In this episode, I speak with Jarrod Perrot. Jarrod is the proud owner of a picture framing business in historic LoDo. He speaks about his journey and how his plans turning out differently led him to grow as a person and as a business owner. Furthermore, he highlights the importance of getting involved with the community. He focuses significantly on the street presence as well as social media to market his retailing business and aims to make all of his customers feel like family.
Jerrod’s website: http://5280customframing.com/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hey there. This is Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Welcome back, everyone. My guest in this week’s episode is Jared Porat. Jared is a Denver native. He grew up in Goldin and received his Bachelor of Arts and English communications from Fort Lewis College in 2003. Go Skyhawks Jared is the owner of 50 to 80 custom framing a family owned custom picture framing business located in lower downtown Denver. He serves as vice chair of lodo district and Chair of loto cares. Jared, thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Jerrod Perrot 0:49
Thanks for having me, Katie. Glad to be here.
Katie Brinkley 0:51
It’s so exciting to have another Fort Lewis College alumni on the show.
Jerrod Perrot 0:55
Yeah. Not too many of us. Yeah.
Katie Brinkley 0:59
And we’re both there a similar time. And I’m sure that we probably had a couple classes together. In communications majors. Yeah. So Jerry, let’s start back at the beginning. Tell us a little bit about growing up and golden and what your life was like growing up?
Jerrod Perrot 1:13
Yeah. Well, Denver native, as you said, we lived in Aurora until I was about five. And then we moved to Genesee, if you’re familiar with that area, and got it, you know, could ask for a better place to grow up as a kid. I mean, you have just, you know, a forest in your backyard and safe. And, yeah, it was great. So, you know, very partial to the west side of town, and you went to Golden High School, and then graduated and went to Fort Lewis.
Katie Brinkley 1:44
Great. Yeah. And for those of you that don’t know where Fort Lewis is, it’s a school down in Durango, Colorado. So it’s about a seven hour drive from Denver. Probably, as my mom put it, it’s the furthest school you could go to that still in state here in Colorado. What do you think about your upbringing that impacted your eventual career and professional journey?
Jerrod Perrot 2:04
Well, you know, I knew that it was conveyed to me that getting into the business was always an option. And you know, like any kid is the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I had other plans. And, you know, I roundabout way I just ended up getting into it back in 2009, during the recession, and you didn’t really have a whole lot of other options at that point in time. So. So yeah, in a roundabout way, that’s kind of what happened.
Katie Brinkley 2:33
So talk to us about your different professional stops that you took along the way, and how that eventually led to you, you know, taking on these different chair positions and owning your own company. Well,
Jerrod Perrot 2:44
I graduated in 2003. And, as you mentioned, as a communications major, and you know, at that point in time, I you know, I remember I think I applied at 130 positions, and I either found that I was under qualified or overqualified, I couldn’t find that entry level position.
Katie Brinkley 3:05
What did you think that you were, what you were going to be when you graduated?
Jerrod Perrot 3:09
Well, I was very interested in media, you know, I wanted to work in television, or, you know, for print media, potentially radio, I was really willing to do anything. However, I was partial to being to working with camera, my kind of my, my minor emphasis was on film. So yeah, I mean, the dream was kinda to work for a local station and potentially, you know, work on some short films. Now that, you know, that just didn’t didn’t quite happen. And I remember I applied for a bunch of positions and couldn’t seem to land anywhere. So after I graduated, I made the decision to move back to Durango. And I made a what was going to be a short film that turned into a feature length film down in Durango. And it was also supposed to take about a year and up taking for Oh, wow. So yeah, it was kind of a strange pattern. But yeah.
Katie Brinkley 4:05
Now, if someone is listening right now, who is an aspiring our new business owner, what’s the single biggest piece of advice that you’d want to give him or her as their journey starts?
Jerrod Perrot 4:14
I get involved with your community. I’m very active in the lodo. Community. I serve on the Board of lodo district. I also the chair of the philanthropic aspect of the district, which is local cares, it’s a great way to just be involved, kind of know what’s going on, have a say in what’s going on. And also it’s a great opportunity to, you know, be your neighbors know, fellow business owners know the residents. It’s like a family and I think it’s probably the one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Katie Brinkley 4:44
If you could go back and do anything differently on your business journey to where you are now. What would you change?
Jerrod Perrot 4:51
Um, it’s a good question. You know, I think, I don’t know if I would change anything, I think you know, making mistakes and the You know, having disappointing things happen is kind of how you learn and how you how you grow not only as a person, but also, as a business owner know, there’s a lot of failures and disappointments I can look back at. And yeah, you know, I wish that things have gone the other way. But at the same time, you know, maybe try harder and learn a lesson and then hopefully approach it better next time.
Katie Brinkley 5:21
What do you think that some of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when they’re just trying to grow? We’re just getting started out?
Jerrod Perrot 5:28
Well, you know, I think I read the number one reason businesses fail is a lack of operating capital. So you know, that’s, you gotta have have that, but yeah, I mean, I, I really think it’s, you gotta you’ve got to get involved in your community. And, you know, I, I’ve seen it all the time. And in lodo, through the years, these businesses, they come and go, and nobody, nobody knew who they were, I mean, they just were kind of there, and they’re gone. So I wouldn’t say that’s, you know, the end all be all to be successful, but I think it plays a huge part, I think it plays a much bigger part than people realize.
Katie Brinkley 6:02
Absolutely. And, you know, being a part of that community can be different things like joining the Chamber of Commerce, just trying to find and engage with other pages on Facebook that are, you know, local to that area, and just making it known that you’re there as one of the business owners and part of that community.
Jerrod Perrot 6:20
Yeah, and give back given a give back to your local has been great to me over the years, and I truly do feel like I, they’ve, it’s been so great to me, I do need to do my part and try and give back in any way that I can. And most of that’s just time, you know, but yeah, well, we’ve been so supportive over the years. And, and yeah, I mean, I don’t live in lodo. But I kind of consider it to be my neighborhood as well.
Katie Brinkley 6:45
Yeah, let’s talk about your company 50 to 80 framing, what does your model look like for finding and engaging and selling to your ideal clients and customers?
Jerrod Perrot 6:53
Well, you don’t, we’re a retail business. And over the years, I’ve kind of tracked how people find us. And really, the two big things always comes back to street presence. And Google, that’s how people find us. And you know, word of mouth is obviously great. Nothing beats that. But you know, we we’ve been very fortunate with a really great location. And I really, really focus a lot of my energies on Google and our website and social media and so on.
Katie Brinkley 7:23
What type of marketing Have you found works best for your business? I know every small business, you know, a referral is the best form of flattery, right? What type of marketing? Have you found that that works?
Jerrod Perrot 7:35
You know, I think social media is great. But in the end of the day, I don’t know how many customers it actually brings to your door. My recipe for success has always been our website, and a really spent a lot of time and focus on that. And I’ve actually set our website up as a blog. So every day I’m updating, or adding fresh content, which helps us in SEO, and adding new content daily is huge. And you know, I know for a fact, that’s not something a lot of people do.
Katie Brinkley 8:07
Yeah, a lot of people, especially small businesses, because there’s so many hats to wear, when you’re a small business owner websites can kind of get pushed to the backburner. They have a website but knowing like you said, updating it and constantly being active on it, Google’s just gonna reward you for that having new fresh content for people to engage with on, you know, the internet,
Jerrod Perrot 8:27
right? And you know, I have a husband and wife team I work with, they handle all the backend stuff, and they know all of Google’s best practices and so on. So I know the backend is being handled that’s above my paygrade there but um, yeah, I focus on my daily posts, you know, I do all the social media sites as well, I kind of do a one one swoop through and that takes me about 15 minutes a day. I do that before I go into work, it’s all with the website and Google
Katie Brinkley 8:54
what have you had to do have you had to pivot as a small business during this time right now we’re in the middle of the pandemic so all of us are working from home but for our listeners out there who might be listening to the episode and hopefully we’re out of the pandemic by this point, but how have you had to pivot
Jerrod Perrot 9:11
it’s kind of just been more of an acceptance of what’s going on I you know, there’s really not a lot I can do right now I don’t have really any control over the situation and you know, as a business owner that’s very frustrating. Just you know, you can I always kind of felt like oh, I can make this happen make that happen. But I have no control here. So you know, I’m still we are close to the public. We’re not an essential business. So we are closed but I you know, I do go in every day, cuz I still have to run the place and pay bills, but we’re working on this kind of cleaning out the inventory. We’re going through all of our molding bins and organizing, cleaning, kind of doing the stuff we can we did have a backlog of about three weeks. So we did catch up on that. But yeah, now we’re kind of Vishen a waiting game and I’m still doing my daily blog posts and my my social media posts. But you know, aside from that I just I don’t have a lot of control right now. So I’m doing what I can to feel productive.
Katie Brinkley 10:09
One passion that so many business owners and entrepreneurs have is to build a business around their lifestyle, how has that played out in your story and approach to running your business?
Jerrod Perrot 10:18
Building it around my lifestyle? Can you clarify that?
Katie Brinkley 10:22
Yeah, I mean, a lot of small business owners is by let’s say, a mechanic says I’m tired of working here, I want to just open up my own shop. And then they get there and realize it’s maybe a little bit more than what they anticipated. Because they’re not just doing mechanic work anymore. They’re doing the books, and they’re doing the hiring, and they’re doing the marketing. But that draw to it is one being your own boss, and kind of picking your own hours. And then the other side of it is also the amount of responsibility that comes with it.
Jerrod Perrot 10:50
Yeah, you know, I started in 2009. During the last recession, I didn’t know anything about running a business. And what happened was, my store was in existence since 2004. And for one reason or another, it wasn’t doing well. And it was either going to close or be sold for a very affordable price, which eventually it did. And that’s how I kind of got into it. But yeah, I mean, it was helped from my stepdad, in kind of helping me kind of learn the ropes and all the stuff I needed to do. But a lot of it is just kind of learning as you go. But you know, I was a very artistic kid, I used to be very into cartooning, and I can still draw and but it’s not something I ever, you know, it’s like the the thing you’re good at, you don’t want to focus on that you want to do something totally different. So I had I had kind of an artistic background. But you know, as I’ve found throughout the years, I’ve definitely become more, what is it left brained? In that sense? We’re definitely more of the numbers and advertising and bookkeeping type of mindset that goes into it. Yeah, so I mean, but you know, I work with a lot of our customers, most of them, I’d say, and, you know, I would say that I have a pretty good eye for design, and so on. I’ve never actually framed a time, my staff has done that, because I’ve been kind of busy with the operations and so on. But as of late, I’ve really tried to kind of get that skill set kind of going again, so I’m kind of have an idea how to do things.
Katie Brinkley 12:14
Yeah, and I mean, one thing too, that so many small business owners need help with and learn along the way is, you know, like you said, You thought you’re gonna be in media. And that’s the path you’re going to go down and took a lot of communications and English classes in college, who helped kind of guide you in learning the ropes of running a successful business.
Jerrod Perrot 12:34
My stepdad, for sure, when I first started, my store was actually a franchise, they weren’t local, first of all, and not entirely helpful. So you know, he was really my my only source of how to do things, especially like, you know, learning QuickBooks which, you know, anybody who’s used that it’s, there’s definitely a learning curve for that his overall knowledge and is someone I could just bounce any type of question off of, whether it be you know, bookkeeping, or how to handle a certain situation with a customer or this or that, you know, he was, is an instinct, or was it still is my go to
Katie Brinkley 13:08
what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? For your business?
Jerrod Perrot 13:12
The best piece of advice I’ve received, is just, you know, do everything you can to make sure the customer is happy. You know, that’s kind of been our our motto. If you do that, you really can’t go wrong. You know, we bend over backwards for our customers. And I think as long as that’s your your main focus, you really in retail, you You really can’t go wrong.
Katie Brinkley 13:34
So before we finish up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you about during today’s discussion that you think is important to share? You know,
Jerrod Perrot 13:40
I think just believe in yourself, believe in your product and take care of your customers. And there’s really nowhere else to go. But up.
Katie Brinkley 13:47
Jared, this has been such a great conversation. Where can we find out more about you and your business online?
Jerrod Perrot 13:53
Oh, well, thank you. Our website is 50 to 80, custom framing.com. And from there, you can learn about what we do see our see my daily posts, check into our social media sites. And yeah, see what we’re all about.
Katie Brinkley 14:06
Awesome. Wonderful. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Jerrod Perrot 14:10
Thank you, Katie. I appreciate it.
Katie Brinkley 14:12
And if you’re ready to take your social media to the next level for your small business, head over to my website and check out my free video training the three biggest mistakes small businesses make with social media and how to avoid them. Discover how to make your social media marketing stand out from the crowd online. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. Just look for Katie Brinkley. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.