Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Miller, Founder of Dealer Rising, located in Ventura, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a digital marketing agency focused on providing a full range of services to Automotive Dealers, RV Dealers, Powersports Dealers, and Yacht Brokers/Marine Dealers.

Tell us about yourself

I first started working with dealerships back in 2011 when an RV dealership contacted my local marketing agency to do some consulting. That consulting role grew and grew until I was eventually offered an in-house marketing position and, a short while later, the marketing director position for the dealership group. Then, in 2020 after being contacted by several dealerships looking to hire me away from my in-house job, I decided to form an agency that would allow me to help more than one dealership at a time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am most proud of the accomplishment of forming my own agency as it allows me to better serve my clients than I was able to work in an employee role and instead works in more of a partner role, working alongside in-house marketing teams to bring the dealership success.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Finding the right balance between empowering people to work independently but still giving them the resources and guidance they need to be successful is one of my bigger challenges as a business owner.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just start. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, and no business plan will prepare you for the feedback you receive from your first customers. Talk to customers early and often, and they will tell you what they need and want.
  2. Master a single channel at a time. Find one place your potential clients congregate (online or in person) and figure out how to successfully connect with them there. Get one channel consistently bringing in leads before moving on to another. Don't try to be everywhere all at once.
  3. Fire fast and hire slow. Early employees make or break a business. Spend the time to find the right people and invest in them fully!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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