Matthew Bailey of SiteLogic
Meet Matthew Bailey, founder of SiteLogic, a marketing consulting company.
What is SiteLogic?
is a teaching and consulting company that shows companies how to make more money. We work with companies and show them how their analytics can provide opportunities, uncover issues and make their marketing more efficient, thereby more profitable. There are 12 people in our office based in Canton, Ohio, and we have local, national and international clients from Omaha to Oslo.
How did you come up with the idea?
I had worked for two companies and built the online marketing business for both prior to founding SiteLogic. I realized that I would go further by starting an agency that focused on analytics and teaching clients. The industry at that time was going down the path of making SEO a complicated issue, confusing their clients. I wanted to teach people how to do it effectively and efficiently, empowering them to understand their online marketing.
I had already been invited to speak internationally on this subject, and starting SiteLogic opened even more doors and invitations from around the world.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
I knew that I was not an accountant. I'll deal with details in creating marketing plans, but I don't like them when it comes to accounting. The biggest surprise was how much I needed a great accountant and a great lawyer to navigate this issue of starting and running a business.
Where did you find your first employee?
My brother was my first employee. He had some time and asked if he could help me, so I gave him some work to do. Not only did he do it well, but he asked the right questions and intuitively navigated his way through an analytics program. I gave him more work, and he responded by becoming the best analyst I've ever worked with.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
I roll into the office pretty early, because I like to drop my kids off to school. I check in with my VP, Managing Director to catch up on the day, and we meet on the status of projects, client accounts, and any outstanding issues.
After that, I work on business development and on creating new presentations. Most of my work is evaluating the projects we've done and using them to show others how to develop an analytics, content, SEO, PPC or social media strategy. I read and write incessantly, and develop presentations for each engagement.
If I'm not in the office, I'm speaking at a conference or an in-house training. I speak about 30 times a year, so a typical day can also involve airline travel, hotels and conference rooms.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Canton?
The business travel is easily the best advantage. With the Cleveland and Akron-Canton Airports, I can fly anywhere in the world or access U.S. markets, like Chicago and New York City within two hours of leaving my house. Other speakers that I travel with and see frequently complain about their local travel and airports. This is a great area, and I would not have been able to build this business without the unique travel advantage in this area.
The next advantage is the standard of living. SiteLogic can compete for national accounts at a fraction of the overhead of our competitors. The nice thing is that I can enjoy the Midwest lifestyle that I love and also do business in larger markets.
What resources or organizations in Canton and/or Ohio did you take advantage of and how did they help?
The Canton Community Investment Corporation
and the Stark Development Board
both offered low interest loans when I moved the office downtown. We used those and repaid them early. I've also tapped into SCORE
(Service Corps of Retired Executive) for business counseling and advice. It's great to be able to talk through a situation with people that have been there and seen similar things.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
The best I can think of is just the growing pains of starting out. One of my earliest employees came to my house to work when we were still operating out of my basement. Unfortunately, the only room for her to work was right in front of my water heater and furnace. On nice days, she went out to the patio and worked outside, but generally she was in the basement. Now, however, she has a great view of Canton's courthouse angels and the downtown area.
Any entrepreneur that started out of their home will either laugh or wince, as I'm sure we all put up with similar experiences. If you've ever had to motion wildly to your spouse to stop the dryer because you are on a conference call, if you've ever had to explain the sound of a child asking you to turn the channel while you are on a client call, or a cat climbing across your keyboard during a Skype meeting – then you've most likely experienced the joys of working from home.
What inspires you?
My kids. I'm glad that they get to see that I love my job and that you can create a successful business. I want to show them that they can do this and become leaders in whatever industry they choose. At my eldest daughter’s age, 12, I never would have believed that a kid from Canton would be traveling the globe, speaking at conferences, consulting with businesses and seeing the world's most amazing sights.
What founders do you admire and why?
Steve Jobs. He introduced the iPod, iPad and iPhone in down economies. He showed that no matter how bad the economic forecast, if you create something that is new, superior and innovative, people will buy it.
My former real estate broker here in Canton, Dennis Drennan. When I sold real estate for Dennis, he taught me about people, sales, integrity and business. Dennis built his business, sold it and went on continuing doing what he loves.
Most importantly my father, Earl Bailey. Despite physical setbacks, he taught me to keep going no matter what. Even though it seems as though there is no answer or no reason, don't stop working or doing what you love to do. He has the most improbable success doing what he loves.
What’s next for you?
I am working on a second book, hopefully to be out early next year. I am also developing a few video titles to release as online training resources. The business continues to grow as we are developing more long-term relationships with our clients. So we are always looking for new talent in the online marketing industry.
Interview by Joe Baur