Last year, at the height of the recession while jobs were being shed and the PR industry was contracting, we launched Feintuch Communications.
Many friends and colleagues questioned our timing; others offered their congratulations for our bold timing and going against the tide. The truth is it was both a scary period while at the same time liberating, exciting and empowering. Imagine -- the chance to build a new, ethically run business focused on the needs of our clients with little corporate baggage getting in the way.
Despite the worst recession in generations and a healthy share of unplanned start-up business challenges, our fledgling firm has grown. We added clients, many of whom expanded their programs with us; launched a healthcare and life sciences practice; expanded our corporate identity, marketing services and digital media offerings; and developed a joint venture investor relations practice.
That kept us busy through TODAY when we launched our sister company -- JumpStart Global Advisors (http://www.jumpstartglobal.com/). This newest venture had a slightly longer gestation period than the six weeks it took to conceive of and launch Feintuch Communications.
The back story: About eight years ago, I was staffing a Supercomm trade show booth in Atlanta for Celvibe, a now defunct Israeli wireless infrastructure company. A young attorney approached me, and believing that I was part of the Celvibe management team, began to pitch me on establishing a U.S. base of operations for "our" company.
Scott Gordon explained that his company, Gordon Global Associates (http://www.gordonglobal.com/), based in Lynbrook, N.Y., actively supported "international companies" seeking to establish a footprint in North America. His services ranged from establishment of the business, to legal, accounting, finance and back office support. I asked him about the obviously missing marketing component before I explained to Scott that I was a fellow New Yorker and a partner in a public relations firm.
We met up in New York and developed a friendship and informal referral network. Prospects liked the concept but its casual nature was a difficult sell. And my former agency business colleagues didn't understand how a venture of this sort would help our firm.
Last year, Scott and Gordon Global helped launch Feintuch Communications with a modified set of services that the company provided to overseas entities. It worked like a charm. So we restarted collaboration talks and decided that if we were to marry our businesses, we needed to provide additional critical services including recruiting/staffing solutions to help overseas companies to internationalize here.
Enter Don Zinn.
Don, another of my former clients and a friend, is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30years of sales, management and hiring experience. He has built and run many of his own high tech businesses and is now an executive vice president at Starpoint Solutions (http://www.starpointsolutions.com/), a leading solutions, staffing and executive search firm headquartered in New York City. Scott and I approached Don with our business concept; Don signed right on and we jumped in to begin business planning.
During the second half of 2009, and through 2010, we continued to meet to decide how our organization would work, what it would be called, how we would render services and how we would promote it. We developed our corporate identity, slowly built our Web site, began calling on prospects and today issued our launch press release (www.jumpstartglobal.com/newsroom).
We've already enjoyed success in attracting world-class partners to the JumpStart Global Advisors umbrella (announcements to follow) and have now been invited by IE Singapore to host a "Doing Business in the U.S." seminar
(www.iesingapore.eventshub.sg/Default.aspx?CalID=1&EventID=135) in Singapore starting May 25.
So 16 months into being an entrepreneur, the score is two companies and growing. The only scary part of it now is what happens when the economy improves?