IDAHO FALLS – Ryan Joos had nothing but optimism for the future that lay ahead when he opened a marketing agency in Idaho Falls in Feb. 2020.
He started his career in marketing six years prior after selling pest control in Indianapolis one summer. He knew he’d found his career path when he was introduced to SEO and inbound marketing at a conference he attended.
“This is how it’s supposed to be done,” Joos remembers thinking at the time. “From that point forward, a light came on in me and I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
While working for a marketing agency in Burley, he realized his true aspiration was to own his own marketing firm and his hometown of Idaho Falls is the place he wanted to do it.
Though his peers and associates told him it would never work, he paid them no mind. He formed Vulpine Marketing on Feb. 26, 2020 and signed a lease for a small office space inside the Idaho Innovation Center at 2300 North Yellowstone Highway. He’d started operation about a month prior while he was still transitioning from Burley and had already acquired several clients. It was an auspicious beginning and Joos was happy.
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Less than a month later, something happened that no one anticipated. On March 25, 2020, Gov. Brad Little issued a temporary stay-home order in response to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus. People were being asked to shelter in their homes and businesses all over the state were being shut down.
In a conversation with EastIdahoNews.com, Joos recalls what was running through his mind at the time.
“For a lot of people in different circumstances, that would make them feel incredibly nervous. But I just felt so confident that this was the right path that we needed to go,” he says. “If (businesses aren’t able to operate) … they’re going to find ways to innovate and get in front of people because that’s what we do.”
Two years after the launch of his business, Joos is proud to say he’s weathered the storm. His company has not only survived a global pandemic, it’s thriving.
Vulpine Marketing provides web development, search engine optimization, social media advertising and video production for dozens of clients throughout the US and Canada, most of which are small and medium-sized companies. Locally, his clients include Cooper Norman accounting services, Beard St. Clair Gaffney law office and Mrs. Powell’s bakery.
Many of the marketing firm’s employees are moms working from home. Creating a company that allowed employees the flexibility of working from home prior to the pandemic is one thing Joos says worked in their favor because it didn’t require a major adjustment during the stay-home order.
“We have several people work for us who can only put in 10 hours a week. That’s fine. We’re happy to use their talents whenever we can,” says Joos.
He also cites relationships and networking connections as another factor that helped him navigate through this turbulent time. He joined several local committees, like the Idaho Falls Business Networking group on Facebook, the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, and the Entrepreneurs of Idaho Facebook Group, which was instrumental in helping local business owners at the height of the pandemic.
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“When we opened up, I just said, ‘I’m going to be an active presence in that group.’ When people have marketing questions, I am going to be the one to respond, I am going to be the source of information when it comes to digital marketing and we gained a reputation very quickly of being knowledgeable in that area,” Joos explains.
Vulpine, a word associated with a fox that means cunning or crafty, reflects the company’s goal to find clever ways to help customers win. Joos is happy to be serving clients throughout North America, but he’s especially grateful for the local clients who have stayed and supported him and his team.
He believes the secret to a flourishing community comes through bolstering local entrepreneurs and he’s inviting you to celebrate the business’s second anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 17 at The Westbank from 5 pm to 8 pm
“We just want to continue to provide great jobs for people. If that means work-at-home mothers, awesome,” he says. “Providing jobs for people anywhere (is our No. 1 priority) but we absolutely have a soft spot for people that live right here in Idaho Falls.”
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