Running A Business From Two States
Would you partner up with someone you've never met? These two entrepreneurs did, and their business is going strong.
Among the top qualities of successful entrepreneurs, flexibility and open communication are right near the top. But in the case of Andrew Fretwell and JoAnn Griffith, partners of the Internet-based Advanced Page Systems Inc., these qualities are their lifeblood: Running their business from two home offices in Cape Coral, Florida, and Charlottesville, Virginia, the entrepreneurs have yet to meet in person.
Before starting Advanced Page Systems, Fretwell, 43, was involved in a variety of jobs, from professional musician to shiatsu therapist. In 1996, he started Advanced Page Systems, originally an multilevel marketing (MLM) company that designed Web sites for clients. Griffith, 53, who had a career in restaurant management and development, jumped on board that same year, creating Web designs for clients. Although the two had only spoken on the phone, they decided to join forces in 1998. They then refocused the company and launched several subsidiaries, including Realtors Express, an e-commerce solutions service site for real estate professionals; Easy Store Fronts, which offers e-commerce solutions for small businesses; Domain Registrars, a service for users who want to register a domain; Virtual Express Hosting, a Web-hosting service; and Virtual Express Systems, a real-time credit card processing service. The company is expected to gross $100,000 this year.
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