Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for ABC Radio’s Open for business. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:18] Lee Kantor here, broadcasting live from the Georgia Aquarium Oceans Ballroom for the 2023 GWBC Lace Awards Gala, Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence. And one of those ladies is here right now Moira Vetter. Welcome.
Moira Vetter: [00:00:34] Thank you so much.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:35] It’s been a hot minute since we’ve last chatted, I think. Would you say seven, ten years ago?
Moira Vetter: [00:00:39] Something like that.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:41] We’re still here.
Moira Vetter: [00:00:42] I’m still hear going strong all these years later.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:44] And you’re up for a Trailblazer Award. Talk about it. How did that happen?
Moira Vetter: [00:00:48] You know, we have had a really good year. You know, I think any time you’re doing well as a business, you know, you talk about your blessings and the team that you have. We’re really fortunate. You know, the world is still very interesting. There’s a lot of change and turmoil, but we are just really committed and flexible. And, you know, I think we have really resilient people and we have very close relationships with our clients. And that, you know, enables us to, you know, at times like these when it gets interesting, really kind of hunker down and focus on the stuff that matters. And so it’s really it’s paid off for us. We’ve had a lot of wins in the last year. We’re an Inc 5000 company for the fourth time this year and an Inc power partner, which is a B2B award that they have and have had all kinds of other things. But, you know, those are the ones that really speak to us because they come directly from the work we’re doing with our clients.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:44] So talk about your firm. Who do you serve and what’s the pain that your clients are having when they call you? Yeah.
Moira Vetter: [00:01:51] So we are Moto Moto Agency. We are a creative and media agency here in Atlanta, heavily serve B2B clients, not exclusively B2B, but often very complex global businesses. It’s very difficult to manage your brand and your position in a world that is in turmoil. And then you think about all of the changes in the the workforce and all the all the labor challenges and the economic challenges. It gets really hard to plant a flag, you know, and, and to sort of be your brand and be consistent about it when it needs to be changing all the time. And so our clients, you know, sometimes they come to us because their whole industry has changed and they want to lead that effort. Right. They want to be at the forefront and they want to be very visible for the leadership that they provide. Other times, it really is about being an extension of their team and partnering with them. So if I think about last year, last year was heavily about we are down, we’re down, men, women, children, you know, like we just don’t have the people that we need. And we don’t just need doers. We need thinkers who can come in, assess and go. And so, you know, last year was a lot of that. It was a and it was also about helping them recruit and find team members this year because the economy has been so, you know, uncertain. That’s everybody’s favorite word or the headwinds. Right.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:21] Everybody because there’s always certainty in the economy. Right. Sure.
Moira Vetter: [00:03:24] Right. That’s yeah. Somebody said to me today it feels kind of uncertain like like every other day. Yeah. But you know, I feel like this year it’s been more about how do we get quicker returns, how do we convert sales, how do we focus on the activities that correlate directly to revenue because the pressure has come back? I think people had a little more flex in coming through the pandemic. Everybody was surviving, and I think the focus on KPI lifted a little and it was, you know, keep the wheels on, keep going. And 2023 has been the year of don’t keep going, only keep going on the things that are delivering. Right. Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:05] And it’s hard to prioritize in a world like this. Right. Is this where you’re kind of expertise and the thought leadership and the trusted advisor role that you have? It really comes in handy to give them that, that third party fresh eyes looking at this stuff.
Moira Vetter: [00:04:20] Yes, yes. And you know, one thing I will say, you know, agencies are infamous for high turnover and short tenure. You know, the agency industry is very dynamic and fast moving and, you know, perhaps has a higher, you know, transiency. And we’ve been able to buck that curve. Our average team member has been with us over four years. We’ve got people that have been at the company 14 years, 12 years, you know, which is kind of, you know, outside the ordinary. And the benefit of that is when our clients come. It’s not just that we have, you know, somebody that writes well or, you know, hey, I need a good designer. It’s. I need a team that knows how to work together to solve problems like this, and they can just leave it at that. And so, you know, I feel like that’s people want people to know what they need. They don’t want to have to tell you what they need. They just want to be able to frame challenges. And so that’s really where we try to put more senior people in front of our clients, who are typically more senior people and just, you know, think as creatively as possible and be here, right, and have that same team here to deliver that.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:37] Now any advice for that woman business owner when it comes to building a culture like that? Because that doesn’t happen accidentally. That’s because you’re a visionary. And and the culture is where the rubber hits the road. There’s a lot of people that would like to have a culture as strong as yours, but you’re actually delivering this, obviously, with the success and recognition you’re getting here and, and all those other places you mentioned. So how do you build a culture that can kind of last and stand the test of time like you have?
Moira Vetter: [00:06:06] You know, one of the things is you have to keep telling people what that culture is and why it’s important to people. I think, you know, lots of people have, you know, mission and vision statements and they’re interchangeable.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:19] Like, you can you can’t.
Moira Vetter: [00:06:21] Tell the brand, say those things. Right. But, you know, we try to really show people what the benefit of those things are, both to our to us internally and to our clients. You know, I think part of it is just intending to scale. I gave a talk recently to the Cobb Executive Women’s Group and part of the Cobb Chamber, and one of the things I was doing, I was looking at statistics on businesses that scale, and I was looking at SBA insights on small business. And the average small business in the country has 1.9 employees, which means small businesses on average are a job, right? It’s one person with a job and their cousin. Right. So, you know, scale is a challenge. It’s not just a challenge for women. It’s a challenge for lots of businesses. And I think being intentional about having a plan is really important. I think one of the hardest things for women is when you know someone doesn’t fit the plan, help them find something else, right? Which doesn’t come second nature to a lot of women. I think women are comforters and, you know, try to make it work, right. We’re going to make it work and we’ll find the thing. And if you’re really serious about scale, you also have to be able to accept that sometimes you can’t do that.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:46] Right. And it’s one of those things where you’ve got to know when to say yes and when to say no. Yeah, and it’s important to cut people loose. If it’s not, if it’s not an ideal fit, then let’s there’s a big world out there.
Moira Vetter: [00:07:57] Exactly, exactly. And you know, I think that also, you know, we were talking about we’ve been around a while. It’s something that you don’t know early on. Right. Early on the idea of maybe having someone that’s not a fit and having to let them go seems like the end of the world until you get to a place in your career where you meet somebody that you, that your paths diverged and you realize, oh my God, they’re in the perfect place. Like they thank God we got to this place where we realized that we weren’t perfect together, because look at who they are now or look at what they’ve become. And that doesn’t happen when everybody just keeps trying.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:35] Now talk a little bit about why it was important for you to get involved as a certified woman business owner and be part of Jdbc and this event.
Moira Vetter: [00:08:45] So I’d love to say before it was cool to be on a supplier diversity list. We did this, but we specifically did this because we had a client Southwire company actually years ago was getting very serious about their supplier diversity. It was in the one, I don’t know, 2008 nine ish timeframe. And so Moto was new at the time and our client said it is critical to our leadership team that we diversify our vendor list. And in order to prove that, you know, we need people that are certified. And I said, well, if it matters to you, it matters to me. And so, you know, initially it happened because it mattered to our customer. Increasing it has also been a benefit to us. You know, we have had times where we would have had very extended payment terms. And I know that is a very that’s real difficult thing right now. The the US Chamber of Commerce has just advanced something on a quick payment pledge for large corporations that bring in small businesses because.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:53] Their time frames the 30, 60, 90, 120. And it’s crazy.
Moira Vetter: [00:09:57] Yes, yes. And it’s coming up more and more. And to I’m not. I’m going to say it’s nothing to them, but it is more a line item on a on a sheet and a.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:06] Spreadsheet for them, a spreadsheet. It’s their, you know, their family’s life. Exactly. Small business.
Moira Vetter: [00:10:12] So, you know, we’ve been able to use our Webbank certification before when someone wanted us to have 90 day payment terms and get, you know, 30 day payment terms. So it was hugely advantageous to us. You know, we have used referrals that have come through the network. We have used education. I was able to benefit from a education program that we Bank and Bank of America put together with Cornell University, which was a certificate in entrepreneurship specifically for women. And so, you know, there’s really been so many ways that that being involved and being certified within Webbank and with, you know, Georgia Women’s Business Council has really paid off for us.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:59] And if somebody wants to learn more about Minamoto, what’s the website?
Moira Vetter: [00:11:03] All right. So first of all, Moto Moto is not moto. So we’ll start there. It’s Moto Moto Agency. So m o d as in dog o m o d o agency.com. Everybody thinks of the animated movie with the moto character and so that that that that t is going to be the death of me.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:24] But so Moto Moto.
Moira Vetter: [00:11:26] Agency.com is the website and of course we’re on LinkedIn and all the things, but very active on LinkedIn with some good thought leadership there too.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:35] Well, congratulations for all that you do and good luck this evening. And thank you so much for taking part of this. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Moira Vetter: [00:11:44] Thank you so much and thanks for sharing everybody’s story.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:46] All right. This is Lee Kantor back in a few at 2023 GW Lace Awards Gala.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
GWBC® has partnered with dozens of major companies who are committed to providing a sustainable foundation through our guiding principles to bring education, training and the standardization of national certification to women businesses in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.