"We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Fernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
A digital-first world can be daunting for start-ups and small business owners. Too often, smaller companies don’t have the knowledge to generate and maintain an online presence or lack the resources to afford in-house marketing or a full-service marketing agency.
I saw these struggles first-hand during the first COVID summer of 2020. So, I brainstormed and constructed a remote-business model specializing in graphics, website development, and social media management. After interviewing business owners and doing market research, I built pricing plans per each service.
Outside of a marketing internship I worked that summer, I found time to connect with new small businesses to launch websites and social media campaigns. By the fall of 2020, my portfolio contained a counseling center, a state house representative, retailers, and an Italian restaurant. This experience no longer felt like a hobby on the side but more like a passion-driven part-time job. The results were beyond rewarding and were solving challenges faced in this digital-first world. For the counseling center, it was driving current and new clients to a telehealth platform and promoting benefits of online counseling. For the state house rep, it was producing a website and social media reach to promote messages and issues pertaining to the candidate during a time when in-person meetings and speeches were less frequent. Or an Italian family-owned restaurant that’s never relied on online, pick-up orders, suddenly needing a online menu and ordering platform. These experiences reinforced my passion for building a cross-industry, affordable, full-service marketing agency.
Entering Berry College that fall to finish my last year, an opportunity landed in my lap. Berry announced its Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor, which I instantly weaved into my final semesters’ course schedule. The program connected me with experienced entrepreneurs, like-minded students, practical curriculum, projects relating to my business, and pitching my idea for funding. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
By the start of 2021, I learned how to form an LLC, conduct better market research, pitch, sell, build better pricing plans, and construct contracts, all while clientele steadily climbed. I began partnering with software companies that provided website design, graphics, and social media posting tools so that I could scale the business, reduce costs, and improve quality of services. Contracting employees was the next step, I began seeking specialized individuals in graphic design, SEO, and coding to further drive client success.
By the time I graduated in the spring of 2021, Upsway Marketing was officially an LLC and raised funding from two pitch competitions to assist with startup costs. Since then, the clientele has tripled and we’ve been awarded locally and nationally for up-and-coming marketing solutions. Proudly, Upsway Marketing has transitioned from a hobby to an official LLC driven to provide startups and small businesses with an affordable approach to tacking social media and online presence..."
Read the full article: https://shoutoutatlanta.com/meet-nick-fernandez-founder/