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When I Niche, You Niche, We Niche with Logan Hoffman

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 19 Oct 2023


If you’re thinking about finding a specific niche for your agency but not sold on the benefits, this episode is for you! Jamie sits down with Logan Hoffman, Senior Business Strategist at Madison Avenue Collective (MAC) to talk niching. They discuss the importance of building verticals and specializing in a specific area to make work more efficient and effective. Logan emphasizes the benefits of working with an expert in a client's industry, minimizing risk, and charging higher rates. They also talk about the sales process, positioning, and understanding client needs.



Intro (00:00:00) - Welcome to the Virtual CPA Success Show for creative agencies. The go to resource for agency owners looking to scale their business. Join us every week to stay ahead of the curve and position your agency for future success.

Jamie (00:00:15) - All right. Very excited for this  episode upcoming with Logan Hoffman from Mac, as he calls it. So Madison Avenue Collective. It's kind of funny. Roxanne, who does our organization on the show met him at an event and introduced him to me and was really excited to get on this conversation with him. And we had the whole conversation. And then once the recording gets over, we find out we live like 15 minutes from each other. So he's a Colorado kid as well, so excited to connect with him over in the future. But I think this is a really good episode. Talk a lot about building verticals and what it takes and kind of the struggles, but also how it really can help your business once it's done. So I think this is a great episode that everybody will enjoy.

Jamie (00:00:54) - Hello everybody. Very excited for today's episode. Think we're going to have a really good conversation about niching and verticals and all that good stuff in the marketing world. So I'm really excited to be joined by Logan Hoffman from Madison Avenue Collective. Think he's going to be a great guest. But before we get into that topic, Logan, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?

Logan (00:01:13) - Yeah, thanks, Jamie. So as Jamie said, my name is Logan Hoffman. I'm a senior business strategist at Madison Avenue Collective. I manage our internal business operations and marketing and business development. We'll also leading strategic branding, marketing communication efforts for our clients. So I sit on both sides of the fence within our agency doing, you know, helping us find our position and making sure all of our work internally is working towards that direction while also helping our clients do the same thing.

Jamie (00:01:45) - Great. So, um, so let's talk about, you know, I think the starting point of verticals and niching and I think a lot of people are, it's kind of like one of those topics that people are either way into or like, yeah, we can do it without it.

Jamie (00:01:57) - And I've seen success both ways, but I think for us, it's really been successful for us to niche in the digital agency space for a lot of reasons. But I'm, I'm curious of why you guys think this is the route to go and what you tell your clients as well as your own business in terms of why this is the best path?

Logan (00:02:13) - Yeah, I mean, it's taking us a long time to get your we just celebrated our 15th year in business and so um it it's definitely it's been a journey on that. We've really honed in on this in the last probably 7 to 8 years since I came on with, with the Mac. Um, you know, I think for one, your work becomes more efficient, right? So when you start to develop expertise in these areas because you're consistently working with clients, you understand the problems better. Sometimes you can predict their problems before they, you know, they even bring them up to you. And so your work for them becomes more efficient and more effective and your clients see more value in it, too, right? Which when you're more efficient from a business standpoint, it allows you to operate on higher margins, right at the same rates.

Logan (00:03:01) - Um, I also think you spend less time in business development. So from you know, searching for client perspective, you already know where to look. And your clients are also already sort of looking for you, right? They again, they want someone that understands them. So when they're searching for an agency or in your case you know, a CPA firm, um, you know, they're not just they're not just typing in digital agency, right. Or CPA firm. They're, they're typing in CPA firm for agencies. 

Jamie (00:03:32) - Right. 

Logan (00:03:33) - And so you close that gap on the business development front as well. Um, I also think it's really important from a client perspective, like at least from an agency perspective, our clients, whether they end up working with us or we've talked to them about projects, they're always looking to minimize or eliminate risk, right? And some industries are more or less risk averse than others, but at some level, they're always looking to eliminate risk. So they tend to do this one of two ways, right? Either they look to limit costs and what they invest in a project because if it costs less and it doesn't work out, they didn't spend that much money on it.

Logan (00:04:11) - So it's okay. Right. Or two, they want to work with an expert that they know won't screw it up. And so that's where being positioned well within a vertical can be really powerful. Um you know and the last thing like we found about it is as we've developed that expertise, we're able to charge more, too. So not only are we improving our margins because we're becoming more efficient, but our value and perceived value to clients goes up so we can it's easy to justify our higher hourly rate for the work we charge, you know, and quite honestly, the return we give clients for that is is of more value because we do have that expertise in their space. So they don't even balk when we say, well, you know, it's an extra 50 bucks an hour because we know them so well and we know their industry that they find that value in it.

Jamie (00:05:06) - Yeah, this is a question I've been thinking about with my clients and other people I've been talking to.

Jamie (00:05:11) - So for the CPAs and for CFOs, obviously there's a big advantage to being able to understand the industry, right? Like when I'm sitting down with you and I'm talking about, okay, this is what margins you should expect, this is what KPIs you should be looking at. This is really how agencies run their business. Like there's a big advantage there. I'm curious how that advantage works within the agency world, because I'm thinking again, I'm thinking more in marketing terms. But like oftentimes if you know, you're the agency or you're the marketing team that ran the campaign from McDonald's, do also want you running it for Burger King, Right? Are you going to do the same thing? Are you going to still have those advantages? So can kind of explain how that works when it comes to marketing of or even like the agency world, how that comes out of like, okay, yeah, we've, we can take these things we did at McDonald's to do them for you but make it a little bit different.

Logan (00:05:57) - Yeah.

Logan (00:05:57) - And you know I think it's important there to like really think about the verticals that you're working in, right? Like, for example, you know, the Mac is really positioned about this or around this idea of doing work for the public good, right? So we've really honed in on sort of four industry verticals for ourselves that are all tied around this public good concept or what's sort of a buzzword nowadays is this idea of like social determinants of health where, you know, we're really focused in into education, higher education, community colleges, even niched further within that higher education field, public services like transit, public transit, utilities, those types of things. Early learning or early childhood initiatives and then community health in general. Right? So for us, we have less of that competitive McDonald's to Burger King type of thing, right? Where we are able to leverage more for us. And in terms of that positioning, say we're running a campaign around fentanyl use awareness and prevention. Right.

Logan (00:07:05) - As an example, in Oregon, where it's a big issue right now, there's been some legislation passed as the state level and we're able to then leverage that experience of that campaign. We ran last year in Oregon. And when that same issue and initiative comes up in Colorado, right. We already have that background that exposure point. So there's going to be some differences in audience, right? The demographics may be slightly different in the two states we're working in, but we know the issue. You know, we know the issue. We know the challenges. We know the, you know, potentially have already have really good insight into the mediums that we need to be promoting the you know, using to promote those elements to connect with the audiences. So we're able to leverage that further. You know, I would say to your earlier point, though, I think it's a huge advantage to Burger King to if they can pull that agency away from McDonald's and that contract.

Logan (00:08:11) - Right. I think there's a huge advantage there of not only knowing the market, but also knowing your competitors really in depth. You know, certainly like from our perspective as an agency, we're very careful about that, right? If we're working with one client in a space that is a clear competitor of another's, then you know, we won't touch that contract. You know, I think that's part of that's part of agency ethics in general, you know, and that's maybe a little bit different than a CFO type role that you all feel where it's a needed service for all. And just because you're giving me good advice doesn't mean you're giving my competitor bad advice or vice versa. Right. Right.

Jamie (00:08:49) - Or we can't we can't we can't do is we can't come in and say, hey, you know what? You know what Madison Avenue is doing. This is what they're doing. You guys do the same thing. Like we steer away from that. But we do like, you know, again, we talk more in generalities and be like, you know, this is something we've seen work or this is something you can do successfully.

Jamie (00:09:05) - And again, it's not always from just one client. It's from all of our experiences.

Logan (00:09:09) - Yeah absolutely. Yeah. That experience builds, right? Like, you know, I brought up this concept of fentanyl, but, you know, three, four years ago, narcotics was a big issue. Right? And we, we did some pretty extensive work in our home state of Oregon around alternatives to pain management tied to that narcotics epidemic. Right. And that directly, even though it's a different drug, directly relates to a fentanyl type campaign. Right. So that that long term experience that you build up can be parlayed into future bits of work. You know, I think that's one of the misconceptions of like of positioning and niching is that your solutions become canned for your clients. But if you're doing it right, they don't because there's nuance to everything you do, right? It's just being able to leverage that experience to create better solutions for your for that next project.

Logan (00:10:07) - Right?

Jamie (00:10:10) - Right. So let's talk about the sales process. And so, you know, I think there's two parts of the sales process. And so one is what you've kind of already mentioned, it's the Google search, right? If I go in and search, you know, firms, agencies like we're going to come up first and that's going to give us a little bit of advantage going into that sales process. So talk a little bit about that. But then also you still have to close the deal. And so when this is kind of what you talked about before is like you have to be able to be in that sales call and talk about your experience and say, think, you know, we've we've worked on ABC, which is similar to what you guys are experiencing and this is how we can take that knowledge. So you can kind of talk about, you know, both separately and then kind of how they work together.

Logan (00:10:48) - Yeah, for sure. You know, again, that positioning is really critical in that up front that Google search phase or, you know, when we're seeking out business.

Logan (00:10:58) - Right. Like it helps us narrow in on who we want to target. Right. It's not a it's not a tossing net out in the ocean and see what type of fish we catch. It's a we know we want to catch this type of fish. So we're going to go here, you know, different approach. So, you know, that definitely helps from that perspective within the spaces that we work in, there are. You know, the RFP process is still pretty prevalent. So in some ways, we have to lean into the sales processes and procurement processes that our clients have to follow. You know, we again, we work in this public good space. So there are fair. We intentionally don't target nonprofits because I don't think nonprofit is a vertical right.

Jamie (00:11:46) - Like so reverse

Logan (00:11:48) - Yeah, yeah. And some people try and position it that way, but it's really not. And we can have clients doing public goods serving these, these areas that are for profit organizations, right? That they still identify themselves in that, you know, so some of our clients have to go through this RFP process.

Logan (00:12:04) - They don't have to have a choice because they're working with public funding, you know, and in that case, it's, you know, it part of that business cycle becomes, you know, knowing how to effectively communicate through writing and have, you know, carry that positioning forward into your RFP and then getting in those conversations. I do think, you know, once you get into those conversations that you said it is critical to be able to, you know, have done your research at a time on the client themselves, understand what, you know, their their problems are and then identify with them and talk about the solutions you brought to others that are very similar to theirs. And, you know, in the case of an RFP, a lot of times they tell you exactly what their problems are, right? And they tell you my website, my website's not WCAG, you know, compliant right now. And we have a major issue with that because we're in this public space or, you know, we have this major campaign and we have no clue how to run it.

Logan (00:13:05) - And we need an outside expert, right? They tell you that straight up. So in some ways, like if you're good at communicating and good at helping them understand that you've done this before and you understand their issues, it can be a really easy sell once you get to that position. And we're there with a couple of our verticals we work in like that early childhood space. Um, we're a bit of a go to right like we know if we apply for, if we apply for a RFP in that space, we're going to get an interview, you know, and then it's about, you know, we're one of three finalists on that interview list. How are we going to sell it differently than the others? Um, in those cases where we're not on an RFP and it's more of a they have some flexibility in how they spend money. Um, again, to me it's about how do you understand what their perception of risk is and then help them to overcome that with your dialogue, your conversation.

Logan (00:14:04) - Right. Um, and so it's understanding, you know, I always start out with questions like let's ask them questions, you know, let's understand them first. The first 15 minutes of my conversation with a perspective in one of these spaces is going to be all questions for them because I'm trying to understand what their challenges are, um what they perceive as the risk, right? And then using those, that information, making sure I understand our skill sets and our experience really, really in depth, right. Um, so that I can, I can directly apply it, I can start pulling up case studies, I can start pulling up previous work. You know, and in some cases it's like. You know, this doesn't quite relate to what you're looking for, but I hear you're looking for to develop a database to help your clients find services in their area. Here's an example of this. Something we've done in the higher education space. I know you're in health care.

Logan (00:14:59) - Right. But like, this is it, right? You can see how this mapping of data and then the user interface will work the exact same way. It's you know, it's just a different industry, you know, But being able to have that be able to cross-reference things as well is really useful. So but to me it starts with asking the client questions, understanding risk, their perception of risk and understanding their needs.

Jamie (00:15:25) - Yeah. So as you're talking through that process that you've done in the last couple of minutes here, one thing that I'm curious about that I talk with clients about a lot and they're always asking is, how many different people do you have involved in that final process that when you meet with the client, like prior to a client signing with you? Do they just meet with you or do they meet with how many team members?

Logan (00:15:43) - Yeah, it depends a little bit. Again, like we're trying to understand what their concerns are. So our clients, potential clients primarily meet with me.

Logan (00:15:55) - I tend to be the first voice they hear in the last voice they hear. But depending on what their needs are like, it's very common for me to bring in our our senior project manager, for example, to have some conversations with them, get to know them, create that personal connection that they're going to need, you know, because they're going to be, when we get into the project, like I'm going to be on touch points throughout because I do lead our client strategy as well, right? And so they'll see me a lot and I'll be circling back in on key deliverables and things like that. But the project manager is the individual that on the day to day basis they're, they're engaging with, right? So it's pretty common for me to pull in our project manager just to help them understand like this is going to be your go to this is going to be someone you can talk to every day form that personal relationship. That's again, that's an assessment of what they see as risk.

Logan (00:16:43) - Right. Do they think we're going to be somebody they can work with that's going to be friendly, that's going to be fun to work with and accomplish what they need and be able to keep things on track. That's where our project manager is critical. Um, you know, there's times when I pull in our creative director, Jeff Jimerson, who's also our principal, right? Depending on a lot of factors. Sometimes it's that touch point of being able to see that, hey, the person at the top is accessible, you know, other times it's understanding creative vision. Um, you know, there's Jeff and I have a great working relationship in our agency where we can quickly tie strategy to creative. Right? Um, not, I don't think every agency does that great. I think most have figured it out for the most part. Right. But understanding how that connection works can be important for some clients. Again, it's an assessment of risk. So for us it's dependent on client needs, but we try and keep that lean right.

Logan (00:17:41) - And I think most of our clients, um, respect that because that's at the end of the day that also shows them we're thinking about how we use their time, just like we're thinking about how we use our time throughout projects.

Jamie (00:17:52) - You know, there's definitely a fine line there. You don't want a meeting. So many people that they're confused. They're like, okay, who does what? Why did I meet Bob again? What's the point of me meeting Bob? But you also want to make sure they understand who they're going to be working with and what the relationship is going to look like. So, yeah, think that's a really good point. So my next question is, you know, at Summit we did a really good job establishing the agency space, right? And we, you know, part of it was organic and part of it was luck. And there was a lot of things that went into us like, really, um. Putting our foothold into this space. And so what we're tasked with now that we're part of Anders is okay, do it again.

Jamie (00:18:29) - Let's find another industry where you guys can do it again. And so I think what we've done is we've gone back and documented what we did in the agency space. We put some plans together and said, okay, how are we going to make this work in, you know, two, three, four spaces as we try to grow? So I'd love to hear what your advice would be to us as we're trying to go into these other industries and what we should be thinking about.

Logan (00:18:48) - Yeah, certainly. I think, you know, finding your position and niche can be difficult. I think there's sort of. Like as I think about it, there's probably really three ways of doing it right. One is that organic sort of. Well, let me back that up just a little bit. I think the first opportunity that happens most of the time when you really niche is you bring experience to the table. And this often in the agency space is often happens because like somebody's worked as a creative director for Nike, right? As an example for 15 years before deciding, I'm sick of corporate, I want to go do my own thing.

Logan (00:19:29) - But now they've got this experience of they know retail, they know athletic really well. And so now they're working as an agency in that space, right? That sort of happens quite frequently. And that's how I think most people find their position right in the next way. Is that sort of organic, right? They start they never are in a corporate world or in some other position, but they know they want to do this. They're sort of a generalist, right? And it kind of finds them. And sometimes they intentionally realize like, Oh, this, yeah, I've just done five projects in a row that are in this space. Let's pursue that. And sometimes they don't even realize they've positioned themselves and it just like is happening to them, right? The third place, the third way to do it really is to build it. And I think this is what you're talking about, right? Where you decide you want a position and you pursue it. And this again, this sort of starts out like that last group where you're a generalist to start.

Logan (00:20:30) - But you are being very intentional about it, right? Where we have to be a generalist right now to support our agency at year three, year four, year five. But we know we want to do these couple things, right? So let's pursue projects, Let's intentionally pursue projects in this space, build up that experience in those spaces so that the next time this big project comes up with that, we can show them three case studies of this. Maybe, you know, maybe we're working on this project in this space for less money because we want it in our portfolio, right? So it takes time, right? Like the Max been around for 15 years. We really started this positioning push in the last seven, 7 to 8 years and we're still honing it a bit. You know, I think like we found that. But I think what's really driven us is sort of this we've and we've got a core value that stay curious, right? But being curious and being committed to learning, almost making ourself an expert right in those spaces.

Logan (00:21:24) - And I think that's what you're talking about doing, which I think is awesome because yeah, you're right. I summit you all own that space, right? And so and I don't know you history enough to know if that was you know if that was intentional in that space or if it was sort of like I talked about, like you brought experience to the table or it kind of happened that way.

Jamie (00:21:44) - But yeah, it was pretty it was almost accidental. Or think that when once we did our first agency client, we just Jody and Adam just felt a connection there and they're like, wow, this is and partly because it's very similar businesses in a lot of ways where it's a service based business that you can understand how to run it. But also just because, you know, we've always been outside the box thinkers when it comes to accounting. And when we talk to agencies, we're like, Yeah, these are our people. Like even just going to any agency type event, like we, we value those much, those conversations a lot more than we do any event where it's like just a bunch of boring people in the room.

Jamie (00:22:18) - Like we appreciate that, we appreciate the mindset of agencies. So think we've connected that way and think the interesting thing for kind of what you're talking about is you kind of mentioned the three ways, but as you're trying to grow and add your second one or the third one, it's very similar, right? Like we consider ourselves generalists in some ways. We're like, you know, we've we have this generalist CPA who's just worked on these three clients and they're all in the real estate space and they're really enjoying it and they're really liking it. And that's a possibility for us to go down. So that's one way for us to add another vertical. And the other way sometimes is just by recruiting. You know, you're interviewing the CFO who's been working on dentist's office for the past three years. You're like, Hey, that's a vertical we could go down because this person already has the expertise. And so we kind of can fall into those different methodologies in the same way, even though we're a much larger business now.

Logan (00:23:04) - Yeah, Yeah, for sure. And you, we've certainly intentionally hired in that way, you know, as we've gone along to, you know, I think sort of what you're talking about as well is this like. You do have to verify and validate your positioning a little bit. Right. And whether like as you're building out, those are trying to identify those verticals, whether you can truly sustain your business around that or if it's just something if it you can love clients in certain spaces. And we've had this happen, right We're like we loved working with a certain client. But as you look at it from a business sustainability standpoint, like is that market based big enough? Like are there truly enough clients in that space where you could build a sustainable business around it? You know, enjoying it is another factor, like you said, like there's verticals that definitely are big enough to sustain you. But if the work is absolutely miserable, you know, you don't necessarily want to go there.

Logan (00:23:56) - You know, like, how do those spaces really need your services, you know, or and and if not, can you adjust your service offerings to fill their needs, which, you know, I think you guys have done a great job with, with the virtual CFO type thing with agencies because it is something agencies need, right? Like agencies don't just need a traditional CPA because of the size of agency businesses. A lot of times of that sort of like 10 to 30 person, they often don't have a true CFO role. And having that kind of expertise or in house like you all have created adds so much value, you know, So, you know, and.

Jamie (00:24:37) - I think you don't really you don't really know what you like until you're into it too. And I always think about when I was in college, like majoring in accounting and studying accounting, I was always like, Yeah, if I go into public, I'm going to work with not for profits because that's, you know, obviously I'm like, I'm doing accounting, which is kind of just weird, but I want to help out.

Jamie (00:24:52) - And then you start actually looking at the accounting for nonprofits and you're like, Oh, I don't like that at all. Like, yeah, it's I appreciate what they're doing, but that's not the kind of work I want to do. And so think you also have to have that, clear view of like, okay, once I start doing it, is this really what I want to do for the long term? And again, we do do not for profits here at Summit, but it's different now that I'm on the consulting side versus the auditing side. So but yeah, think that yeah, you have to make sure you actually love it before you not love it, but you have to make sure it's something you can do long term and be passionate about in order to really, truly sell it.

Logan (00:25:22) - Yeah, for sure. I think that that passion is is critical. You know, you have to long term, you have to love the clients or the general client in the space.

Logan (00:25:32) - Right. There's always outliers on either side. Right. But the general type of work that you find in those spaces is really important.

Jamie (00:25:40) - Right. All right. So it's time for the fun question here. And so I'm going to put you on the spot and I'll answer it first just to give you time to think about, because this is a little bit of a tougher one. So you talked about your clients being, you know, in that public good space or that public service space. And so I want you to tell me a story about something you've heard that someone's done or some one of your organizations have done that is cool and kind of under the radar. And so the story I'm going to tell is when I was in college, I was at UNC, in Northern Colorado. And one of the things that happened in Northern Colorado is, is where the Broncos had their training camp and so was I was an RA. I worked with the police a lot.

Jamie (00:26:16) - And so they gave me the kind of a cushy job working Broncos security in the locker room. So my main job was just to make sure that no one snuck into the locker room. But since I was in the locker room, I got to kind of hang out with all the Broncos at the time. And I'm not going to mention this player's name because I'm sure he doesn't want his name mentioned, but he was just the coolest guy. You could tell that all the players looked up to him and he was just this stand out guy playing for the Broncos and then the 90s. And so kind of towards the end of his career and just I always liked him from that moment. And so I was at a dinner once with someone that worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they were talking about the same player and they said, Yeah, that dude is a cool guy. I can tell you this one story about him. We were at a dinner for Make-A-Wish Foundation thing and there was this kid there who was a huge Bronco fan, had all his Bronco gear on, and this player went up to him, kind of whispered in his ear and then just walked away.

Jamie (00:27:03) - And the this person that was talking to is I went up to him and said, what did he tell you? And he said, not much, but he gave me this and he holds up the players Super Bowl ring. So the player gave away a Super Bowl ring to this Make-A-Wish kid who was a huge Bronco fan. Of course, obviously didn't do for public notification or anything. He just did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. And I thought that was just a really cool story about this. This player that again, public good, didn't have to do it. But I'm working for a large organization that really helped that out. So kind of love to hear if you have any similar stories to that or anything that you've seen in the working in this space that our listeners would love to hear.

Logan (00:27:35) - Yeah, yeah, a little bit. On the tougher side of questions for me to answer, but did you? I grew up in Littleton, by the way.

Logan (00:27:44) - Just Oh, okay. Greeley So I know the area well and I'm a big Broncos fan myself, so that's great.

Jamie (00:27:52) - Maybe off the call. I can tell you who it was, but not what? Everybody listening.

Logan (00:27:56) - Problem. No problem. Um, yeah. I mean it is hard. We work with a lot of great organizations and. You know, one that that has been an organization we've worked with for a long time that's that's local to Oregon, where, you know, where our office is sort of one of our first clients in this, you know, public goods space that started around the same time we started as an agency, as its organization called Jackson Street Youth Services. So we you know, we've done their branding for them. We've helped them with a bunch of marketing and fundraising campaigns and all sorts of stuff over the years. Right. They've kind of they've grown alongside us, I guess I would say. Right. And so that's why they come to mind to me.

Logan (00:28:40) - But I don't know that I have a have a. Unique specific story with them. Other than that, you know, they really do fit this public good space that we fill and serve a large three county, 4 or 5 county region here providing housing to homeless youth. They're always thinking outside the box with the initiatives they do and how they got into the community and find these kids and provide housing and connect with donors. In the last three years alone, they've renovated two large housing facilities for these youth there they house a tremendous number of youth every year They've integrated into schools so that they're connecting with at risk kids and their families before homelessness becomes an issue. Yeah. You know, so finding the know at those points where they're almost at that tipping point and helping pull that tipping point back. Right?

Jamie (00:29:44) - So I think that's amazing to be ahead of it, right? Like you said, it's, you know, find the people that are on the streets and helping them get off the streets is definitely part of it.

Jamie (00:29:51) - But to think one step ahead of that and be okay, how can we prevent those people that are close to their being on the streets is definitely a creative way to to solve the issue.

Logan (00:29:59) - And, you know, and one thing that's really I think touches that public good piece with them is right there. They're not addressing what we'd consider like traditional homelessness. Right? You think about homelessness as, you know, 30, 40 somethings, you know, that have made a mistake in their life. Right. They're addressing homelessness with a population that it's not their you know, they're homeless because of things outside of their control. Right? They're homeless. They're they're dealing with 16, 17 year olds who maybe had an abusive family situation and are couchsurfing with their friends. Right. Or, you know, or a family, you know, a child that's homeless because their family's been homeless and has lost housing. And, you know, so the work that they do is always been one of the favorite things.

Logan (00:30:44) - You know, I guess like a it's been something that's been close to our heart with Mac. So speaking of that, Jamie, I may as well plug this real quick. We are like I said, we just last week celebrated our 15th anniversary. We are doing a little nonprofit, $15,000 brand. We're calling it a brand update project for nonprofits. So if anybody listening to the show knows a great nonprofit that could use a little brand revamp, we're doing a $15,000 giveaway towards that type of work. So it can be large, it can be small. We you know, again, we try and give back in that way. And so it's our it's one of the things we're doing to celebrate our 15th anniversary as an organization.

Jamie (00:31:31) - So cool well might know some people to send your way. Sure yeah sure appreciate the plug but all yeah send some people your way to see if how they can if they can win that prize. So that's awesome. So as we're getting to the end here, what I'd love to do is give our listeners really that final thought.

Jamie (00:31:46) - You know, we've talked on down a lot of different paths when it comes to niching and it sounds like you guys have figured it out. So what kind of love your final thoughts for anyone that's thinking about going down this path?

Logan (00:31:56) - Yeah. You know, like I said, I think from a it's a little bit scary, right, when you're first thinking about it, especially if you've always sort of been a generalist. What I can tell you with Mac, as it has with our business, it has really allowed us to be more focused, to be more intentional, to provide better service to our clients because we're not reinventing, we're not having to reinvent the wheel every time. Right. While also operating a more efficient business for ourselves. Like I said, it's easier for us to find clients. It's easier for us connect clients and sell it to clients, right? We operate on higher, higher margins and better rates while doing better work for our clients. So like, our clients don't balk at that stuff because they know that they're seeing the value of that as well.

Logan (00:32:43) - So, you know, it is a process. It's not something you're going to do overnight. Like you're not just going to flip a switch and say, tomorrow, I think I'm going to specialize in hospitals. Right. And suddenly position, they're like, um, you have to be intentional and pursue it over time. But, for both of you and your clients will benefit if you are able to narrow in here and find that position.

Jamie (00:33:09) - Yeah, no, I agree with everything you said. You know, as I moved into this at Summit, I had no experience with agencies. I worked for an airline. I worked for a government contractor. My audit days, I only worked in restaurants. So I really had no experience in it. But it's been a lot of fun because what it gives you as an opportunity to do is really be curious and dive into something, right? So because I have one agency client, I start asking them questions and then, you know, you pop on to the second one, the third one, the fourth one, and you just learn more and more and more into like the amount of information you're allowed to share.

Jamie (00:33:39) - And like I said, it's been fun for me. I've really enjoyed the space, I've enjoyed getting to know the space. And then also it makes it easier to train your people. You know, one of the ways that, you know, I've been to probably 30 agency events in my life, but the reason I love going to this event so much because it helps me train, it helps me learn what the problems are and what they're looking for in the curiosity. And so it just makes it a lot easier to train your people to go to market and to do good work. So it's I do think there's so many advantages to it. I'm not sure why everybody doesn't do it. But again, I know it's worked for us and it's really been the path. And I think the other part that you talked quite a bit about is that, you know, when you talk about a niche or vertical doesn't need to be super specific. It doesn't need to say we only work on restaurants.

Jamie (00:34:19) - It could be we work on people in the food service industry. We work on, you know, just different. You can make it as broad as you want. And one of the things that we early on did was not only to work on agencies, but we said we work on anybody that's like technology progressive, right? Like if they're willing to jump on a call with us and do a sales call via via Zoom and we can meet with them virtually every time and they're the right client for us. And that happened to be mostly agencies, but that was something that like we weren't turning down a client, that wasn't an agency that was able to meet with us in that way and really, you know, have clients that way. So it doesn't need to be super specific either.

Logan (00:34:52) - Yeah, absolutely. It's about yeah, with that it's just about telling the story effectively, right? Can you communicate how higher education and public transit are tied together? Right? Like what are the commonalities there? And being able to connect those dots understand that internally and then communicate that externally.

Logan (00:35:09) - Yeah.

Jamie (00:35:10) - For sure. Great. Well loved having you on the show and maybe we'll after the call, hang out a little bit and talk about your times in Denver. So yeah it's cool that we have some local connections here so absolutely.

Logan (00:35:21) - Thanks again. Well, thank you.

Outro (00:35:23) - Enjoy this podcast. Visit our website SummitCPA.Net to get more tips and strategy for achieving business success. We're here to be a resource in this ever-changing industry.


When I Niche, You Niche, We Niche with Logan Hoffman

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