Earning

How one entrepreneur grew her business 843% in 2020: ‘I have a waitlist for the first time ever’

"In 2020, I cut my rates between 30% and 40% on every service."

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Vix Reitano.
Photo by Lamar Scott Davis

Even before the pandemic hit, Vix Reitano's creative agency had been having a tough couple of years. As she grew her business, she took some time to figure out what kind of services she wanted to provide and what kind of clients she wanted to work with.

"2019 was a really bad year for me in my company," Reitano says. "2018 wasn't a great year, either."

When 2020 rolled around, to make sure her company survived, she made some substantial changes to her operations, including a name change: 6boro (Social + Studios) became Agency 6B. Even amid the upheaval of the last year, today her business is thriving.

From January 2020 to December 2020, Reitano says she saw "843% growth" in revenue. Today she works with 10 contractors, up from two last year. And in terms of clients, "I have a waitlist for the first time ever," she says. Here's how she did it, and what she's doing to keep growing.

She cut her rates 'between 30% and 40%'

One of the first things Reitano did in 2020 was lower her prices. "I cut my rates between 30% and 40% on every service." Reitano knew that many businesses were struggling, and she wanted do what she could to make things a little easier for her clients. She reasoned a price break was better than losing them. "I would rather give you a break because I know that you're in a hard spot."

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When clients' reduced-price contracts ended, Reitano provided an option to renew for up to six months at the same rate. She bet that even when she hiked her rates back up, the clients would continue to work with her. Depending on when she signed contracts with clients, their prices have risen throughout 2021.

And she was right. "Everybody stuck around."

She wasn't afraid to try something new

As new clients came in with bigger budgets, Reitano realized she could try some new ways of reaching people. "We were not buying billboards, and I never thought that that would be my thing," she recalled.

But when Agency 6B was tasked with a project for a national retailer, she realized that was her chance to try billboards. Reitano and her team made sure to tailor the advertisement to the people who were going to see it the most, and the strategy paid off. The billboard "increased their web traffic by 146% in the first four weeks," she says.

Agency 6B now makes TV ads as well. These experiments have enabled the business to expand both its offerings and expertise, ensuring that when clients come, they can comfortably offer a wide array of services.

She is adding more income streams

Agency 6B has recently opened up a new office in Jersey City, New Jersey. The space includes co-working desks and two studios, a small and a large one, with cameras and audio equipment. Reitano's goal is to share the office, and begin to provide "creative havens," for her fellow entrepreneurs.

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In the fall, provided it is safe to do so, entrepreneurs will be able to rent out the small studio for $175 per hour, the larger studio for $250 per hour, and both for $350 per hour to create their own content. They'll also be able to use the co-working space through a monthly membership. Reitano is on track to open an office space in Miami in fall 2022 with the same model.

Ultimately, she says, "I want to become a VC myself where I can say to entrepreneurs, 'here's $100,000 and a marketing plan and the solutions that I used to turn six figures into an empire. I'm gonna help you do it.'"

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