Fall 2018 South Bay Elevate My Business Challenge: 2nd Place Pitch Winner
Pitch Video Link: https://vimeo.com/310169637/ba148ee892
Company Bio: Rowlbertos Media provides video production and content creation services, from pre-production to post. They help with the inception of the idea to execution of physical production and editing. They focus on music, travel, and lifestyle content that has dynamic imagery, effective messaging, and storytelling. They serve businesses with a marketing strategy that are looking to grow their brand, expand their online presence, and engage more effectively with their audience and customers.
By the time Robert Knauf had graduated from Cal State San Marcos, he was eager and hungry to work in video production. At the same time, the need for video was starting to emerge in businesses across the nation. The market opportunity for video production was growing at an exponential rate. Robert emerged as a production manager working under a mentor who took him under her wing. The light bulb suddenly lit up for Robert. He realized he could combine his knowledge of video production and business to create a company of his own.
Robert’s business partner, Andrew Rowley, decided that they could cut out the middleman by combining their talents to form a general partnership. Then in 2010, Rowlbertos Media was born. Two years later in 2012, they changed their business formation as an LLC, in order to perform more as a media production company.
Video technology has evolved to the point where it has become a vital part of everyone’s day-to-day life. Nowadays, businesses rely on videos to communicate their companies’ story. Video is able to connect and communicate in a more personal way than other mediums. It helps strengthen the interaction between business and consumer. An early problem that Rowlbertos Media faced was figuring out how to communicate to businesses that in order for their brand to flourish, they would need to enhance their marketing strategy with high-quality video.
Thankfully, many companies were soon approaching Rowlbertos. These companies sought help in fulfilling their marketing needs and entrusted Rowlbertos to deliver state of the art, visually compelling videos. Some of the most impactful videos that Rowlbertos Media has created thus far include videos made for San Diego State University.
The milestones and accomplishments began to accumulate for Rowlbertos. Being able to work with the likes of Tony Gwynn Jr., Steve Fisher, and Ralph Rubio, has been both humbling and rewarding for Robert. Working with San Diego icons has inspired Robert to become a San Diego leader in the near future. However, he has faced his share of struggles and obstacles. One roadblock for the team was conducting sales. They were not attracting the right clientele since there was a misconception of what video marketing entailed. While this may have been a struggle at first, they quickly realized they needed to invest in the right sales team members.
Another major roadblock that has been challenging for Rowlbertos is that the need for video has evolved so quickly. One would think that this would be a great thing for them, but it actually led to a few issues. Many marketing companies now like to handle video production in-house, or they attempt to find cheaper alternatives, like a one-man, college student with a nice camera. In order to combat this issue, Robert has had to show why their expertise, team, and resources allow them to create a video that replicates that company’s vision. Whereas, a cheaper alternative will not be able to match the style of a company’s brand.
All of these struggles with competition and hiring sales people has made Rowlbertos Media rethink their approach and continually remain creative at finding solutions. Wearing many hats for your company can be stressful while also making it difficult to scale. Instead it is important to delegate tasks. It helps to have a team of highly skilled individuals with their own skill sets and things to focus on.
Crafting a unique selling proposition is necessary to beat out competitors, and it can also assist in building up your own credibility. Robert was intrigued at the chance of joining the North County Elevate My Business Challenge in order to prevent the company from stagnating. In order to work on running the company to its fullest potential, there needed to be a larger focus on taking the right growth steps. Having a dedicated date and time helped Robert hold himself accountable throughout the process of the program. The ability to view his business from a deeper perspective allowed Robert to see the big picture. Being deep into the weeds and trenches of day-to-day business activities had previously prevented Robert from thinking about the future.
Robert thanked the EMBC for inspiring him to think about his growth plan while also providing step-by-step initiatives to reach the next level. Upon graduation, he has been able to bring on a new team member to handle social media. Delegating these tasks to other members of the team has made Robert’s life a lot easier. Too many entrepreneurs make the common mistake of wearing too many hats in their company. As new challenges and competitors emerge throughout the industry, Robert has had to think about his value proposition. Having increased competition should be the catalyst that forces them to step up their game. However, Robert feels very confident and prepared to grow his company. He has faith in his company and it’s primarily because of the quality and top-of-the-line video content he has been able to deliver with Rowlbertos Media.
In the next five years, Robert believes that they will consistently be reaching $1 million in revenues and at least triple the size of the team. Being able to evolve into a larger production company will allow them some leeway and control over audio mixing, pre and post production, creative brainstorming, and much more. The goal is to work with some of the largest companies in the world, by creating higher quality content. Robert has learned when to say no, which has led to more wins for the company. In the past, Robert may have stretched himself too thin, but now he has a better understanding about the components that will support Rowlbertos Media during its growth phase.
It is quite remarkable to see how much Rowlbertos Media has grown in the San Diego region alone. They believe the sky’s the limit and plan to reach larger markets like Los Angeles, and possibly expand across the nation. A strong piece of advice Robert has for fellow entrepreneurs is to seek knowledge from others while also going into things with an open mind. It can be easy to run your business through your biases, but if you are willing to open up your business to new perspectives then you are able to spot gaps that you never noticed before. Passion is also crucial. Robert was always passionate about videos and creating art through video production. It took him some time to realize that he also has to have that same level of passion for the business side of things – especially if he wants to see his company grow. It can be easy for entrepreneurs to neglect their finances, marketing, and sales, and become too focused on the craft or the expertise they love. Most companies tend to stagnate by not taking care of their business. Falling in love with the process of business allows you to keep things fresh. It is crucial to treat your business like a person that needs constant care. By taking time to give your company a check-up, you dramatically increase the health of your business by spotting concerns ahead of time. In the span of a year they have dramatically grown as a company. It is only a matter of time before you see Rowlbertos making the next Nike commercial! But until then, be sure to check out Rowlbertos Media for your video production needs!