Brenda and Patricia Boral recently sat down with the managing editor of the Houston Business Journal, Jonathan Adams, on the Texas Minds Business Podcast.
During this interview, they discussed their entrepreneurial journey and shared their top tips for new business owners looking to make their mark in their industry.
Learn more about the origins of Boral Agency and their recommendations for fellow entrepreneurs below.
The Beginning of Boral Agency
Our entrepreneurial journey began in Bolivia, where, after we tragically lost our mother, we took over the family business, an after-school program.
Patricia also started her own branding company after taking over that business and ran it successfully for several years.
Later, we relocated to the United States and ended up in Houston, Texas.
Here, we came together to create Boral Agency — originally known as Boral Branders — in 2013.
I, Patricia, noticed how organized the marketing space already was in the U.S. and was inspired by the potential for business growth.
I took my ideas to my siblings and proposed building off my branding success in Bolivia by launching an agency here.
Brenda quickly agreed to come on board.
What Makes Boral Agency Stand Out?
We believe there are three primary success factors that set Boral Agency apart from any other marketing company:
- The Phoenix Method: This is a system of specific questions we ask all clients to generate results quickly and ensure they get a return on their investment
- Human Interaction/Team Collaboration: We’re flexible and able to adapt quickly to any kind of customer or work environment, which also helps us to deliver results quickly and meet clients’ timelines.
- Agility and Flexibility: We’re flexible and able to adapt quickly to any kind of customer or work environment, which also helps us to deliver results quickly and meet clients’ timelines.
Commitment to Growth
Boral Agency also stands out as a business that focuses on marketing for niche companies and growing businesses.
If there’s a company that wants to grow, that’s our target audience.
We cater to people who want to see the value and invest in marketing.
Put simply, we care and love collaborating with clients, and we want to partner with those who are eager to do the same.
We work with businesses in a variety of industries, but collaboration and a desire to grow, remain consistent across the board.
Consistency and Resiliency
Speaking of consistency, when asked about our secrets to success, we always mention consistency in messaging, as well as resiliency.
You can’t give up easily, and you need to make owning your business part of your life.
When you harmonize all those things, you can rise above your competitors and continue to grow your brand.
Finally, we are unique because of our commitment to work-life balance and a supportive organizational culture.
We understand the importance of a flexible work environment when it comes to employee retention and job satisfaction, and that’s why we offer a hybrid work model that encourages our employees to work in a way that helps them be the most productive.
We want our team members to take vacations and work from anywhere in the world.
Doing so opens their creativity, brings new ideas for our clients, and helps our business thrive.
The Boral Sisters’ Advice for Overcoming Business Challenges
No business is without its obstacles, and we have faced plenty during the last ten years.
Listed below are some of the top challenges we’ve encountered, with our tried and true tips on how to overcome them.
Don’t Hire Immediately
One of the greatest entrepreneurship challenges we’ve faced is that we started hiring employees too quickly.
As Brenda puts it, “We got very excited with some projects and we said ‘Oh, let’s hire, we need people,’ and we grew too fast…and we couldn’t sustain it at the beginning.”
Hiring too quickly — particularly before you have the steady cash flow needed to pay your employees — may cause you to overspend and prevent you from running a profitable business.
In the beginning, you typically have to do a lot with a small staff.
Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
That being said, you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Another challenge we experienced was trying to do our books themselves.
That wasn’t our area of expertise, but we tried to tackle it on our own anyway, resulting in a lot of wasted time and resources.
Use Your Time Wisely
Regarding wasted time, that’s another important factor to keep in mind when running your own business.
As an entrepreneur, you consistently have a loaded to-do list with dozens of different tasks, all demanding your attention.
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae and neglect the responsibilities that are most likely to help the business grow.
That’s where outsourcing and working with other professionals can be so beneficial — this allows you to truly value your time.
Hiring a third-party professional leaves more time for business owners to find clients and get their name out there, which will provide more long-term benefits when it comes to growing the business, creating global expansion plans, etc.
Ask for Help
It’s okay if you don’t know everything right off the bat.
Every entrepreneur has to figure things out as they go and ask for help from others who have been doing it longer than they have.
Whether you have questions about hiring strategy, retaining talent, creating custom marketing campaigns, or anything in between, there’s a professional out there who is ready and willing to assist you — especially in a place like Houston, Texas.
We love the supportive community in Houston and have found that other entrepreneurs are eager to help and are big proponents of collaboration.
We’ve had many opportunities to practice resilience in the face of adversity — particularly financial adversity.
When we launched Boral Agency, we just had $300 and a laptop.
We didn’t have much to work with and had to rely heavily on credit cards at the beginning.
Now, we encourage others not to follow in our footsteps — at least in this particular area.
If you can, secure capital first, as it reduces some of the stress that business owners have to deal with.
It’s Okay to Say No
We also encourage other entrepreneurs to save money so they don’t have to just take any client that comes their way.
Because we needed cash flow at the beginning of our journey, we were willing to work with any client, including those who weren’t necessarily the best fit for our style and business goals.
Today, we realize that it’s okay to say no to something that doesn’t align with your business’s values and mission.
You don’t have to accept everything that comes your way.
Instead, adopt an abundance mindset and trust that if you work hard and remain resilient, the right clients will find you.
Learn from Your Audience
As an entrepreneur, you can learn from almost anyone.
However, some of your greatest teachers will be members of your target audience.
If you listen to them, they will point you in the right direction and help you ensure you’re offering services that people genuinely want to invest in.
Don’t be afraid of reinvention, either.
As our business grew, getting too attached to our original idea was tempting.
However, because we morphed and evolved with our target market, we were able to retain existing clients and attract new ones.
Don’t Fear Change
Reinvention and evolution can be intimidating, especially when you’ve invested a lot of time and money into a particular business idea.
Part of developing resiliency, though, is learning to have no fear, roll with the punches, and make changes based on what your target audience wants and needs — while remaining true to your mission and values.
If you’re looking for a change, read how AI Can Help You in Marketing.
No Cookie-Cutter Marketing
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign that works well for all business owners.
It’s like diets — there are tons of different eating methods and no cookie-cutter plan that benefits everyone.
A bespoke approach is much more effective.
Instead of trying to fit all clients into the same marketing box, we recommend getting to know each client individually and answering questions like:
“Who makes up your target audience?”
“How can I attract this audience?”
“How can I make sure I communicate a message effectively to that audience?”
Avoid making these and more mistakes by reading The 8 Most Common Business Marketing Mistakes.
From hiring challenges to the many obstacles that arise when developing plans for marketing for middle market companies, you will face a variety of hurdles on your entrepreneurial journey.
Fortunately, you can use these tips to clear those hurdles more easily and set your business up for long-term success.
To hear everything we had to say in this interview, check out the full podcast episode here.
If you’re ready to create impressive marketing campaigns and make future plans for your digital marketing strategy, you can also book a free consultation with Boral Agency today or visit us on our social media platforms — Facebook, X, and Instagram.