Valley Works: Recession an opportunity for some

FRESNO, Calif.

Using the latest in communication technology, one Fresno man struck out on his own just as the recession hit.

It is the way we communicate today

"It's so popular it's the easy way to get things around, to get information spread," Amanda Lester said.

It didn't take long for marketing experts to take notice that so many of us have smart phones and so many of us text.

"I could just tell by the text messaging, the smart phone and people were so excited, this is going to change marketing forever," Eric McCormick said.

But when 41-year-old Eric McCormick decided to jumped into the mobile marketing business he admits people thought he was crazy.

"The first few people looked at me like I was insane," McCormick said.

Not only was McCormick the first in the Fresno area to start a mobile marketing business - the former radio sales manager took on the challenge in 2008, just as the economy was tanking.

"Actually the economy going down helped me because it was a good story to go out and tell people you don't have to go out and do the same old there are new less expensive more effective ways to advertise," McCormick said.

Small business owner Jeff Colla owns one of the first companies to sign on.

"Text messaging is what people do now, I mean I am 58-years-old who in the heck thought 20 years ago I'd be texting," Jeff Colla of Batter Up pancakes said.

Colla uses texts to alert his customers to specials and coupon offers.

"Nowadays the economy is tough, you need some way of reminding people to come see you," Colla said.

Four years after starting his mobile marketing business, McCormick says more business owners now see the value in what he does - he also wants people to understand that it took a lot for him to get to where he is today.

"Big brands are built in tough times and so if I wanted to build my own company - I knew it was going to take a big risk and a big leap of faith," McCormick said.

And while he is not bullish on the economy he believes people with the right skills can create their own opportunities.

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