Every month, we interview a franchise owner from WSI, allowing them to share their expertise in the field and discuss their experience with the WSI digital marketing agency. We are pleased to introduce Kevin Dean, an internet marketing consultant who operates out of California.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm in downtown San Jose, CA. It's a beautiful day in San Jose. It's supposed to be in the mid-80s here in March, which is a little bit warmer than normal, but we love it. It is wonderful here. I've been in California for over 20 years now. We moved to downtown San Jose a few years ago when our son graduated from high school and we decided to move out of the country and into the city.
A while later, COVID reached us. It changed how everything happens downtown, but things are finally opening up here and life is now normal. People are healthy and businesses are thriving. We are all hopefully getting back to our normal lives soon.
What did you do before you started and when did you start this business?
I started working with the WSI network in 2003. It feels good to be around for a long time, especially when you work in a small business. Although I only worked for two companies in my professional career, I feel as if I have gained a lot of experience in my field.
Over the first 20 years of my professional life, I was an electronic semiconductor and manufacturer. I started as an engineer and moved up through the ranks of management and production. I then moved companies after 12 years and worked at that company for seven more years. I ended up as Vice President of Operations and then the semiconductor industry hit a bump. We were decimated, and I was retrenched.
After I was retrenched, I spent the summer painting the house, interviewing and talking to people that I had never met before, and decided that I wanted to do my own thing. So, I tried to originally brand myself as a consultant within the semiconductor industry, but cutbacks were so steep that they weren't even hiring consultants. I then began looking at businesses to buy. There were a lot of businesses struggling at the time financially. I decided to start my own business but that's when I was fortunate enough to find WSI.
I started talking to and meeting with the global WSI team. The transition into WSI took a couple of months as I was trying to understand what WSI was and deciding if it was the type of industry that I wanted to go into but the brand appealed to me for many reasons. One reason was that the business is easier to brand and that was one of the things that I was struggling with creating my business “Kevin Dean Enterprises” or “Kevin Dean consultancy”.
The second reason was that in 2003 the Internet was still in its infancy as far as I'm concerned. There was email and websites, but nobody knew the direction that it was going on. After I was retrenched from the previous industry I was in, I knew the internet was always going to be full of opportunity. I was afraid I might make mistakes, but I knew the internet and marketing industry won’t let me down because it's just going to continue to grow.
What are some of the challenges you face?
I think some of the challenges I definitely have experienced but that I've learned to grow with is communication. Finding the right balance, especially with client communication means knowing how much is too much or too little. Clients need to know you love them but you need to not waste their time by initiating pointless conversations.
Communicating and listening to clients is essential. Sometimes you get it right and every once in a while you can get it wrong. You have to learn from it and keep growing.
What skills did you bring to this business?
That's an interesting question. I think the best value I brought to WSI was organizational skills. In my days of manufacturing, I had to be efficient, I had to structure my days so that I know what is to be done. One of the biggest ways to lose trust with clients is to not follow through and in manufacturing, it’s kind of the same way.
If you went to happy hour, what would you order?
It largely depends on my mood. I like a very dry vodka martini. On the other side of it could be cheap beer. I enjoy a nice lager that is light and airy.
WSI is one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the world. For more information on franchise opportunities, contact our team today!