Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by
Melissa Bingham, president
Bingham Marketing & Events
ABOUT MY BUSINESS
Bingham Marketing & Events offers full-service event and meeting planning for businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. I also work with many smaller businesses on their marketing needs which includes developing and implementing their marketing plans.
Unlike most event planners, I bring the marketing experience to everything that I do. I really look at everything from a marketing prospective. Every event, every promotion, and every social event is all about marketing no matter how obvious or subtle. I always start out with asking what is the client’s goal, what are we trying to achieve?
IDEAL CLIENT PROFILE
My Ideal client is someone who wants to make a mark or establish a presence and enhance their brand. They know they want to make a great impression and difference in their business, but don’t exactly know how.
UNIQUE BUSINESS CHALLENGE
My family relocated here two and a half years ago, so my initial challenge was to re-establish myself in the Chicagoland marketplace. I’ve had my company since 1997 in both Indianapolis and Detroit, and when we moved here in the summer of 2008, I had a grand plan of what I was going to do and how I was going to market the business. Then the market turned. Consequently, the Detroit business that I thought was going to continue was cancelled. At that point, I had to step back and re-evaluate not only how I was going to establish whole new client and vendor bases, but also how I was going to do that on no marketing budget.
Because the Chicagoland market is so diverse, I made the decision to initially focus in a microcosm and then slowly expand my base outward. I began networking like crazy. I looked at what organizations I wanted to join, what types of events I needed to attend, what kinds of things could I volunteer for to get myself known. I have been fortunate that most of my business over the years has come by way of referrals. I have been working harder than I ever have to gain new clients. As a result, 2010 has developed into a good year. Now, my plan is to move out of this microcosm and widen the scope of my business by attending more diverse events and making more connections.
Editor's question: What case studies of entrepreneurs successfully starting or rebuilding a business during a down economy can you share?