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Local entrepreneurs give new business insights


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March 14, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – The economy is finally taking off.

This has plenty of entrepreneurs jumping up to take advantage of burgeoning sales.

Two men from Milton and Alpharetta started new companies. The men not only want to make their mark on the world, but also have experience starting new businesses.

Ronnie Andrews, of Milton, has started several of his own companies. His latest is "Call Loop," is a voice and messaging platform.

"I've been in IT for 15 years," Andrews said. "During that time, I worked at many different companies, including some of largest in the country."

For the past five years, Andrews has been looking to start his own tech company. There is a myth in the country about where to begin a company, he said.

"Often, people tend to view entrepreneurialism in the context of Silicon Valley," Andrews said. "Few people think of Atlanta or the North Fulton area as a place to start a business. There are many companies clustered around here."

North Fulton should be a no-brainer, Andrews said. There are a mass of data centers, fiber optic networks and Fortune 1,000 companies. Not to mention the proximity to Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

"Our area is a great place to start a business," he said.

Beyond the location, almost everything can be found online, including help starting a business.

"It's never been easier to start a business," Andrews said.

There are dozens of free or cheap services to create a company website. Dozens more resources that can help get a company incorporated.

"I found the creation process simple," he said.

After creation, it's a matter of finding customers.

For North Fulton, that can mean one of several high-tech companies that line Windward and Westside parkways.

Milton resident Earnie Olin, founder of "Creative Colors International," says these are his clientele.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Olin came to Atlanta for work, like most transplants. He owned a custom counter top company. After that he worked a variety of office jobs but got tired "wearing suits and ties."

So he started looking for new business ideas.

He finally settled on becoming a franchisee with Creative Colors International, which largely deals with auto dealerships.

"The dealer gets a trade-in to sell and maybe there is a tear in the seat or the color is worn off," Olin said. "We will re-dye it back to the original clean. We can fix cracks in the door panels, deodorize and do anything that can refurbish the inside of a car. It's the equivalent of giving the engine a tune-up, but we give the interior a tune-up."

And he does that at a fraction of the cost of getting new materials.

The same is true for home and office furniture.

Olin chose to franchise with Creative Colors because it had no Atlanta branch. He is the trailblazer for the company and hopes to employ 10 people in the five years in the North Atlanta market.

"I chose to franchise with them because, like John Dillinger said when asked why he robbed banks, 'That's where the money is,'" Olin said. "There is the opportunity to grow and build something for myself and my family. As a sales person, generally the person you fight the most isn't the customer, it's the boss. Everybody wants to make their own decisions. That is why I did this."

BUS 03-19-14

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