, and it’s a really good experience that I’m going through. So, yeah, no,

Mikayla Anderson 19:35
no, I think that’s awesome. And so, I guess another question I would have for you is, if somebody is thinking about starting a small business, and they’re not really sure what to do, where to start, they feel super nervous about losing stability and innocence truly like Okay, I’m gonna Go my full time hobby, and I’m really going to make it my full time career, what would you say to them?

Sidney Jackson 20:09
I would say have fun. For the most part, if you have a lot of responsibilities, of course, be mindful, right? And be strategic in that, but look up or look to people who are doing what you’re trying to do, right. And you don’t have to make that jump, it doesn’t have to be a jump, you can just kind of do it at night and build up resources. Money, pretty much build up money to sustain yourself. But network with as much people as possible, people are really good resources to gain knowledge from, and I wish I wouldn’t do that a lot sooner. Because people are incredible. People are incredible. I love and hate people while at the same time. Because people are, you know, people. But yeah, but um, people are just incredible. And I think if you are able to be a fly on the wall, always listen to people who have the experience, of course, there’s going to be some fluff in there. So it’s going to be up to you to kind of discern what is fluffy? And then what is the real content that speaks to you, where you can not repeat the mistakes of other people? Because I think people really love to talk. And if you’re, if you’re there to really listen, it’s a lot of good tips as far as like entrepreneurship that you can gravitate to. That’s going to help you on an entrepreneurial journey. Because it’s not as easy as just jumping out there and starting it a lot of stuff that goes with it, such as hiring. And what does that workflow actually look like? Not just financially, right? emotionally as well. How are you going to connect with your people? How are you going to become a good leader? to have people follow after you? How are you going to trust people? What kind of systems do you need to implement? So that’s more so cron a business but just start and learn as much as possible and just get out there. And don’t be afraid to fail? Because you’re not going to get it right the first time. You’re not going to get it right at all. But realistically, is just going to be constant improvement. So if you’re able to fail, and you have that grace, get out there and do it fail as much as possible, learn as much as possible, and talk to people talk a lot to people.

Mikayla Anderson 22:40
I love it. So I do have one more question. So I love this. I absolutely love like being like an advocate for knowing your resources. My biggest thing is going to be the does devil’s advocate in this episode. So what would you say to? Anybody Really? Who thinks talking to somebody is talking to your competitor? And so you feel you get what I’m saying? Like you feel like you can’t talk to them? You can’t share? You can’t? Like you’re constantly competing against each other? Yeah, what would you? How would you go about

Sidney Jackson 23:25
that? It’s not a competition. So for the most part, people buy from people. They don’t really buy from individual companies until it grows bigger, right? And then a buy into the message of the overall company. What does the company stand for? It’s not the skill, it’s not all of the work that you’re able to do it on a People to People level. So for the most part, competition is kind of non existent, I think everyone is learning. And if you feel that need to really kind of hug idea, close to yourself, ideas are not cheap, right? But it’s like 1% of everything, you still have to build the business, you still have to hire people, you still have to sell, you still have to get out there. So as far as like, holding a close because of competition, it’s just gonna stunt your growth. Because if you talk to a competitor, quote, unquote, and they open up to you about some of the things that they went through, and you’re saying, this person as a competitor, so you don’t even have that conversation, right? is just not going to allow you to grow because that wisdom that they kind of know because they went through it. It can save you a lot of heartache in a sense. And people, most times people want to help. Yeah, and email, right. Hope right? And even when they don’t help, even when they say no, it’s still helping them. sense because that rejection is building you up and making you more resilient, and understanding of people and their underlying motivations. So it’s all helpful. Yeah,

Mikayla Anderson 25:14
I think that’s awesome. Um, one more thing. So I just want to say you’re on a great podcast, like if you’ve made it this far kind of thing. But being 21 and Sydney only being just turned 25. Yeah. You have a lot to learn from young people. And so again, what’s, what’s your biggest challenge that you feel like you are still overcoming? or? Yeah, with being young, a young entrepreneur,

Sidney Jackson 25:52
a young entrepreneur, I think, experience. So that’s one of the biggest things? Well, it’s not the biggest, I think the biggest thing is managing both personal and business, because for me, it’s not truly a separation, I think I’m super young, Sam, Ben, Uber aggressive, am I trying to build a company or trying to fail and learn and fail and learn and have any cycles, not over a business failure, right, but failure within certain situations, and then turn it and turn it in to opportunity for growth to learn, give within me, in a sense, and then the other side of it is been Young Entrepreneur on the experience. So that’s a big reason why I wanted to do this podcast or the entre network overall, because me been super young and trying to go into entrepreneurship at an early age, I didn’t have a lot of people to kind of look up to. So with that, I think I would have been a lot further along, if I had those resources, and I was connected with people who were actually doing it, or I heard a podcast of people just kind of going through their overall process, and our overall journey, right, without all of the fluff, because for the most part, entrepreneurship is like, Hey, this is what you do. You’re successful entrepreneurship owner and stuff like this, and they don’t tell you about the, the big moments that’s really gonna define you as an individual and how you navigate that makes. Yeah, I mean, because for the most part, this is tough, toughest shit. But it’s super, it is fun. It’s tough. And it’s a lot of personal growth that I’m going through. That’s just kind of like quickly, right. And some decisions that I have to make as a business owner, is super exaggerated in a sense, where you have to go through all of these emotions, and you still have to overcome and you still have to perform, and you have to get out there in front of people. So people don’t really talk about all of that. And that’s where I want to kind of get into it within this podcast, because it’s not all glamorous, in a sense. Of course, you have pluses, but it’s, yes, it’s a lot of hills and valleys. So this one is just kind of, to allow people to when they have those down periods, and they don’t feel like they’re where they’re supposed to be at. Hopefully, interviewing people that get into all of it, the good and the bad, specific situations. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, because you can’t just jump out there. You can, you can, but you have to learn a lot quickly. And that wisdom, just want to kind of pick people’s brain and allow them to share what they’re going through to help people that are trying to go and walk with in their shoes.

Mikayla Anderson 29:11
There’s not a 10 step guide. It’s more like a 10,000 step guide. Right?

Sidney Jackson 29:15
Yeah. And then step back, you got to step back and then go and then go all the way around, and everything just kind of comes full circle, again, and again and again.

Mikayla Anderson 29:27
That’s awesome. Well, Sydney Jackson. He is amazing, truly, like having somebody in that you looked up to as a leader, like in high leadership that really does promote vulnerability, and trust at such a young age. Let’s say that is awesome. So if you’re looking for more content like this, make sure to subscribe, like and follow. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Sydney. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Sidney Jackson 30:03
Awesome. Thank you. Thank you for having me.