Lessons Learned: Partnership Pays Off
00:00 Michael Palatnek: We are an out-of-home specialty group that focuses on outdoor advertising campaigns. We work to basically streamline the process for our clients, both client direct and agency alike when it comes to outdoor advertising.
How do you create a starting client base?
00:17 Palatnek: Outdoor advertising is pretty much a real estate driven business for the most part. So if you don't have a listing or if you don't own a building and it's not yours, a competitor is going to get it. It's a very friendly industry all in all, but I kind of looked at the opportunity and asked these clients directly, "If I were able to service you and able to make it a one-stop shop for all intents and purposes, would that be of interest to you? Would that work? Is that something that you would sign up for?" And we received very strong verbal commitments from several clients and that helped us launch. And David was kind of the background guy in the beginning, the financial support, helping out with the accounting, and now is much more involved on a day-to-day for C2C.
How has your partnership benefited C2C?
01:04 David Stutz: Well, first of all, we met in camp when we were 8 years old. I used to beat the crap out of him when we were little but... No, we became good friends. We weren't in the same industries for the last 15 years like a lot of people get burned out or competitive when they're in the same industries. I had my own company in television. He was in outdoor advertising and it made sense that I had... I had an understanding of the advertising world, I had an understanding of how to run a business, and I had some money that needed to be there for vendors and clients alike, to make sure that the credit was established. And then when Michael came in, he had all these relationships that were ready to go out on their own or follow him wherever he ended up and we came together and it kind of... The things that he's good at, I'm not very good at, and the things that I'm good at, he's not very good at. So...
01:53 Palatnek: We both can admit to that. So, I think that's what makes it work. We're a really good balance for each other.
How was the partnership formed?
02:02 Palatnek: I think, for me, I was a sales guy to begin with and that's always important with a company, but I don't think you realize how many components are involved with running a business. Getting it off the ground and then running it successfully day to day until you're kind of getting your hands dirty doing it. And having David there and the fact that he ran another business helped me because whenever I had questions or things that I had to fall back on day to day, there was someone I could call and reach out to who had kind of been through those wars already and could give me some strong coaching or suggestions of how to deal with the situation.
What do you need from a new team member?
02:38 Palatnek: Well, like any other small business, we need people who are willing to do multiple things that aren't just looking for that one specific job where they're going to be responsible for only answering the phones, or only being an assistant, or only being a buyer. I mean, there are days that we're doing things at a super junior level because they need to get done. That's part of a small growing business. So having people who are kind of all hands in the middle as cliché as that sounds is super important to us.