Here is an article from June 2007 when Mike Emerton and I were just 2 years into BVM (BridgeView Marketing). Have things changed over the past 15-years? Absolutely, but we’ve learned so much! BVM has worked with amazing national and global technology, data center, energy, and power brands including Telx, TierPoint, GE Energy, Server Technology, Power Distribution Inc., BRIDGE Energy, Alert Logic – and hundreds of others. The core philosophy that we built BVM around in 2005 stands strong today – Integrated PR, digital marketing and SEO services need to work in unison to develop brand visibility and support measurable lead-generation efforts. And, pricing needs to be affordable. At BVM, we deliver a more personalized, customized service than any of our larger competitors and at a fraction of the cost. If you want to learn how we do this with a senior team, how we planned for this, let us tell you our story! – Dale Allaire
By Michael McCord
Published: June 2007
So you think it’s easy to go out on your own and start your own business and be your own boss?
Just ask Dale Allaire and Mike Emerton, former Cabletron alums (is there anyone in the Seacoast region who isn’t?) and veteran public relations and marketing mavens who founded Portsmouth-based BridgeView Marketing LLC late last year.
Ask them about the joys of starting a business from scratch with their own money — “we cashed in a few 401ks,” Allaire told me — and then having to work even more hours than before.
And ask them as well about having, well, to deal with matters left to others in their former corporate lives. Such as hauling the office water supply up a few flights of stairs.
“We have to do everything,” Allaire told me recently when I stopped by to visit the duo in their small offices on separate floors of a Market Street building. “I took it for granted when I worked in the corporate world that you have all these people doing all these things.”
Those business essential “things” include billing, hooking up the computer networking system and yes, even hauling up water for guests.
But if you ask them if they are having the time of their lives — for the record, Emerton is 40 and Allaire, 39 — they don’t hesitate for a second. Of course they are.
They are having a good ole time despite working 60 to 70 hours a week and occasionally wondering at the beginning of their venture how much of a paycheck, if any, they might draw (they have a thing about paying without question their contract employees first, second and third before they get a penny). Now they have time to coach a Little League team and spend time home, luxuries not always found in their former corporate-regimented lives.
They are also excited because they are in the process of building a better mouse trap. Or in this case, a “new style of agency” to serve the high-tech industry of the 21st century.
Their office has a view of the Piscataqua River and the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, the inspiration for their company logo and reflective of their ambition to, Allaire said, “bridge the gap of sales and marketing.”
“It’s a unique model,” Emerton explained. What they offer is one-stop, integrated, and outsourced shopping for companies in need of help but unable to fund their own shops.
BridgeView offers graphic design, corporate marketing, media relations and inside sales experts. The flexible model includes the founders as the company’s only full-time employees: they have a growing corps of specialist contractors who work from home in what often amounts to full-time employment.
“They are captains’ in their skill sets,” Emerton said. By not having major office overhead or associated employee costs, “we can keep costs extremely low.” What this translates to, they tell me, is more money for their contractors and the ability to offer clients expertise “at half the cost and double the services.” The contractors, reflective of “the huge talent pool” in the Seacoast region, Emerton said, have no shortage of deadlines (and so far, work) but the flexibility to meet them on their own.
This model, Emerton said, will allow the company to grow or deflate as necessary depending on market conditions. The result has been client growth that has surprised even them. They have 14 clients, including their first, Treeno Software (formerly Docutron Systems), and Emerton said most have signed repeat contracts for more services. Other local clients include Great Bay Software and Pannaway Technologies, where Allaire worked before starting BridgeView.
The brain and skill division between the two — who first met at Cabletron in the mid-1990s — has also been choreographed. Allaire has brought in a majority of the clients while managing the day-to-day affairs. “He’s an incredible salesman,” Emerton said. As for Emerton, when he’s not working as the IT guy, he’s a return-on-investment expert.
“He’s the thinker,” Allaire said. “He has a great ability to work internally with our clients and get them to expand services … plus, he’s really easy to play jokes on, which brings some comic relief to our long days.”
The comic relief cuts both ways. If you want a real laugh, Emerton tells me, he suggests checking out Allaire’s distinctly retro wardrobe.
To contact BridgeView Marketing, go to www.bridgeviewmarketing.com