I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I told my parents that I am tired of addressing myself as an entrepreneur but not genuinely having a legit business to back it up. At the time, I was a sophomore at The University of Tampa. I was exposed to the diverse nightlife around the school but frequently disappointed because we were always doing the same thing. I wanted to shake things up and introduce new bars and events to the Tampa college demographic.
When I first launched my business, it was called Dillon Ross Promotions. My goal was to build partnerships with bars, clubs, & restaurants to help plan events, brainstorm competitive drink/bottle specials, and grow a particular night of the week to increase revenues. I quickly arrived on the scene, made great connections, and had a ton of early success. Before I knew it, I had 20+ promoters working with me and was running weekly staff meetings to strategize new ways of growing and helping my staff make more money. Life was good.
As great as all of this sounds, the nightlife business, especially in a highly concentrated and incredibly competitive city, is not entirely scalable. The simplest way to put it is that there was a cap as to how successful or how big you can become. The thought of that bothered me profusely! I had dreams, goals, aspirations, and I wasn't going to attain them by promoting weekly college events. However, I couldn't just throw all of this away; that would be stupid. I thought to myself, "what skills and lessons have I learned from doing what I've been doing, and how can I translate that into a scalable business model?". It then appeared to me: marketing!
While doing the work that I was doing, I learned how to build successful relationships with clients, strategize marketing plans, utilize social media to leverage customer response, and much more. Over three months, I changed my business model entirely. Dillon Ross Promotions would then become The Dillon Ross Group, a full-service marketing and branding agency. I re-designed my logo, built a new website, hired new people, and began the process of gaining new clients.
Selling marketing and branding services is a lot different than it is nightlife promoting. However, I've learned through time that as long as you propose a value and do what you say, people will be willing to give you a chance.
In January of 2020, I will be approaching two years in business. I have many clients that I work with daily and others that come to me when they need something a la carte. This business is referral-based, which is why my team and I always give 110% in everything that we do.
I love the work that I am doing and can do it from anywhere in the world!
If you find yourself needing any marketing or branding help, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.