Founder | GrowBiz Media
As the traditional print magazine business model transforms, more print editors are leaving their jobsâ€”sometimes their own decision, sometimes notâ€”and many are taking bold steps into the online world. One example is longtime Entrepreneur editorial director Rieva Lesonsky, who left last April to launch her own marketing communications company.
â€śOver the years Iâ€™d preached, in print and in public appearances, that business ownership was the only way you can really be in charge of your own destiny,â€ť Lesonsky says. â€śI decided it was time to put up or shut up.â€ť
After leaving Entrepreneur, Lesonsky launched SMB Connects, a network that put small businesses together with government agencies and organizations. â€śOur plan was to create a subscription offer that corporations would sign up for to reach fast-growing business owners,â€ť she says. She struck several content deals with publishersâ€”including AllBusiness.com and American City Business Journalâ€”and marketers such as Toshiba.
In September, Entrepreneur sued Lesonsky, alleging that she â€śstoleâ€ť its Franchise 500 ranking concept by creating a Franchise 300 ranking for AllBusiness.com. After months of negotiations, Lesonsky and Entrepreneur settled, agreeing that SMB Connects and AllBusiness.com were prohibited from calling their list the â€śFranchise 300,â€ť or any other â€śconfusingly similarâ€ť name.
Since then, Lesonsky has shifted focus from SBMâ€™s sub-based list service to a fee-based content provider. Under a new nameâ€”GrowBiz Mediaâ€”Lesonsky and her team create and supply information for entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size business owners.
â€śSmall business is, as Bill Clinton used to say, the engine of the American economy,â€ť says Lesonsky. â€śWith millions out of work, it is likely that many will decide to start a business in 2009 and 2010. The need for GrowBiz Mediaâ€™s expertise and services is only going to grow.â€ť
VITAL STATS: Lesonsky projects $400,000 in revenue for her first full year of operation.