Mimi Rasor, Rasor Marketing Communications

Mimi Rasor, owner of Rasor Marketing Communications, says one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is understand the difference between starting a company and leading one.

Please explain what services your business offers.
Rasor Marketing Communications offers both marketing strategy and execution, as well as public relations and strategic communications. To give you some tangible examples, we help clients develop marketing plans and then support execution, providing everything from collateral material production to video production to website development, etc. On the public relations side, we provide all of the traditional PR services, like media relations, media training and writing, as well as public involvement and community outreach that are specific to public transportation and infrastructure projects. We do this for a number of clients including the Christ Hospital Health Network, Cintas, AtriCure, Montgomery Inn, the City of Mason and Transportation Improvement Districts for Hamilton, Warren and Clermont counties. to name a few.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Consulting was a natural fit for me. I had worked in both agency and corporate marketing communications, so I had a broad range of industry experience and had done everything from market research to creative execution to measurement and analysis. I had a lot of health care experience and was able to grow that niche very quickly initially.

What local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
It's one thing to do individual consulting and another to have a vision and lead a group of people to realize it. I think one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is understand the difference between starting a company and leading one. I attended strategic planning and professional management courses at Aileron in Dayton to learn the skills I needed to run a company.

What would you do differently if you started your business again?
I probably would have gone to Aileron a lot sooner. Putting a discipline in place to manage the company based on objective performance and production metrics makes a world of difference. Now, I don't make any decisions about company growth and development without consulting the data. It's all about optimizing revenue while managing costs. The Aileron experience also forces company leaders to move from working in the business to working on the business, which can be a tough transition. I also would have established my advisory board a lot earlier. Their insights are very helpful.

What’s next for you and your company? 
Our strategic plan is based on measured annual growth. We think that's the secret of staying power in our industry—steady, incremental expansion with good segmentation across industries. Too many eggs in one basket really puts you at risk. We've focused on growing our client portfolio across industry segments, which helps us maintain balance and continue stability for the long term. Tactically speaking, we have some new products in development and just expanded into our annex next door. 

Interview by Sean M. Peters