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ARCHIVED  May 20, 2011

Relationships keep Jet Marketing jetting along

FORT COLLINS – Jet Marketing is a young company with only two full-time employees, but owner Jackie O’Hara has the passion and creativity to keep her marketing firm going strong despite economic conditions that don’t always favor small businesses.

The nearly 100 percent growth of the company – from $200,000 in 2009 to $396,000 in 2010 – places it at No. 7 on the Northern Colorado Business Report’s Mercury 100 list of fastest growing companies in the region for 2011.

O’Hara began her business in 2009 after holding various positions in marketing and communications following her 1977 graduation from Colorado State University. With designer Erin Rogers, O’Hara has grown her business into one that caters to not only clients in Northern Colorado, but across the nation as well.

Technology allows Jet Marketing to provide service to clients in other states, working remotely using Skype and conference calls. O’Hara says her business is ideal for clients that are large enough to need marketing but not large enough to have their own full-time marketing expert.

For these clients, which include local companies like Poudre School District and Tandem Select, O’Hara provides branding and marketing plans and helps the businesses implement them.

With such a small staff and Rogers working remotely in Chicago, O’Hara serves many roles in the business, from owner to bookkeeper to custodian.

 “I have to be an expert at everything,” O’Hara said.

When necessary, O’Hara outsources work that she or Rogers cannot complete, but said that she will stick with the two-employee model for the time being.

“The biggest challenge with growth is knowing how to grow,” O’Hara said. She spoke about knowing when the line is crossed between having enough employees to handle the workload and needing to hire more.

Playing jack-of-all-trades for her business is a lot of work, but O’Hara remains committed to what she believes is her destiny.

“I was meant to be an entrepreneur,” she said. “I have a set of values that I am in control of.”

Relationships key

O’Hara established many relationships during her tenure at other marketing firms, and those relationships have served her well since starting her own business, which, of course, was no easy task.

“It was difficult, but my husband is an entrepreneur, so I knew what I was getting myself into,” she said.

This attitude has worked well for O’Hara, who says that her business has not felt the effects of the economic recession that so many businesses in Northern Colorado have dealt with in the last few years.

O’Hara attributes this partially to the fact that she does most of her work remotely, allowing her to save on overhead costs, as well as the fact that there is only one other person on the payroll.

“I suppose my timing for starting a business wasn’t great, but it has seemed to work out in spite of that,” she said.

In addition to being dedicated to her company, O’Hara does work in her community. She serves as the Executive Chairperson of the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors’ Bureau Board of Directors and does volunteer work for local nonprofits Respite Care and Hospice of Northern Colorado.

The set of values that O’Hara espouses and applies to her business practices is centered on trust.

“Business relationships, at the very core, are about trust,” O’Hara said. Long-term relationships and an understanding of a client’s products and culture are essential to keeping her business running, she said.

FORT COLLINS – Jet Marketing is a young company with only two full-time employees, but owner Jackie O’Hara has the passion and creativity to keep her marketing firm going strong despite economic conditions that don’t always favor small businesses.

The nearly 100 percent growth of the company – from $200,000 in 2009 to $396,000 in 2010 – places it at No. 7 on the Northern Colorado Business Report’s Mercury 100 list of fastest growing companies in the region for 2011.

O’Hara began her business in 2009 after holding various positions in marketing and communications following her 1977 graduation from…

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