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Rhea Allen

Boise, ID

INDUSTRY: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
BUSINESS: PEPPERSHOCK MEDIA
YEAR FOUNDED: 2003
PROGRAM: 2015 EMERGING LEADERS BOISE
“Having people to rely on and who help is big when overcoming challenges for your business.”
BUSINESS OVERVIEW
Peppershock Media is a family business, started by Rhea and Drew Allen in 2003. Peppershock is a one-stop marketing agency that not only provides strategic marketing for its clients but implements the plans. This complete service is a direct result of Rhea and Drew’s own experience, with Rhea’s background in strategic marketing and Drew’s background in video production. “We were the first ones in Boise to do both marketing and creative production. Now everyone does it,” said Rhea, who is also the CEO of Peppershock. Their expertise makes them one of the most successful marketing agencies in Idaho, where they serve a range of companies, large and small. Peppershock has had a successful 14 years, with ten staff members, and has plans to expand into surrounding states.

POWER OF THE NETWORK
Despite current success, three years ago Peppershock found itself hit by a series of changes: “We lost a bunch of clients all at once in January of 2015, most of them from uncontrollable situations.” Looking at her flat-lining growth, Rhea made sure she was part of Emerging Leaders, a program run by the Small Business Administration that provides established small business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and relationships needed to scale.

“The Emerging Leaders program really saved us,” Rhea recalls, but not because of a specific lecture or speaker. According to Rhea, the best part of the program was the people she met and the support they gave each other. In terms of business development, some of the small business owners became Peppershock clients. In personal terms, Rhea was able to get the answers she needed from peers who had been in her position before and gotten through it.

Rhea attributes her recent growth to what she learned during the program. She started to focus more on hiring reliable employees and, as a result, “employee retention has increased, with the number of employees increasing from 7 to 10.” One of her peers was a CFO, and the financial advice she got out of this relationship helped Rhea put her accounts in order. Sales growth, stagnant in 2015, has grown by over 25 percent since.

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