Startup consultant, Archer & Co.
By the time I’m 40… I want to build a full-service consulting firm to continue to provide leading marketing consulting and create growth opportunities for clients. That, and explore all corners of the world in whatever ‘downtime’ I can muster up.
A guy walks by a bar, sees it’s for lease and decides to take it over and totally revamp it. The catch is he’s only got two weeks to market and reopen the place in time for the neighbourhood’s largest annual event.
What sounds like the beginning of a joke—or an unachievable marketing and business feat—is something Andrew Archer turned into a huge success. Never one to miss an opportunity, he opened the LGBT bar Church on Church to coincide with Pride Toronto 2012 under a near-impossible deadline.
Given his track record, that’s no surprise. A savvy serial entrepreneur with marketing skills to match, Archer has made his career building businesses—whether his own or those of others—from the ground up.
From the go-kart facility he opened when he was 19 and still at York University’s Schulich School of Business getting his Honours BBA to the “Basch by Brandon” fashion label he started with Project Runway Canada contestant Brandon Dwyer, Archer says he’s drawn to startups because they allow him to get creative (usually with scarce resources) and conceive of and execute campaigns and strategies himself.
Even when he’s collaborated on someone else’s startup, he leaves a memorable mark. When he joined group buying site TeamBuy.ca as VP of marketing, it had fewer than 10 employees, but he was able to help the company grow from 30,000 customers to more than one million in less than three years. He’s especially proud of a marketing initiative for the tight-knit business community in Halifax, which included hosting events and networking sessions. It led to more than 50,000 web sign-ups in six months. Archer also created a cool culture for the site within the competitive daily deal space, says TeamBuy.ca CEO Ghassan Halazon. “Andrew was able to turn a deal site into a hip, mainstream brand that people could resonate with above and beyond the deal.”
As TeamBuy.ca merged with a competitor earlier this year, Archer moved on to another startup that was looking to grow. He briefly joined accounting software company Wave as director of marketing and acquisitions to promote its products and enhance the brand. While there, his improvement of its “add a collaborator” feature helped rocket collaborator sign-ups by 300%.
Archer is currently focused on something he first got into a few years ago: consulting for startups. He’s excited to pass on what he’s learned to others who are in building mode through his new company, Archer & Co. “It’s nice to sit with them for two hours and save them months of headache with things I can share,” says Archer.
Halazon praises Archer’s ability to “see where things can get to before others are able to, but then also push everybody forward in a way that gets them to places they never thought they would get.” They sound like perfect qualities for a startup consultant. But Archer wouldn’t have to look far for work if he moved away from consulting. Another accolade from Halazon speaks volumes: “He’s such an extraordinary marketer and entrepreneur… I definitely recommend him, but at the end of the day I would rather just have him come back.”
Photography: Mike Ford
From Afridi to Wong, check out all the profiles in our 30 Under Thirty.