Dramatic Diversity Considers Advice From SCORE Mentor
Management consultant Brian Gregg and acting teacher Byron Stewart teamed up and applied their respective backgrounds and shared interests to start Dramatic Diversity, a company that would offer theater-based diversity training for corporations, colleges, universities and associations. Both lacking knowledge in small business marketing, so the two men contacted SCORE for help. SCORE helped them develop a strong business plan and effective marketing strategies.
Using Stewart’s 15 years of experience using theater for social change and Gregg’s familiarity with the corporate sector, the two budding entrepreneurs commissioned a team of actors and scriptwriters to develop relevant scenes and simulations on race relations, management styles and similar topics that would both entertain and educate corporate audiences.
With such a strong foundation, Dramatic Diversity scored the kind of immediate success that most impresarios can only dream of, landing two contracts with Fortune 500 firms in just four months.
During a successful campaign, Dramatic Diversity signed 10 new contracts with Fortune 500 firms and quickly became a profitable enterprise. But just as playwrights and actors always need fresh ideas, Stewart and Gregg kept looking for new ways to grow the company.
An auspicious opening doesn’t always guarantee long-term success, and neither partner knew how to craft a sales and marketing strategy that would sustain interest in their services. That’s when they turned to SCORE’s Chicago chapter. After attending several Dramatic Diversity training sessions, volunteer mentors Marge Schneider and Eliot Shear helped Stewart and Gregg develop a 12-month marketing campaign that included brochures, sales presentations and direct mail tailored to corporate audiences.
“After our first year, we focused on finding strategic opportunities to accelerate our growth,” Stewart explains. “We looked to SCORE to help us identify some of these opportunities.”
One solution offered by SCORE was to form alliances with other leaders in the industry. Through diligent research and numerous meetings, Dramatic Diversity partnered with one of the Midwest’s leading diversity consultants. This partnership enabled Dramatic Diversity to gain intensified momentum and increased credibility in the training area.
Stewart considers the advice of his SCORE mentors an essential component of Dramatic Diversity’s success. He says that every time the company seems poised to advance another step, “you can bet we’ll be talking to SCORE about how to best manage our growth.”