Brent Feldman is the CEO of Matchbox Design Group. Brent is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Brent provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Matchbox Design Group. Brent Feldman joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Matchbox Design Group with our Impact Company of 2020 award. We are delighted to have Brent join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Brent, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Brent, please tell us about Matchbox Design Group.
Matchbox Design Group is a digital agency that has a concentration in Design, Development and SEO. My business partner, Cullen Whitmore, and I started the business in 2006 by putting our skill sets in design and development together. We've since had the pleasure of service clients large and small and growing a great team of talented experts.
2. How did you come up with the idea for Matchbox Design Group?
It started with my business partner and I having a client base of freelance clients and wanting to do more for them in terms of support. By pooling our talents and resources we were able to serve all of these clients better and then began to grow a team. The actual idea for the company came to us while sharing beer and pizza one night – the way any good business idea should.
3. What is the key to your companys success?
We have a very high level of respect for our team and their abilities and constantly encourage direct communication with our clients as opposed to having layers of management or accounts people as a filter. Our goal is to consistently leverage their talents as opposed to getting in the way so they are able to bring new ideas to the table for our clients and to us as a business.
4. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
It's very hard to do this when you have a lot on your plate but take your time and try to always have a lens on customer services and stewardship of your accounts. We've had client relationships for 12 years or more in some cases – basically since we started the business and this means a lot to us personally. The relationships you nurture can mean a lot to your future success.
5. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
There are a lot of times that will be tough and as the business grows it doesn't get easier – the challenges morph and change. However, every time we were confronted with what we thought was the biggest challenge it ended up being a great learning experience or turning point for us to make changes and get better. The challenges come in many forms but at the end of the day it's how you deal with them that can determine if the outcome is good or bad. Don't let the emotion of a challenge get too much in the way of seeing how it may be a necessary change.
6. How do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
We are very proud of our Clutch rating where our clients have had a chance to independently review their experience with our team. The ultimate way to make sure that your clients are having a great experience is to monitor your own process and interactions with the client and ensure there are enough checkpoints to make sure projects are going to plan internally and from the client's perspective as well. Good, open communication is ultimately the best way to make sure your clients are satisfied.
7. In todays fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
Conferences, industry newsletters and trading knowledge among team members is for the most part how we stay in touch with the industry. Additionally though, I have a group of agency owners that I meet with on a regular basis to find out how they are running their business, what tools and tactics they use and share what we do as well. The more free information becomes between people, companies – the better we can all be at using that information to improve what we do.
8. What is your Why? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Matchbox Design Group?
Really it's the amazing group of people we have here. When you see that your clients have great interactions with a team of people that strive and deliver every single day – that is a great feeling that keeps you going to do more.
9. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
I think Creativity Inc. is a great read on anyone who is leading an organization or a creative agency. It's a look at how there are many personalities around an organization but it's also about how to enable others to lead and how to set things up so you get as many creative and interesting ideas as possible.
10. What makes a great leader?
Leading by example and being there to help and provide guidance I think is certainly some of it but the other part that I think is important is to know and understand the talent that you're working with. Everyone will have a different way of going about getting to a solution and the more that you can define the goal but let people find their way to the answer – the more free people are to use their talents and skills in ways you might not have thought possible.
Brent Feldman, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Matchbox Design Group, nothing but the best.