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An Interview with Farmhouse Principal Ben Fant

  • Ben Fant Farmhouse Marketing Memphis
    An Interview with Farmhouse Principal Ben Fant
    Monday, October 20, 2014

    These questions were posed to me by a journalist for an article that was written about in the Commercial Appeal. For brevity, not all of my answers made it into the piece, but I feel inclined to share them here. I think answering these questions is a great practice for any business owner.

     

    What sets you apart?

    At Farmhouse, we specialize in small business launches. We know exactly what a small business needs to open and generate revenue quickly. We don't waste efforts on anything that is unnecessary, and we focus/train our clients to understand why we are doing so. Once launched, our intent for our small business operators is to not be dependent on us for the long haul. A new small business usually does not have the capital to support a full-time agency, and let's face it, mom and pop want to take home as much of their hard-earned cash as possible. So we try to help them be self-sufficient. Understand marketing. Understand social media. Understand proper call-to-action for use on the website we build for them. It's a "teach a man to fish mentality."


    What has been your biggest breakthrough?

    Our biggest breakthrough has been specializing in small business launches, namely in the hospitality industry. We have become masters at creating dynamic brands that shoppers love. Our brands are highly recognizable, and our ability to create a branded environment/atmosphere for the dining room or showroom creates great impact. I think anyone considering opening a small business, especially one in the hospitality industry, would benefit immensely from talking to us before beginning their development process.


    What has been your biggest mistake?

    My biggest mistake was not saying "No" to the client at times when I needed to. It is very much a customer service relationship, but there are times when you have to remember they are paying you for your knowledge and expertise. There are definitely times I should have told a client "no" so the creative did not get off-track or the strategy did not get hijacked.



    What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment is the sustained growth of Farmhouse. This idea started in the back bedroom of my 1854-built, farmhouse in Midtown for which the company is named. That bedroom was my first office (and ironically the first Memphis studio of Jay Etkin, love ya, Jay!). I made that bedroom my office to feed off the energy and history that was almost palatable in the space. And now, seven years later, I have a thriving business, a cozy, Downtown office, the best employees that can be found, a client list of happy experiences, an inbox of unlimited possibilities and a workload of the funnest type work you could ever do. I am amazed and thrilled at the possibility of each new day. And I want to give a special 'Thank you' to my wife who never questioned my direction as I absorbed the back bedroom as my first headquarters.


    What is the greatest lesson you've learned?

    The greatest lesson I learned is to focus on what you're good at. That seems obvious, but at times, it's easy to get caught up in being all things for all clients. We are not all things. We are brand developers first and foremost.Yes, we want to help facilitate all aspects of your marketing efforts, but at some point, we have to know where to draw the line.



    What is the best part about doing business in Memphis?

    The best part of doing business in Memphis is being a part of the strong momentum of change that is happening. Farmhouse has an opportunity to do a lot of B2C work, and activating store fronts is one of our favorite things to do. When a prospect calls that has a plan to place a new small business in a dormant storefront, bells go off in our office. We want that opportunity. We love being a part of beautifying Memphis one facade at a time.


    See the article here.

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