Meet Your New Competition. She Isn't Who You Think.

15 May Meet Your New Competition. She Isn't Who You Think.

If the young woman pictured here doesn’t keep you awake at night, it might be time to get your fear detector checked.

Wendy Benton headshot

Meet Wendy Benton, Fayetteville, N.C. mom, your new competition

Meet Wendy Benton. She, or someone like her, is your new competition.

Wendy lives in the Fayetteville, N.C., area. She’s a single mother of four children ages 8, 9, 11 and 12 — three boys and her youngest, a talkative girl.

“She’s a great kid,” Wendy says, “Quiet. If there’s nobody to play with she plays by herself. She cleans her room, dusts and helps around the house. But if she gets started talking there’s no stopping her. My mother says it’s payback for when I was her age. She takes after me!”

Not scared yet?

Then consider this. Being mother of four requires energy, focus, organization and determination – traits that might come in handy if she decides to compete against you.

About three years ago, Wendy was looking for things to do with her brood. Her research resulted in an empty set. She checked online. Nothing. She checked her local paper, the Fayetteville Observer. Again, nothing. She checked everywhere she could think of and found almost no information about where to go and what to do for inexpensive family fun.

Wendy reasoned there must be other moms and dads in her area who faced the same what-to-do-with-the-family problem. So in 2010 she launched Happening Around Fayetteville Kids and Family.

“When I was 12 or 13, my mother published a TV Guide-like weekly,” Wendy recalls. “She did it all herself. She sold the ads, designed them and then delivered the paper personally to all of the drop-off points. My mom is a great sales person. She set a terrific example for me that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Happening Around Fayetteville grew into an online magazine chock full of advertising. You can peruse the May issue here, and visit the related Facebook page.

“I was surprised to learn how much it costs to advertise in the newspaper and other media here in Fayetteville,” Wendy says. “So I decided from the start to keep costs low, let non-profit events advertise free and keep rates really affordable to attract small local businesses like mine as advertisers.”

Her strategy worked. Although Wendy won’t specify how much she makes from Happening Around Fayetteville, she does say it achieves her goal: “to stay at home with the kids and put food on the table.” There are more than 30 advertisers in the current issue.

Time is her biggest enemy, so Wendy is trying to convince her fireball of a mother to join the business because “if she would help we would do three times more business!

“My life is all work and kids, work and kids…” Wendy says. “The only fun I have is when we all get to do something together as a family.

Wendy turned her search for family fun into a growing business.

With revenue in decline, media executives everywhere should make note of Wendy Benton’s Happening Around Fayetteville. It is proof that a motivated mother with an idea, a computer and an internet connection is all it takes to compete with the big boys for local ad dollars.