Digital Advertising For Small Businesses On A Budget: Stiddle

Small businesses look ways to save money while trying to grow by advertising. It’s natural for a company to see the opportunity to combine those two imperatives.

I had the opportunity to interview James Bender, the CEO, and co-founder of Stiddle, an AI powered digital advertising and CRM platform for small scale businesses. James and his team promise to lower costs and connect businesses with customers that convert into sales. This comes at a crucial time for small businesses.

James, who is now 18 years old, has made this an incredible young entrepreneur. Like his peers, it’s great getting the perspective of someone new to the startup world with fresh eyes and enthusiasm.

Mary Juetten: A little background.James Bender: Stiddle was created in San Francisco Bay Area together with our team in Silicon Valley. Stiddle was established by Charis Zhang, my co-founder, in March 2020 during COVID-19’s beginnings.

Juetten: Which problem are you solving with Juetten?

Bender:Stiddle addresses the issue of affordability and accessibility of advertising for small businesses online. 

Juetten – Who are your customers, and how can they be found?

Bender: Our customers are mom-and-pop stores, restaurants, retail, online, and marketing agencies.

Juetten: What can past projects or experience have done to help you in this new project?

Bender: When I was fifteen years old, my first marketing agency was founded in San Francisco. They helped local and small businesses with their online marketing and advertising. As my business grew, I switched to working with larger firms with a bigger budget. I soon realized that many of my smaller clients could not afford my services. Stiddle was founded to allow small businesses to market themselves and their products online, with little technical know-how and a limited budget.

Juetten: Which members are on your team?

Bender: Our current team comprises 20 talented software engineers, content creators, marketers, and software engineers.

Juetten: Did you raise money?

Bender: Yes, funding has been raised from private investors and VCs.

Juetten – Startups are an adventure – What’s your favorite startup tale?

Bender: Airbnb is my favorite startup story. I admired Brian Chesky’s hard work, creativity, and lack of technical knowledge when he created Airbnb. I find it inspiring and creative that Brian sold Obama O’s, a cereal container, to raise the initial capital for Airbnb.

Juetten: Juetten, how do you measure success, and what’s your favorite success story?

Bender: I define success as being able to build, grow, maintain, and maintain a sustainable knowledge base, personal satisfaction, and the ability to make a positive difference in one’s community. Richard Montanez is the founder of Flamin’ hot Cheetos. This is my favorite success story. Montanez’s story is unique and incredible. He was raised in California as part of a migrant labor camp. He was one of two people who could transition from being a janitorial worker to becoming an inventor of one most sought-after snack.

Juetten, Any tips for founders/CEOs in early growth mode?

Bender: For young entrepreneurs, the best tip is that now is the time to get started. If you are interested in creating business and have an idea, you should go for it. Young founders shouldn’t spend too much time in meetings. I recommend that they keep their most important discussions for the morning and limit them to 15-minute appointments. This will allow for more efficient meetings. It would support if you spent your time setting up the infrastructure and ensuring your startup has the best product, customer support, and marketing.

JuettenWhat’s your long-term vision?

Bender: Stiddle’s long-term vision is to provide the most efficient, cost-effective, and simple advertising solution possible for all businesses. Skiddle is my honest belief that it will simplify digital marketing and make online advertising affordable for all businesses.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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