WestCoastCo., a values-focused creative agency based in Garstang, this month announced their new “Pay It Forward” scheme to benefit small business owners who are struggling financially.
The company was founded two and a half years ago by Arin West, who had a background in larger, more corporate marketing agencies.
“Marketing agencies can often be pretty scary for small business owners”, explained Arin. “Many agencies will claim to be small business friendly, but won’t take less than £1000 a month for their services. For many people, paying that much is just unthinkable! WestCoastCo. was founded because I saw far too many people turned away because they didn’t have the money, and they were the people who really needed the help.”
The “Pay It Forward” scheme allows small business owners who are struggling to make ends meet to apply for a fully funded website, branding package or marketing strategy day. The funding comes from WestCoastCo.’s existing clients; 10% of the profits from every completed project goes towards the scheme.
Although the company have always offered flexible interest-free payment plans and budget-friendly options, they recently identified that there isn’t enough support for small businesses and they’re aiming to bridge that gap.
Logan, WestCoastCo’s head of content and social, explains the difficult place that small business owners can find themselves in;
“It’s like trying to find your first job with no experience. To work with a standard marketing agency, you need a hefty marketing budget. To have that budget, you’ve got to be making some money to begin with. If you’re not making that money, it’s probably because you need some help with your marketing!
We’ve met with small business owners who have put every penny they’ve got into their businesses. They often have to decide between paying a business bill and paying a personal bill, and their situation will only get worse if they can’t market themselves”.
WestCoastCo.’s approach to marketing is a unique one, focusing on shared values and beliefs rather than large marketing budgets to make lasting connections between brand and audience. Edelman’s Earned Brand Study 2017 found that over 50% of the global population consider themselves to be belief-driven buyers, and that number will only increase.
In addition to their new scheme, the company have partnered with Lancaster agency Fizzy Compass to offer a monthly drop-in marketing clinic. Taking place on the last Thursday of every month, the clinic is an opportunity for business owners to get free advice and quick solutions to their marketing related issues.