Entry #1: Breaking Down the Great Divide

There’s a great wall dividing manufacturing and supply and the gap will cost you time, money and clients. Here is how we took our small business to the next level, by actually going to China, the source of where our products are manufactured.

In 2009 two-partners and I started our promotional product business in Green Lane, a town outside of Philadelphia.  Being recent college graduates, we had little business experience—but we had a motivated spirit for success. We soon realized we needed more that these two attributes in order for us to meet our goals.

As we thought about our business we thought we could achieve a strategic advantage by breaking down the great divide between manufacturer and supplier by going to the source of our supply chain.  And we could leverage this change to help us achieve our growth objectives.

In 2010 I left for China with a one-way ticket, a handful of clients I’d worked hard to get, and a few connections from my days studying Mandarin in Beijing.  Within months we set up a Hong Kong base with a leading manufacturer, which began a business partnership that would entirely change our business.

Our new partner offered us something our competitors took years to build—either through direct Chinese supplier relationships or by building their own factory: the ability to more closely control our supply chain, from product conception to production to delivery.

Over the course of the year, a second partner transferred to Hong Kong to bolster our presence, as well as solidify our working relationships.  Simultaneously, our 3rd partner increased our customer base in the US through an intense marketing campaign via existing sales channels.

The story hasn’t ended yet.  We’re now a 5-Star supplier on ASI and working our way up on SAGE and PPAI (all national promotional distributor associations).  We’re also steadily expanding our sales force in the US.  We believe with one foot on the factory floor and one in the distributor’s door, we’ve got a good formula for long-term growth.  Through our partnership we’ve increased our profits by 300% and our supply chain has been streamlined to be more manageable for maximum efficiency.

Stephen Peters, President

Emperor Marketing

1036 Magazine Road

Green Lane, PA 18054




May 2012: The Supplier Spotlight Monthly SBE Contest.

Sponsored by Supplier-Connection – An initiative of major US companies committed to spending more with US-based small businesses.


About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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8 Responses to Entry #1: Breaking Down the Great Divide

  1. Il s’agit là de la meilleur façon de contrôler l’amont de sa chaîne de production. De plus, se trouver en contact direct avec ses collaborateurs Chinois crée des relations de confiances qui amènes des avantages stratégiques par rapport à ses concurrents. C’est une bonne stratégie d’autant plus qu’elle ne laisse pas de coté le développement en aval au niveau des canaux de distributions.

    This strategy is one of the best for controling the supply chain. Moreover, being in direct contact with its chinese partners build-up a trust relationship bringing strategic advantages on its competitors. This is also a good strategy since it do not let aside its distribution development by enhancing the use of its distribution channels.

  2. Diederik says:

    Nice story Stephen! Good luck with the development in the future!

  3. dan says:

    Stevoooooo you the man

  4. Ivy says:

    Great Story! Very inspiring!.

  5. Ryan says:


  6. Jennifer says:

    Very innovative and exciting. You truly made business evolve your own way. . . Jennifer of Evolve Media Lab

    • Dan Gallo says:

      Yes, Emperor Marketing’s approach to growing their business was different than most others I’ve worked with, but it was rooted, in my opinion, in the connection they made to China while they were studying there in college.

      The core principle of their message remains consistent for SBEs involved with manufacturers: find ways to close the communication gap between the customer’s needs and where your product is manufactured.

      Come back & visit us again! Every month is a new journey…

      Danny Gallo

  7. Pingback: Breaking the Great Divide

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