Blue Blaze Associates earns Philly region recognition
NEWARK — Since Blue Blaze Associates opened its doors since 2001, its Chief Strategy Officer Wendy Scott said it’s been a step-by-step process to build its strategic marketing business and its client base.
It paid off when Blue Blaze Associates was named to the Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia’s annual Philadelphia100 list, honoring the 100 fastest-growing privately held entrepreneurial companies in the tri-state region. Blue Blaze, the only Delaware company to make the list, ranked 40th overall.
“We’re very excited about the award. It’s the first time we’re on it, so to make it on the list is great news. But once it was revealed that we were 40th, that made it that more special,” Scott told the Delaware Business Times.
Some businesses are invited to apply to the Philadelphia100 list, while others apply through the open process, she added. All companies have to submit their year-over-year growth for three years, verified by an independent CPA, and go through a third-party vetting process.
“We’ve gotten a lot of notice from Delaware, but this makes it a bigger deal because the Philadelphia region is a bigger market and it could be a little harder to take notice,” Scott said. “It certainly speaks to our credibility and increases our visibility in the market.”
Blue Blaze Associates is also a certified diverse supplier as both a woman- and LGBT-owned business. Its client portfolio includes big names in Delaware like JPMorgan Chase, University of Delaware and the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
As a certified woman-owned business, Blue Blaze Associates can check boxes for private and public contracts for minority-owned businesses, but Scott pointed out that in Delaware, the small community already builds an intimate setting for the business world to build a reputation.
“If you show up to a few events, people are going to recognize your face, which makes it easy to build a network there. But now with the pandemic, it’s a big challenge, much like everything has,” she said. “You need to really think about reinventing yourself and your clients, as well as innovating to meet their needs.”
A turning point came in 2018, when the agency was Delaware’s only company selected for Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program. The intensive 14-week training was developed by top entrepreneurship training grounds Babson College, and covered topics to support business operations and growth, like accounting, human resources, negotiation, and marketing.
“Not only was that a really eye-opening experience, but it also helped raise our profile in the Philadelphia market,” Scott said.
Like many offices across the country, Blue Blaze Associates went remote in March. While the pandemic has presented some challenges — the agency worked in overdrive to keep clients — but Scott said it could be leveraged to create opportunities in new regions without being constrained to an office.
“We’ve hired some staff members, and it seems like we’re a cohesive team despite not meeting face to face,” she said. “It’s about doing what you — everyone — have to do to survive. But it’s an exciting point to be in business, because of all the innovation that is going on right now. We’re excited about what’s on the horizon.”
By Katie Tabeling