Company: DirectConnect Inc.
Year Started: 1996
Start-Up Costs: $5,000
1997 Projections: $2.4 million
The motivation to quit their corporate jobs was overwhelming. Lisa, a former hotel administrative assistant, wanted to be home with the kids; Randy, a computer training center manager, was just plain burnt out. "It was a personal lifestyle choice," says Randy. "I was mentally and emotionally ready for the change."
Change is exactly what the Carsons got. Since starting DirectConnect, which provides computer trainers for educational centers, from their Gaithersburg, Maryland, home, Lisa and Randy have managed to gain 150 clients and earn more than $2 million in annual sales . . . all while caring for their three children under the age of 5. "After [doing] this for a year and a half, I don't think a lot about it," says Randy, "but it's probably pretty radical compared to the way a lot of people work every day."
One thing the Carsons do think about is the overwhelming demand among education centers for licensed computer trainers. "I used to be one of the people I'm selling to," says Randy. "It's a huge field."
Their long-term plan is to blend family and business. "I'd like to see the children grow into the business," says Randy. "Maybe 10 years from now, our oldest will be able to start making telemarketing calls."
But there's a lot for the Carsons to consider between now and then. They recently hired two employees and started Birthday USA, a mail order birthday party supply company. Says Randy, "I think we need a bigger house."