After graduating from Sprott, Greg Bridges, BCom/16, was asked at a job interview what his dream job was. He gave the same answer that he had given during the interviews before his three co-op positions—he wanted to start his own agency.
“So I said, why not just do it? I don’t have a family to support, I don’t have investments or house payments, things that would need to rely on an income. This is the perfect opportunity now to try it,” said Greg.
That was the start of Bridge the Gap Marketing Solutions in 2016. Specializing in technology, B2B and local companies, Bridge the Gap Marketing Solutions offers content, consulting and social media services.
“It’s sustained and it’s getting to the point where I can have some other people helping out. I can have some writers and contractors and graphic designers,” Greg said. “Hopefully there’s a path towards getting bigger and doing more that way.”
Greg said he was always interested in starting his own business, but it wasn’t until he had done his co-ops that he realized he was interested in technology marketing. His first co-op experience brought him to Halifax, where he got a taste of marketing in the real world. His second co-op at Kongsberg Geospatial gave him experience working in the high-tech sector, which led to his third co-op at Alcatel-Lucent that was later purchased by Nokia.
Working there for a year he learned a lot about content marketing, lead generation and how to use social media for a business. It was also through the connections he made during his co-op placements that he found his first few clients.
“I found a niche where I said I could do this, I could add value. A lot of people are either engineers who can’t market, or marketers who don’t understand the technology side of it. I can slide into both and translate the engineering speak to what the customer is reading,” Greg explained.
“This is a cool path because it doesn’t require making a product. It doesn’t require having a bunch of cash up front to start the business. It doesn’t require a lot of risk—I’m just selling a service at this stage.”
Greg said that the research skills he learned at Sprott have been vital to his business.
It was during Greg’s co-op placement in Halifax that he discovered Australian Football, a fast-paced sport that can be described as full-contact soccer without equipment. He brought this passion back with him and joined a team in Ottawa.. He recently played for Team Canada in Australia.
Similar to the fast pace and fluid nature of Australian Football, Greg enjoys running his own business because he is able to do different work every day. Greg said working 40 hours a week at the same place was unappealing to him. Being able to work with different companies, technology and people daily has been an environment where he has thrived.
“My advice for students who want to start their own business is – now is the opportunity. Before you have debt, before you have a house, before you have a family, give it a try,” Greg said. “If you have an opportunity now where you can go for a certain period of time without a guaranteed income, go for it. Outsourcing is huge. Companies are all outsourcing their marketing. If you can find ways to get those contacts, there’s work to be done.”
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