BusinessOnline Reviews | Glassdoor

BusinessOnline Reviews

Updated November 7, 2017
22 reviews

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3.7
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BusinessOnline CEO Thad Kahlow
Thad Kahlow
17 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "A Different Perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    It appears that there are negative reviews being posted and the comments do not reflect an accurate portrait of BusinessOnline.

    1. A promotion was made and not all people were happy about it, so some staff decided to move on. This happens in all companies, not just here. If you feel you are deserving of a promotion and do not receive it, the options are in your hands. Either you play it out and help the company and yourself grow, or you move on. In this instance two employees decided to take another opportunity. Let’s look at what they gained. Due to their experience and what they learned, they were able to take their experience that landed them their next opportunity. Isn’t that a good thing?
    2. Promotions: BusinessOnline is not a multinational company with layers of employees, so promotions are difficult. At the same time, by not having layers of bureaucracy, it enables things to move a little faster. There are career paths, but recently I have seen people expecting promotions without putting in the work or time. Feeling entitled vs working for it and paying your dues.
    3. Culture: To be honest I am getting a little fed up with the term “culture”. This is a job and a company lays the foundation for “culture” but it is up to the staff to help lead and implement and you shouldn’t always look to the top.
    4. Opportunities: BusinessOnline provides the tools for you to learn. It is true that at times you get thrown into things and need to figure it out, but doesn’t that make it exciting, a positive instead of a negative. Instead of doing the same thing because of legacy company policies, at BusinessOnline you have the ability to shape and define systems and processes.
    5. Data Analytics: Recent comment that we focus to much on this instead of Digital Marketing. What a strange comment. Shouldn’t decisions be made based on data and insights? Yes, we focus on this and it should not change. Drive business forward by using data to support actions.

    This is not an HR comment, but from a current employee and no one is asking me to write it. It is a good place to work. They care about the employee and their families and I have received this benefit first hand.

    If you want to learn, try new things, touch all areas of digital marketing, work on communication skills and planning, then BusinessOnline is a good place to work. If you expect things to be handed to you and not have to work longer hours at times, then this is not the place for you, nor is any other agency or any other job.

    Cons

    There are issues and challenges where ever you work. Yes, you have to work and put hours in, but is that different anywhere else? Why is anyone expecting things to be different. It is up to you to make your job a good one and to create your career options. We support and celebrate when employees move on and even offered assistance to those who do not cut it at the agency. I won’t lie, things due frustrate me at times, but I experienced this in other jobs as well. Employees need to look at what frustrates them and look for solutions to fix instead of complaining.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    Great culture and opportunity for growth. You'll work with a lot of smart, passionate people and that starts at the top.

    Cons

    Like all agencies, just need to keep finding new, interesting clients to sustain and/or grow momentum.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Digital Analyst at BusinessOnline"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    wonderful office space and location, flexible work environment, incredibly supportive team and management, monthly lunch and learns, fun all hands, great benefits, fast paced, opportunity to give back to your community

    Cons

    Only potential con isn't really a con at all, for the right person. Agencies are fast paced and tend to be environments that require someone who is appropriately prepared for that kind of work style.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Director of SEO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of SEO in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Director of SEO in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have worked for BusinessOnline for 13 years as the Director of SEO. During that time my life has completely changed because of the amazing opportunities I have received from this job.

    I have had a chance to work into a management position and a salary that is more money than I have ever made in my life, to increase my personal brand from public speaking opportunities and attending conferences I would have never been able to afford, network with some of the brightest minds in the industry, to work with Fortune 500 clients across brands like HP, HPE, Cisco, Sybase, Workday and too many others to count. Additionally having a great health insurance plan literally saved myself. The best part about working at BOL though has definitely been all the amazing people I have met, many of whom are still my friends today, even those I started with 13 years ago that have since moved on. This job has meant the world to me and I believe continues to provide huge opportunities for anyone who walks through the door. Full disclosure I used to work in the office and now I work remotely based on health reasons so I am not the best person to ask on the day to day working conditions anymore but the company office in San Diego is beautiful, has a ton of perks and the CEO is a good person which is always the number one criteria for me in a job (and a big reason why I have stayed for 13 years).

    Cons

    As a small company BusinessOnline doesn't have a lot of the same infrastructure you might find at larger, corporate companies. It's not exactly a start up feel but it's lean, nimble organization that is constantly fighting to deliver value while staying current and that can be challenging with a small team. So if you are the kind of person that needs a lot of structure and you feel uncomfortable with creative problem solving, this might not be a good fit. There are definitely times when you have to work long hours. Just like any agency work ebbs and flows so it's a very much on call sort of culture. It's never been an issue for me but some people have a hard time with time management and work / life balance in those situations. Also to work here you need to be a motivated self starter who wants to take ownership of new ideas, processes, and client offerings. Not everyone is comfortable in that role and that is definitely a requirement for success here IMO.

    Advice to Management

    Just continue to find creative ways to improve the quality of work life given our unique culture and the demands we have on us as professionals in this industry.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Started off promising but declining"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    Cool office with game room, beer, nice downtown location. 15 minute massage every other week and catered lunch once a week.

    Everyone that works here are actually great people and work hard. But if you're looking for a place to grow and get compensated fairly for the amount of effort you put into your time with the company, you will be disappointed. As a small company, there is little room for advancement for everyone. There are stories for some employees to advance, but overall the bulk of the team will leave because there is little room for growth or fair compensation over time. If you try and voice those concerns, be prepared to be branded as toxic and antagonized because the company will make little effort to take responsibility and will tout the same age-old excuses.

    If you're looking for a place to work in the short-term, this may be a good fit. Please be aware of the truth of the situation. If you're just starting out your career, this is a great place to learn and spend some time with some smart and fun people in a pretty cool office. But if there comes a time where you experience no growth or opportunity, it's worth leaving than trying to make your case because nothing will come out of it.

    Cons

    The recent trend with handling employee discontent in the office has been disappointing. Instead of seriously considering the valid concerns and frustrations of employees, management comes up with excuses on why they are not responsible. At times, they have gone as far as accusing certain current or ex-employees of speaking out or writing glassdoor reviews in a manhunt of telling untrue accounts of the company instead of taking responsibility. It is very discouraging that a company that promotes itself as innovative and open-minded tries to silence employees through this type of fear tactic.

    The company is in a time of very high turnover and the company accepts it as part of agency life. Management's attitude with employee happiness is that they should either become complacent and accept the company's excuses or leave. Management accepts that employees that do not feel valued will leave and makes no efforts to address that. Instead they get upset that those employees speak out to warn others not to invest time in a company that for the most part can treat you as nothing more than an expendable worker. As a result many employees feel there is little room for growth. Compensation is low and benefits have been rolled back significantly in the past few months.

    Some of the previous positive reviews seem highly suspect given their proximity to concerns raised that spin a narrative that employees with negative feedback are toxic. This is simply untrue. In the situation where an employee voices their concerns, they are branded as toxic, even though many took the time to speak to management and try to make it work. Many of the employees that left have invested many years of hard work to little reward or acknowledgment, and it is disrespectful to acknowledge them as toxic or invalidate their concerns instead of actually making an effort to address them.

    Also, you'll notice a trend with 2 positive reviews on glassdoor conveniently being posted within 2 weeks of a negative review. It seems a bit like a dishonest practice since it comes off more as an attempt to hide the voices of employees that speak out so future job-seekers are aware of their frustrations with the company when seeking employment.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of making so much effort having employees post positive reviews for the company on glassdoor, actually address the issues and take more responsibility for some of the discontent that employees feel. Many feel unvalued and undercompensated with little room for growth even though they were hired on with promises of much more than you delivered on. It's unfair to brand them as toxic simply because they let their story known so others are not similarly let down. Be clear on the expectations for growth with employees from the start instead of giving new employees empty promises.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Great work environment with a sharp, collaborative team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    -Easily the best place I've ever worked at in terms of culture, leadership, and growth opportunities
    -Strong, expanding account list with multiple Fortune 100 companies on the current client roster
    -Recent departure of employees with toxic attitudes has paved the way for a stronger group of dedicated, smart, collaborative individuals to spur further growth
    -Great benefits and perks (401k match, sponsored company outings, and even bi-weekly massages in the office)

    Cons

    -Long term vision of the agency can be unclear
    -Lack of marketing maturity with some clients limits usefulness of agency's advanced in-house marketing analytics technology

    Advice to Management

    Continue to lead by example and bring in more of the driven, sharp people that have helped grow the company to where it's at today.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Positive environment with opportunity if you choose to take it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    BOL is a great company to work for if you're looking to strengthen your digital marketing experience and/or develop your career. As a small company it lets each employee have a voice and contribute to the business. Work can be busy at times as its an agency with often demanding clients, but BOL makes sure that you have enough, but not too much, on your plate. If you want to stretch yourself, through certifications, learning new channels, taking on clients from various industries, etc. you have the opportunity to do so.

    Cons

    There can be misalignment between what executive team envisions and what is realistic for the account & services teams to accomplish. It's fast-paced and hectic with high turnover rates at times like any agency. A few negative attitudes can really dampen the environment because it is such a close work environment and the teams are very tightknit.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in the employees that have a vision for the company and are consistently contributing to the growth of the business. Don't take those people for granted.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Job seekers deserve to know the truth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    Really nice office with great views of downtown

    Fun co-workers

    It's actually a great place to work for the short term (less than a year) if you are just looking for a stepping stone to something else or experience in digital marketing

    Cons

    You will NOT grow here and you will NOT get fairly compensated despite your hard work.

    They will milk you until you finally decide to quit, you will get replaced with cheap labor, and the cycle repeats. That's just their business model.

    9 employees (out of 25-30 total in the office) have departed in less than a year which is exceptionally high even for an agency.

    Advice to Management

    Your model is failing. You've gotten used to hiring talented people with the promise of growth only to milk them for 1 to 2+ years until they finally find another job elsewhere because you were unwilling to compensate them appropriately or promote them. But just like rottentomates.com became an influential player for quality in the film and television industry, glassdoor.com is exposing your business practices and the reviews aren't pretty. You will find it progressively harder to persist this exploitative model with such poor reviews.

    Also, what are the chances that with an office of less than 25 people that there are two 5-star reviews posted on CONSECUTIVE days, in almost identical formats, touting benefits and perks like its coming straight out of the mouth of HR, and that they were posted closely after two 1-star reviews? It's even more odd that this pattern of 5-star reviews posted in pairs and nearly back-to-back only seems to follow right after a scathing (but actually real) review about the company. With multiple positions open right now for hire and after seeing this post, it's fair to wonder if we will see more magical and positive reviews coming from an office where morale is painfully low, and the overwhelming consensus is that we are not valued as employees. People deserve to know the truth.

    To be clear and fair, the office environment is in no way hostile and everyone actually gets along very well. On a personal level, management is very nice and enjoyable to be around in social settings, but on a business level they make disingenuous attempts to show they are trying to improve the situation .

    My advice to management: set proper expectations with prospective job seekers because if you don't, you will continue seeing poor reviews from employees getting blindsided thinking they could actually build a career here.

    BusinessOnline Response

    Oct 24, 2017 – CEO

    First, it’s very unfortunate that you had a negative emotional experience at BusinessOnline. Working at BusinessOnline or an Agency is not for everyone.

    Second, thank you for your insights into... More


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Good for junior employees with no experience, otherwise stay away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    - Very nice downtown office with views, but planning to move somewhere else
    - Few very smart individuals to learn from (not in management)

    Cons

    - Valuable, experienced employees leaving the company are being replaced by junior ones with limited experience at the expense of BOL' s clients
    - No career path defined, lack of meritocracy
    - Managers and even Directors are not real decision makers. The president calls the shots on everything and doesn't listen to anyone
    - Employees are afraid to provide real feedback due to potential retaliation
    - Poor benefits and compensation
    - Culture is great on paper, but reality is far from it. A lot of BS on this topic
    - Employee churn is very high. The average employee is a recent college graduate
    - Company revenue shrinking

    Advice to Management

    Advice to CEO: Change your management team before you lose the few talented employees left in the company. Do it before it's too late.
    Make the effort to understand who does what and where the real wins come from


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Ethical, Innovative, Data Driven Amazing!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    -strong sense of ethics
    - great culture (not just perks), everyone performs and moves the biz forward
    - big named clients (GE, Honeywell, HP, Milgard, Thermo Fisher, etc...)
    -very innovative, progressive approach to performance marketing

    Cons

    slower growth than expected, some employee churn, sometimes too far ahead of the market (align to market needs)

    Advice to Management

    keep it up. solid solid culture, big/progressive vision for the future. find a way to break through and you will become one of the most coveted employers in SD + Boston


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