How Rebecca Started Bettie Bomb
I love being an entrepreneur. One of its greatest benefits, is that I’m in control of my own time. I have worked from my home office for 15 years and have the incredible luxury of balancing my time between work and family under one roof. That being said, it comes with its stresses, but this year’s pandemic was a new one.
Humble But Ambitious Beginnings
First, let’s go back to 2005…I decided after two years in the Public Relations industry that I wanted to work for myself. So, at 25 years old, I formed an S Corp, found one client and that was it! Bettie Bomb, Inc. was born in October 2005 and it was exciting. From there, I definitely had my struggles and successes. Dealing with client loss and trying to promote my brand was difficult, but I pushed forward and slowly gained more and more confidence in doing so.
I slowly started partnering with other independents on projects, which I loved. It felt good to be on a team. I also started hiring freelancers, which allowed me to take on more business. I started to see how not only partnering, but building my own team was a pathway to success. But as a business owner, I still felt…alone. I saw so many things I wanted to do, yet with no time to do it. I was always so busy running the business, that I couldn’t step out and look at it with a different perspective. I continued on, growing my clients and partnerships with others in the industry, but still knowing there were more services I wanted to offer and things I wanted to change.
Running a PR Company During Coronavirus
I lost over half of my clients overnight due to the pandemic, yet that was nothing new for me. During the 2008 recession, I lost all of my clients. I knew what I needed to do to rebuild and was getting into the mindset to do so.
Crisis Management During COVID
For my current clients, it was all about crisis management and how to best support them during such a turbulent time. With many clients in the hospitality industry, it was letting the media know they were still open, practicing safety precautions and feeding the community. But it was a constant pivot as things changed daily.
The next week, my longtime friend and colleague called me…she had just lost her job due to COVID-19. We both started in the PR industry at the same time, meeting at our first public relations agency job in 2004. Our conversation went from her working with me while she found another job to us forming a partnership and growing the business! It’s exactly what I needed and had had in the back of my mind for so long…a partner to share ideas, build the business and offer more services. My worries about the future instantly turned into feeling inspired and ready to get through this hardship…it was truly the brightest light during such a dark time.
And perfect timing! She was looking for a new path while I was looking to reinvent the business. Like I said before, for so long I had wanted to offer more services under the Bettie Bomb umbrella and was definitely moving in that direction as I started working with other freelancers and independent agencies. Yet, as a working mom, it was never a priority. I was always too busy with the everyday work. This slowdown in the world, my business and life in general, gave me the opportunity to focus on it and create a game plan with my new partner. It felt really good. For 15 years, I had navigated this industry solo and it was exciting to have someone else to do it with me. Not only a colleague, but a friend that I trusted completely, who has so much experience and knowledge to bring to the table.
New Team, New Direction, New Look
So, we got to work! We started with SEO, which led us to redesigning the website and changing our URL to simplify. Another key element was unifying our brand across all social media platforms and utilizing it better to support our current clients. We also finalized our suite of services and talked to our current trusted partners, plus began reaching out to others about potentially teaming up in the future. Everyone was game and excited about helping each other grow, especially during this time when we need to band together to survive.
During my 17 years in the industry, I’ve always wanted to support my fellow colleagues and join forces. It unites us and makes us stronger. The flexibility of having my own agency allows the freedom to work independently or with a team, which is another reason why I love it so much. And now with my new partner, I can say “our agency” and that inspires me even more!