CSUF Entrepreneurship Success Story: James Parr '15

James Parr hard at work implementing an online marketing strategy his CSUF Student-led Business Consulting Team developed for Green Thumb Nurseries. After the completion of their project, Green Thumb Nurseries hired James to implement the recommendations that his team made.
James Parr hard at work implementing an online marketing strategy his CSUF Student-led Business Consulting Team developed for Green Thumb. After the completion of their project, Green Thumb hired James to implement the recommendations that his team made.

James Parr ’15 is currently finishing his double major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Cal State Fullerton and he is also currently working for one of our Student-led Business Consulting clients: Green Thumb. As you might expect, the project that James and his group did for Green Thumb directly led to his being hired by them.

Bud Bergquist was the client’s point person for this project as he is the Vice President of Green Thumb. According to Mr. Bergquist, he “engaged the [CSUF Student-led Consulting Program] to get an overview of Social media and Web based marketing. With the rapid changes in technology I thought it important to understand and improve our presence on the Internet.”

With this as their objective, James helped his team develop a strategy around a few different key topics such as:

  • Merchandising
  • Brand Identification and Development
  • Social Media Development
  • Website Development
  • Customer Cultivation and Retention Planning
  • Competitive Analysis

Speaking from personal experience I can tell you how audacious a project this is for any consulting firm. Honestly, social media development could have constituted a full project and would have resulted in extremely valuable recommendations for the client in and of itself. For a project with so many goals keeping focus is of the utmost importance and James was able to help his team in that area.

Green Thumb Nursery LogoJames commented to me that he “organized a lot of our ideas into action [items] and came up with the structure to our report. I was constantly in contact with Mr. Bergquist and worked consistently on improving my section of the report [and helping others with theirs] throughout the semester.”

Frequent contact with the client and diligently working on improving the project are cornerstones of our program and James epitomized this ethos with the project his team did for Green Thumb. All of our students have their unique abilities but what tends to make a good student great is the willingness to put in the time and effort; the results from this particular project proved that out.

Mr. Bergquist was gracious enough to comment further on this project and on James in particular:

We are implementing a number of the recommendations currently. These include building a website as well as developing an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Because of the content in the team’s report we have hired James to spearhead our Social Media campaign.

I thought it was a high value report and would recommend your consulting program to anyone that might ask.

That is definitely high praise and, as Mr. Bergquist alluded to, James is currently employed by Green Thumb to oversee their social media strategy and development planning, a position that he has had since May of this year. This position is absolutely critical to Green Thumb’s strategic goal of having a more robust online presence that will lead to increased sales and customer engagement. From James, his responsibilities include:

I manage all of the companies 5 location’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. I designed the company a new logo. I rebuilt their corporate website from the ground up and have implemented many new things that were not in place before such as Garden Blogging, implemented ecommerce for sod, fountains and gift cards (much of the entire store is planned to be online within the next year), a plant library which showcases information on all of the company’s plants online, so customer’s can input specific criteria and find the perfect plant for their garden, and much more. SEO strategy with tagging, keyword planner, etc. I have also been busy organizing new events for the stores to improve business during the slow seasons, I design the flyers for the events, I design the signage for the store. I could probably go on forever on what I have planned for this business so I think I’ll stop there just for time sake. I really look forward to working with this company and assisting them on their journey online. 

We are very happy for James and Green Thumb. Every semester we complete approximately sixty such projects at the undergraduate and MBA levels for our clients. Our clients have many great things to say about their experiences with our student-consultants and we are always looking for new clients to join our program. If you are interested in our Student-led Business Consulting Program please click here for more information or get in touch with us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu and we’ll be delighted to give you more information about how our program can help your company.

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