The seeds of Collectiveffort – a Troy, NY-based media, marketing, and co-working agency that launched in 2017 – were planted about a decade ago when Patrick Harris, co-owner and president, and several partners were students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). About a year ago, Patrick realized that the business faced a projected revenue shortfall for early 2022. Learn about how Collectiveffort got an SBA Microloan and the working capital they needed to get through a tough spot and keep their focus on long-term goals.
Collegial relationships evolve into co-ownership
Following school, the friends and frequent collaborators followed different paths, including freelancing, business administration, and agency work. Eventually, they came together as Collectiveffort. Today, Collectiveffort includes five business partners and a client list with several highly influential and internationally recognized names.
“It was a natural evolution of our relationships and previous work together,” Patrick says. “We were at RPI for electronic and media arts, digital communications, and other tech-based creative work. Over the years, we formed a professional creative community, so forming a business together was the next logical step.”
With a deep commitment to running the business as a team and involving creatives from the community and beyond, Patrick says that Collectiveffort has the feel of a co-op, and everyone brings their ideas and skills to the table for shared success. In addition to his creative contributions, Patrick’s business-management experience has been invaluable to the company’s growth.
Proactive steps head off financial difficulties
Almost every business, regardless of size, experiences a revenue crunch at some point and when that happens, the next steps are critical.
“I was COO of a company before Collectiveffort formed, so I had the business experience that entrepreneurs often don’t when starting out,” Patrick explains. Those skills helped him spot a potential revenue shortfall that would hit the company in early 2022. Rather than panic, he reached out to his connections in the community, one of which was Trent Griffin-Braaf from Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle – a business that’s received financing through Pursuit.
“Trent had a great experience with Pursuit and I realized that I had worked with the team early in my career. That was a huge steppingstone for me – it helped solidify my confidence in my work and my professional path,” Patrick says, “so when I realized we needed a loan, Pursuit was an easy choice. I didn’t hesitate to reach out.”
Collectiveffort was approved for an SBA Microloan for working capital. Patrick says the funding made it easy to get through a tight revenue cycle and refocus on growth. He adds, “There can be a lot of anxiety around applying for business loans, but the process was straightforward. The most important difference in working with Pursuit is that our loan officer, Wesley Slyke, has been great and really engaged. We knew he understood our vision and he made the process feel really casual, no stress.”
Community involvement and grassroots outreach lead to growth
“Our business has grown through word-of-mouth, just by being out there in the community,” Patrick says. “Every day, we work to be a part of it, serving on boards and helping non-profits and other entrepreneurs starting out. I always tell entrepreneurs to get involved in your community – along with your team, your community’s your most valuable asset,” he says.
Collectiveffort’s taking a clear-eyed look at the business to chart a path for further growth, with plans they’ll bring to fruition in about 2-3 years. Patrick says, “Today, our work and reputation go beyond our home base in Troy, but we’ll always have roots here – this community is important to our team.”
Pursuit can help with working capital and other financing needs
With loan options from $10,000 to $5.5 million, Pursuit has funding options that can help you get the working capital you need to help your business succeed. We also have loan options for the purchase or construction of real estate, to refinance high-cost business-related debt and more. Take a look at more than 15 small business loan programs, then contact us to learn more.
Would Collectiveffort come back to Pursuit for additional funding to power their growth? Patrick says, “Yes, definitely, 100%. I’m already having conversations with Wesley and the Pursuit team.”