BusinessOnline Reviews | Glassdoor

BusinessOnline Reviews

Updated February 22, 2017
11 reviews

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3.9
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BusinessOnline CEO Thad Kahlow
Thad Kahlow
7 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Transparent Company with Great Culture and Knowledge Share Amongst Peers"

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

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    BOL is a top-notch company that truly believes in making it's employees it's #1 priority. The perks are all there (free lunches, free gym membership, massages, work/life balance, etc.) like many other agencies in San Diego, but the thing that makes BOL stand out above the rest is the nurturing and time/ money they put into their people. Being a long time employee of BOL, I have grown my career here with annual increases and the push to keep growing by being given more responsibility and told I need to attend conferences/ training to make me more valuable. They believe that if they invest their time and money into their employees, their employees will give them better work for their clients. Win-win on both sides. A novel concept that many companies don't understand because they are afraid that employees will groom themselves and take their business elsewhere, when in fact it makes the company that much more valuable to the employee. All of these things coupled with quarterly meetings where the CEO is very transparent about the growth and production of the business makes this company one people want to work for.

    Cons

    - training can be hard. Many people are busy and you are expected to jump right in and figure it out, which can be hard for some.
    - work hours can be long and since you are salaried and not hourly, you will find yourself working more than 40 hours a week on some occasions
    - management layer is continuously evolving and some people don't manage well, but they continue to try to improve on that notion

    Advice to Management

    If we continue to revisit what we say we want to accomplish year-over-year, we will better acknowledge our wins and short-comings and grow from them. Continue to trust in your employees and hire really great talent.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good early career builder, otherwise avoid."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    Fun office environment, quarterly outings, offers some financial transparency which is uncommon in agencies, generous PTO, fully vested retirement after 3 years. Learn new skills quickly, including leading martech tools.

    Cons

    The executive team is not particularly passionate about marketing. They think of themselves as private equity wonks or management consultants whose priorities are profit margins and ROI. As a result, many of the younger employees are devalued, especially those in positions focused on soft skills. They also seem to cut senior staff after many years of service to save the bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    After a year or two of employment, the future becomes unclear, clients get stagnant, turnover-- both voluntary or involuntary is scary. Shark tanks are exciting initially, but they quickly feel like you are outsourcing leadership and innovation to your lowest paid employees.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great team and always hungry"

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

    I have been working at BusinessOnline full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Biggest and best part of the company are the people and culture. The people are very good at what they do and there is no end to the collaboration and growth that everyone shares in. Everyone is able to learn something new from each other, from their projects and from their collaborations. Nothing feels forced but more fluid when you consider flow between departments and project teams; management tries really hard to ensure everyone is involved with the important information about the company, clients and projects; which is refreshing to keep open channels.

    Cons

    Though very collaborative, there are still improvements in the methods and processes to make them more efficient and appealing.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what your doing; endless involvement of the team keep getting everyones feedback and making the decisions that provide stability and fluidity.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to learn what not to do then move on"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    There are some great middle managers and talented producers.
    Great place to practice politics because it runs on it
    Pretty good benefits package
    Heavy emphasis on tracking and control with a disregard for creativity and innovation

    Cons

    Very disorganized
    Illogical
    Lacks innovation
    High burn out rate
    Lacks creativity (just walk through there halls and you can tell)

    Advice to Management

    Practice logic and reasoning. Take time to embrace creativity. And by all means, invest in your people as they are the ones that got you to where you "were" at before your big nose dive. Though, there are rumors that BOL was always very poor with creating really sophisticated strategies and execution. You lost clients and talent because you fail to nurture and invest in creativity and innovation. Just look at how poorly your office is designed for a tip on how much creativity and innovation you lack and look at the flexibility of your management style... you burn people out with no incentive for them to produce, innovate and be creative. Try introduce flex days, remote working and ACTUAL pay BONUSES.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "great vision, scattered execution"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

    Pros

    many very smart people
    solid tech base
    well-funded, no debt
    the CEO is still a young leader with plenty still to learn about managing internal politics.

    Cons

    politics, politics, politics.
    deeply entrenched group of legacy employees who refuse to grow and adapt, and would rather fight change.

    Advice to Management

    managing a group of inflated egos is no easy job... best of luck to you in weeding out the lazy legacy folks.


  7. "Not the typical digital agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Collaborative culture, some very smart people and exposure to the latest tools and tech, nice space downtown, fun all-hands events, good work-life balance and matching 401k, good PTO. Growth through acquisition has added diversity and talent to the company.

    Cons

    Client and staff churn can be stressful but is a part of the industry. Small, private company can limit career opportunities for people looking for a fast track career.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to specialize and define who BOL is, invest in marketing BOL so that you can win bigger deals and add better clients.


  8. "Great company for those who know what they want and want to achieve it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Good small-tech-company feel with plenty of energy - from the interns to the CEO, most people feel like they want the company to succeed and share in the successes and challenges.

    Very transparent culture - from financial reviews to executive-level feedback and insight on company direction. Emphasis on work-life balance and really listening to input from employees - from benefits to in-office perks, feels like we are really a team.

    Strong financial management and forward-looking vision with opportunity for skill and career growth for motivated individuals.

    Heavy investment in market differentiators within the analytics offering and team. Unique for an agency of this size to maintain clients of their caliber and be involved in new business against some of the largest holding companies/agencies.

    Cons

    In previous years the brand of the agency was diluted and spread over too many areas (B2B, B2C, verticals, brands, etc) - but the executive team has stuck to a direction and are making strides in being a strong brand in the market.

    Since the agency is a smaller company and privately held, some people feel frustrated with the lack of speed of upward mobility or formalized training plans.

    Teams can sometimes feel too lean due to financial management of the company - but hard to see this as a con when it prevents layoffs and downsizing due to client changes.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course and enlist the input and strength of your employees who want to make this company stay great and grow.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Account Team"

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

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    - Great location downtown
    - Open, collaborative work environment
    - Outside of management, employees are smart, capable and eager to solve issues and help their clients

    Cons

    - No work/life balance
    - No clear career path, lack of/poor communication
    - They've lost a lot of great people over the last few years
    - Really immature management who likes to have long, liquid lunches
    - Culture (they try really hard to show they have a great culture, but it's for show)

    Advice to Management

    I think Thad needs to be careful of who he trusts. His management team has proven inadequate for a while and he looks the other way.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Dynamic Digital Marketing Agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at BusinessOnline full-time

    Pros

    Smart people and a broad collection of clients make this an enjoyable agency to work for. Lots of opportunities for professional learning and growth.

    Cons

    The agency offers compensation and benefits packages which are only "average" without acknowledgement of industry experience or other contributing factors.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Great People, Optimistic Future"

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

    I have been working at BusinessOnline (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The CEO is very talented. He cares about his people and his business. The people are so talented and experts in their field. I have learned a lot since being here.
    They treat their team well and know how to have fun in the office while being productive.

    Cons

    Because it is a digital environment, I sometimes miss the individuality of the people who work there.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time giving specific feedback and developing people to move up with company



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