Meet Vincent Aguirre, President of Distinct. Vincent began Distinct in 2013 as basic IT support for his local community. It was then, that Vincent found a passion for working with small businesses. As his passion grew, Distinct evolved into a thriving agency that prioritizes supporting small businesses across the globe. With a cutting-edge strategy and support, Distinct can help business owners grow immensely. Get to know Vincent as he shares his take on competing against big corporations as a small business, the best advice he has received, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur with a growing family.
What motivated you to start your business?
I saw small businesses being squeezed by large corporations and knew they needed support.
When I founded Distinct in 2013, we had a lot of small businesses coming to us who knew they needed a website, but they didn’t know how to do it, or how to compete with large corporations. During this time different national brands were building an extreme digital presence and targeted marketing. Meanwhile, these smaller businesses were just unsure of how to even exist online. Once they came to us asking for support for staying competitive on the internet, that is what really got us into this business.
Did you choose entrepreneurism, or did it choose you?
Oh, it definitely chose me. We originally started Distinct part-time for its first two years. Soon the demand was just so great that I realized I couldn’t manage both my part-time role and full-time role. So eventually, in 2015 I decided “I can do this; it’s gonna be a risk, but it’s worth it.” Then I just jumped in!
Can you explain your overall mission as a local company?
We aim to strengthen communities by helping small businesses thrive through successful marketing and advising. Strong marketing and strategy are the keys to competing against big corporations and bolstering local economies.
Why are you “proud to be Indiana Owned?”
It’s important for me to continue to represent and support local businesses because of how much we do for our communities. Being a part of Indiana Owned was a natural fit for us because we just really want to continue to support thriving local communities. We know that a majority of the dollars spent at small businesses stay in the local area. That’s extremely important to us, as well as enabling other small businesses to stay alive.
Best advice you have ever received?
That speaking your goals into existence actually works!
What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?
It’s 10x harder than you think, but it’s every bit as rewarding as you want it to be.
What is the greatest challenge in your industry?
The barrier to entry is very low so many people “start an agency” with limited experience and that can hurt their clients.
For instance, it’s really easy for anyone to go to wix.com and pop up a website. Let’s say someone approaches a small business owner and says, “I can build a website,” that owner wouldn’t know what to look for. Usually, small business owners can determine if a site is visually appealing or not, but they are not experts at web design.
There are a lot of people out there who can make a “pretty” site, but that doesn’t make it a “good site.” We found that small business owners are oftentimes paying too much money for sites that just aren’t professional even if they do “look good.”
We claim to be “distinct” because we have over a decade of experience, and the way we do business allows us to keep our prices affordable, but still maintain our high quality. We offer unlimited support to all our clients, so they have that one-on-one support as they need it.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
It’s rewarding to work with so many different business owners and watch their passions positively affect our community. Distinct provides them with support so they can continue to change the lives of other people. Especially our clients who are more consumer-focused, we really love seeing the good things they are adding to people’s lives.
What plans do you have in the near future?
Our podcast, Small Business Squad is ramping up this year!
Small Business Squad provides a space for advocates of small businesses, supporters of buying local, and business/ nonprofit leaders to share knowledge, collaborate and gain valuable information. Episodes include entrepreneurism tips and tricks, interviews, and valuable resources!
What is one fun fact about yourself or your business that people may not know about?
As of December 2021, I’m a dad!
Any advice to entrepreneurs who may double as parents?
I think I’m a little unique (at least in my own social circle) since I became a parent after starting my business, but the similarities between being a parent and being a business owner are very real.
I’m three months into parenting now, meaning I have a lot of late nights. I constantly work around the schedule of my child to accommodate his needs. When I started Distinct, there were long hours that I also had to put in. Adjusting to this feels like an accelerated timeframe. Being a new dad feels similar to the first year of starting my business. With some time and adjustments, you eventually get into your new routine.
I think really, no matter which one comes first, they’re remarkably similar. Both take a time commitment and a passion upfront but are absolutely worth every moment.
Can you leave us with one really great book recommendation?
One book that’s impacted my life the most this past year is a book called Traction by Gino Wickman. It gives you a set of tools for running a small business, and I love that it is specifically tailored to small business owners.
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Featured Images: Distinct