Entrepreneur advises, ‘learn from your mistakes’


After five years of working for car rental agencies, William Lopez was ready for something new. He never planned on starting his own company, but in 2000, after unsuccessfully looking for a job in marketing, he founded Alternative Strategies at age 27. The award-winning marketing communications firm provides a slew of services, from public relations to web design and social media.

A natural people person, Lopez didn’t let his lack of agency experience stop him. Over the years, Alternative Strategies has earned recognition from the American Marketing Association, Summit Creative, HOW Magazine and more for their creative graphic design, web design and marketing campaigns for their clients. Lopez credits his passion and drive for his success, and said it’s more important to focus on his clients and their competitors than on his own competitors.

Best part about doing business in SD?

Lopez: We’re privileged to represent over 40 restaurants and bars. I love that I can go to almost any neighborhood and see my clients thriving, or when I go to a client’s establishments to find a wait or line.

Highlights from running Alternative Strategies?

I feel blessed to have numerous clients that we have worked with for many years. The relationship/partnership that we have with The Verant Group (barleymash, Uptown Tarvern, True North Tavern, Sandbar, Tavern, WESTROOT Tavern) is a highlight for me. We’ve been working with them for over five years. They view us as an extension of their brand, and that is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

Advice for young entrepreneurs?

Learn from your mistakes. When you learn from you mistakes, you move closer to success - even though you initially failed.

Perfect San Diego day?

It would have to be a Sunday. It would start with a morning run through Balboa Park, going to church, brunch at Breakfast Republic, picking up flowers from the farmers market for my house and the office, then enjoying a nice bottle of wine from Valle de Guadalupe at home with my husband in the backyard with our three dogs.

CEO or company you admire most and why?

Stedman Graham, CEO of S. Graham & Associates. I have been motivated and challenged by his books and approach to business.

Quote/motto you try to live by?

“If you do what you did, you get what you got.”

Superpower you would want and why?

I would rid the world of bad design. I cringe when I see bad branding, ads and websites.

Source: DiscoverSD