While it takes some entrepreneurs years to get their business off the ground, Venture X franchise owners Jeannie and Steve Fowle hit their stride within a matter of months.
In fact, they were operating near maximum occupancy within their booming coworking franchise after just nine months in business.
“Our community outreach started well before our doors even opened,” Jeannie said. “Since we’re in more of a suburban market, we needed to educate people about what coworking was, so we worked to develop brand and concept awareness to build momentum.”
Multi-Channel Marketing Strategies Were Keys to Success
The Fowles leveraged multi-channel marketing strategies to generate greater awareness among audiences in their Palm Beach Garden community.
When their initial strategy wasn’t reaching all of their target verticals, they were able to quickly pivot to accomplish their goals and attract larger corporations, as well as freelancers and solopreneurs.
“We realized our initial marketing strategy – Facebook, Google and community events – were focused more on freelancers and people who worked from home,” Steve said. “We definitely want to appeal to every type of client, but we weren’t reaching corporate entities, so we switched to more enterprise marketing.”
In order to reach larger corporations, Steve and Jeannie added a sales and marketing focus for bankers, accounting firms and realtors in the market. They also reached out to executives at local companies and offered free usage of the space to draw them in.
“We really tried to penetrate these verticals from multiple areas, and we had to get creative with our marketing to break into these markets and form connections over time,” said Jeannie. “We hosted Palm Beach TEDTalks at our franchise, connected with business leaders on LinkedIn and cultivated relationships with them from the ground up, so we would be top-of-mind if they ever needed the space.”
Focusing on Building Community Instead of the Hard Sell
For the Fowles, their business has never been about filling an office space – it was about building a community.
“We made sure we had the right clients to build the right culture, which has always been a culture of abundance, growth and positive energy,” Steve said. “Jeannie and I run our business with this in mind, and while we don’t have a clear division of responsibilities, our different skillsets have always run complementary to one another.”
Both halves of the husband-wife team acknowledge the other’s strengths – Steve’s analytical and numbers-driven mindset works well in conjunction with Jeannie’s interpersonal skills and affinity for relationship-building.
“I don’t question Steve’s spreadsheets, and he doesn’t question my strategies for growing the community within our business,” said Jeannie.
Many of those strategies are centered on building long-term, trusting relationships with potential clients, listening to their brand story and ultimately, finding ways to build a mutually-beneficial partnership with them.
“I’m much more right-brained, and while I have a strong sales background, I don’t believe in trying to sell everyone who comes in the door – it’s a much more consultative approach,” said Jeannie.
Finding Personal and Professional Fulfillment with Venture X
Before Venture X, Steve was the longtime chief financial officer for several banks. Jeannie built her own executive coaching business, which she still runs in addition to Venture X.
Their respective experiences have undoubtedly equipped each of them with valuable transferrable skills they leverage on a daily basis with Venture X.
It was also these careers that initially prompted the Fowles’ decision to pursue franchise ownership.
“As a CFO, I was missing out on a great deal of family time and wanted a better work-life balance,” said Steve. “We saw Venture X as an opportunity that fit every bill – it was something the whole family could be involved in, and since it’s a relatively young industry, there was much more room for creativity and unprecedented growth potential with the business.”