Business in DuPage Launched: Episode 001
The goal of the Business in DuPage show is to feature local CEOs and Entrepreneurs in DuPage County and have them tell their stories. We noticed there wasn't necessarily a lack of platforms that promote business in DuPage County, but rather a lack of quality stories about the CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Foudners that live and flourish in DuPage County. Hence, Business in DuPage was born with a simple structure, put a microphone in front of very successful CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Founders and have them tell their story.
Episode 001 with CEO of Launch Digital Marketing, Joe Chura was a blast. Below are Show Notes:
Joe Chura Quotes
9:50 “You’re going to get through it and tomorrow is going to be better, it always is.”
10:30 “I make mistakes all the time, you don’t have to be a super genius to make this happen all you have to do is be a good person and have common sense.”
10:55 “Don’t listen to negativity, if you know you’re going to make it happen.”
13:15 “If you really want to make it, the rule for Entrepreneurship, take your laptop at night and work until your laptop dies.”
Show Notes: Episode 001
Q1. What Do You Do? Time: 1:26
Answer: My main focus is making sure we have enough cash to keep going, making sure we have the right people and making sure I’m innovating my company. Aside from those things I really love product development. I am the Chief Product Innovator.
Q2. What Do You Guys Do At Launch? Time: 3:17
Answer: Launch is a marketing services agency; we started off as an Search Engine Optimization company in 2010 and grew into Search Engine Marketing. Which is paid search through Google, Bing & Facebook and that expanded into Web Design, Social Media Advertising & Strategies. We work with small and large brands; build anything from their branding to video production. We really try and understand not just their product but dive deep into their needs from a marketing presence.
Q3. How Many Employees Do You Have Here? Time: 4:24
Answer: Launch has 145 employees and Dealer Inspire has 103. So about 250 right now. We started Launch in May of 2011, at that time we had 2 or 3 employees. Dealer Inspire started in 2013 and grew from 1 – 100.
Q4. What Is The Hardest Thing From A CEO Perspective? Time: 4:59
Answer: To insure that you are retaining the culture and the spirit that drove the company in the beginning. As we grew a lot of the little things fell out of my hands. I am empowering people to hire and get the right people on our bus. Over the years I felt it to be more challenging that we have the right people constantly. Our employee retention rate is in the 90’s, as well as our employee retention rate being in the 90’s as well.
Q5. Is Delegation Hard For You? Time: 6:08
Answer: I’ll say in the beginning but then I learned that the success of a company is having the company run as if you’re not there. I train and teach our leadership the same thing. To attain that level you have to have such tight-knit processes. I think now that when I have to dive deep into something, I look at it as fail of a process.
Q6. How Do You Define Culture? Time: 7:19
Answer: I remember looking at this 2 years ago and I looked around at the people we had and they were all extensions of my personality. For example, we hire a lot of musicians, we don’t look for them but they are attracted to this atmosphere because of the creativeness. We have a lot of witty and funny people and then you see this culture start to build and grow. When we started to get 30 employees we created tenants. We needed a guidebook to say here – we believe in: innovation, communication, giving back, learning and so forth. We want the people on our team to embrace these tenants.
Q7. Who Is Your Ideal Employee? Time: 9:08
Answer: I look at people that love and have passion for what they do outside of their work. For example when I was first starting Launch I was obsessed with SEO. We like to find employees that like to do what their job is going to be but now they are doing something they love and are getting paid for it.
Q8. What Is Your Startup Story? Time: 10:15
Answer: My great grandfather was an inventor and he invented the hamburger patty machine and started the fast food revolution for companies such as McDonald’s in the 1950’s. I started off when I was 20 years old, I found out I was going to be a father and started working at the Chicago assembly line at Ford. My first day their I was overwhelmed. Talking and networking with people I found out Ford would pay for some of my school. I would study while I was building cars. Fast forwarding I tried to maximize every little opportunity. I would schedule meetings with the plant manager to talk to him about my marketing projects. I would go and look at the plans that they were building in back offices and use that for my marketing presentations. The reason I am highlighting this is because I learned the value of hard work. Really, really hard work. After I finished school I started my masters and was able to get a position at the Chicago Ford regional office and called on a ton of dealerships. I learned a lot about the Auto business. A little time after that, I then got with 2 partners and we started Launch.
Q9. Do You Think People Are Accidental Entrepreneurs? Time: 14:01
Answer: If you’re passionate about something that doesn’t mean you can make a living off it. You have to look at the market you're going in. The best thing to do is go niche. Automotive was our niche. I had an incredible advantage in the automotive industry because of my background. Need to be realistic with the market and start making money before you quit a job.
Q10. How Do You Approach Sales? Time: 18:14
Answer: We were a digital marketing agency first. As I saw the writing on the wall, to be a viable company it was increasingly obvious to me that it would be very complex and competitive to continue at the pace we were. Although we offered a great service and had a great team – it’s really easy to loose on dollars. I said to give us a real opportunity, instead of spending a million dollars on marketing and saying that we are the best – let's create a technology company. And then leverage that to lead into the use of our Launch Digital Marketing company. And now we are an all in one solution to a client versus having to deal with multiple vendors.
Q11. Do You Focus On The Competition? Time: 21:08
Answer: I don’t know what my competition is doing. I don’t pay attention to what they’re doing. I know my competition is doing great.
Q12. Why Naperville? Time: 22:18
Answer: Naperville is an awesome area to be in. When we first started our company we attracted employees from everywhere and Naperville was the central meeting place. I started realizing what a great opportunity we have of attracting the great people of Naperville and DuPage County. In Chicago there is a ton of competition. So I said – what if we can start attracting people who are sick of commuting or came out of one of local colleges around here. The area of Naperville is affluent, educated and really smart.
Q. 13 What Should DuPage County Focus On? Time: 24:44
Answer: Naperville and DuPage County has a huge opportunity to continue to build on the ecosystem that has been created. You need people and wifi connection. You don’t need much anymore. So why not DuPage County? We have awesome people around here.
Q. 14 How Do You Address Hardships? Time: 25:46
Answer: Everyday something really shitty happens. If you start looking forward to that moment everyday – it’s not that bad. Every single day there is an issue. And sometimes you’re frustrated and there is so much stress. And all I can say is you’re going to get through it and tomorrow is going to be better and it always is. Things do happen and it’s how you deal with them that matter. Don’t make dumb decisions and don’t discount the value of common sense.
Q. 15 Any Habits That Help You? Time: 28:55
Answer: There are 2 things and I try to do them as much as I can and when I do them I feel so much better. I use Headspace (mediation) and exercise. And I read every night. It’s a really good way to fall asleep. Another habit I had was – if you really want to be a successful entrepreneur, grab your laptop at night and work until it dies.
Q. 16 Do You Wake Up Early? Time: 34:11
Answer: I try and get up at 5:45 a.m. workout or meditate.
Q. 17 Thoughts On Mentorship? Time: 35:42
Answer: I would find books to read and podcasts early on in my career. I have more mentors now from a business financial side. No one is going to hold your hand and walk you through this. You have to be kind of crazy to start a business. The risk of failing is high.
Q. 18 Best Thing About Being A CEO? Time: 37:15
Answer: Controlling the destiny. I can make decisions that impact people. Also, really looking at the jobs we have created. We have changed people’s lives. Giving them a great opportunity to learn and accomplish goals.
Q. 19 Last Bits Of Advice? Time: 38:20
Answer: Look at your capital structure. Making sure that you’re making smart decisions. Don’t create a narrative in your mind. Look where you’re at. Know your market!
Connect With Joe Chura:
Twitter - @joechura