What: Virtual PR firm
Who: Laura Love of GroundFloor Media Inc.
Where: Boulder, Colorado
When: Started in 2001
How much: $3,910
As the former director of marketing for a failed high-tech start-up, Laura Love couldn't stand the idea of returning to the corporate agency world. So she took her severance pay and decided to start a PR firm. "There were three things I wanted to do," says Love. "Keep it small, keep it virtual and only hire senior-level people who could do their work without a lot of micromanagement."
A refurbished computer, a phone, a fax machine, DSL and a Web site helped Love, 32, get underway in the basement of her house. She hired an accountant, and a lawyer friend helped with legal matters. When a Denver Post reporter friend interviewed her for a story on laid-off workers-turned-entrepreneurs, Love mentioned the fact she hadn't hired anyone yet. "The next day, [the reporter] called to tell me she had 20 resumes in her inbox for me," Love recalls.
Love's first-year sales were $110,000; she projects sales of $700,000 for 2003. Despite some success, she still operates on a budget, which benefits Love's clients. "I'm cognizant of costs," she says. "They [aren't] paying for the fancy office. When we give invoices, we detail what we're doing." Her clients obviously appreciate what they're paying for--and not paying for.