America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Midwest Media Guy, Cedar Falls
Jared Cunningham started his business, Midwest Media Guy, on May 6th of, 2020. As a recent digital media graduate, Cunningham had worked with another production company but was laid off during Covid. As he tried to determine how to proceed, he explored the idea of starting his own business. During the first three months of the Pandemic, Jared spent time planning his new venture. Midwest Media Guy now provides clients with photos, videos, websites, and 3D tours of their companies.
Cunningham feels he is successful in his business because he is constantly working to improve it. When his production schedule is quiet, he is working on what he can do to improve his business, whether it’s working on his social media presence or crafting his website. Although he isn’t sure what the future will hold, Jared would like the company to have another location and hopes to expand to a nearby state in the coming years.
Cunningham notes that one of the most challenging parts of starting your own business is being your own boss, “You are by yourself, so if you need more help but can’t afford it, you cannot get it.” Jared notes that he is everything for his business: director, marketing, and customer service. He thrives on being a creator but has had to step into all of these other roles, which, he admits, has been difficult. But, Jared notes that there are many free resources, like the SBDC, and people who care.
Jared loves working with nonprofit organizations. Among his clients are the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and a homeless shelter in Waterloo. He would love to continue working with more non-profit organizations and give back to the community that has helped him build Midwest Media Guy.
To anyone looking to start a small business, Jared offers some simple advice, “Do some research; there are so many resources available to help entrepreneurs start their own business.” Cunningham also notes that making connections is very important to building your business. His business mentors have been there for him throughout his journey. Jared also notes, “if someone wants to start their own business, they need to get with SBDC because everything will go much smoother.”