De Pere’s Michael Newby has been in the advertising industry since 2000. During those years he has worked with national and local companies to help them promote their brands. He found that national companies were well versed in digital media and promotion, while smaller companies often struggled.
“About five years ago, I started thinking, ‘What would I do if I didn’t work for a company?’ My parents owned an ice cream shop and I had a hand in it when I was young and loved small business,” Newby said. “With the contacts I had from my career in advertising, I thought I could build a full-scale digital marketing business. ”
This vision and a romantic interest led him to the Green Bay area where he began to finalize his business plan.
Initial efforts began earlier when he received mentorship from a small business development center in Florida. Once in Green Bay, he connected with the small business community and in January launched Broken Egg Digital Marketing, LLC, based in the urban center of downtown Green Bay.
“When picking a name, I wanted something different, something that would tell a story, and when networking, it would generate a conversation,” Newby said. “I thought about how you often have to break something to access the good stuff inside – to break down barriers and penetrate beyond the outer shell to forge your own path to success.
His slogan became “Let’s Get Cracking” and he started a company offering full digital marketing services. He says many businesses feel overwhelmed by the marketing realm and he helps create individual plans. This is what he sees as his niche in a very competitive field.
When visiting customers, unlike many of its competitors, it is not trying to sell a pre-determined product. Instead, his goal is to listen and learn about the business.
“I come in unassuming about what their business is and have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish,” Newby said. “I learn about it, and from there I can help them figure out how I can help and what they need. I also offer counseling services because education is a big part of that. .
The process is similar to climbing stairs, he says. You climb one step at a time as your business grows with your eyes set on reaching the top. This analogy also applies to his business plans.
Working with companies, he saw a big divide between freelance and national clients and their marketing budgets. Large companies can afford to make a big impact while small companies struggle to get their brand noticed. This brings him to the next step in his business plan: bringing small businesses together in a cooperative marketing effort.
“While working with individual businesses on all things digital, I also wanted to develop digital concepts that multiple businesses could benefit from,” Newby said. “The first of these will bring together restaurants and is at deliciousgreenbay.com. It was launched at the end of June.
Delicious Green Bay is a concept that could be adapted, in the future, to cities across the country. He describes it as a place where independent restaurants can join other restaurants to create an impact in promoting their brands. It has a website and social media pages that will allow them to tell their stories, showcase their menus, blog about trends, offer specials, and be part of a weekly email.
On the Facebook page, Newby says, “Our mission is to make sure consumers know about all the great local restaurants and great food and drink that can be found throughout the greater Green Bay area. . National chain restaurants don’t need to apply because we don’t really believe they have a place alongside small, passionate, independent restaurants that give us some of the best food we’ve ever tasted.
There are around 20 restaurants featured as Newby goes through what is called ‘proof of concept’. These companies are offered the opportunity to participate in the launch without paying for it. Once the decision is made to go ahead, a variety of affordable packages will be offered with the goal of having 50 to 100 restaurants on the site on promotion.
“At the end of the month, I’ll meet with participating restaurants and ask them what they like and dislike and go from there,” Newby said. “Weekly emails, social media posts and digital exposure are all things they would love to do but can’t because they don’t have the time or the budget.
Networking is an important part of growing both businesses, and he found Green Bay to be welcoming to entrepreneurs. He recently pitched the restaurant concept at One Million Cups and found it helpful “to get out of my own echo chamber and think differently about the concept.”
Besides these startups, he has other ideas he wants to pursue. He doesn’t try to do everything on his own and has writers, digital designers, and other “creatives” he contracts with. He feels like he’s successfully balancing life and work, but struggles impatiently.
“I expect my businesses to be able to get bigger as quickly as possible,” Newby said. “I had to sit down and plan a growth schedule that makes sense, and I’m right about that structure. I won’t have a million dollar business tomorrow, but I can get there. For Right now, it’s about setting realistic expectations.
Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and former district manager of SCORE, Wisconsin.