Below is an excerpt from an interview with Big Buzz CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips and Extra Ordinary Small Business.
Let’s start with the one-liner – what is your company? What do you sell?
Wendy O’Donovan: Big Buzz
Big Buzz is an agency delivering focused marketing tactics and strategies for dental practices and senior living communities nationwide.
Tell us your origin story.
Wendy O’Donovan: In 2000, I started a freelance writing business, writing for marketing agencies and news outlets including The Hollywood Reporter. In 2003, I took a full-time job with a marketing agency for which I had been freelancing. While there, I learned about marketing strategy – the art of supporting teams in gathering research and thinking about marketing before doing marketing. The firm was fraught with organizational issues, namely in having hired the wrong talent and retained bad employees. My basic thought was, I think I can do this better. My vision was a focused healthcare marketing firm that was good to its team and thereby good to its clients. Everyone thrives. Today, my vision is a reality. We wake up wanting to come to work!
Did you need a lot of capital to start your business? How did you finance your business in the beginning?
Wendy O’Donovan: My company was self-funded to start. After my first year, I secured a corporate line of credit with a local bank to safeguard my business in case of a downturn. Eventually, we moved the business out of my home and into a commercial property that I bought with an SBA loan.
Was this an area for which you had passion before you started the business, or did you see a need and move to serve it?
Wendy O’Donovan: I am an expert writer and communicator at my core. I come from a long line of writers before me: my dad, my grandfather, my great-grandfather. I definitely have a passion for communications!
How has the business evolved over time?
Wendy O’Donovan: In 2018, we hit $1 million in revenues. In 2019, we did it again. Only 1% of women-owned businesses achieve this revenue milestone, so I readily share this because I love mentoring up-and-coming women who can do the same.
Read the full interview here.