In early 2011, Lisa Kolb and her daughter April Green started thinking about the concept of a business that offered professional services on a subcontractor basis to small businesses. Accountants, real estate clerks, graphic designers, marketing gurus and other experienced workers could offer services to businesses that couldn’t justify hiring an employee for the projects they needed to be done.
“I kept hearing people say, we don’t need anyone in the office, but we sure could use some help on this project,” Green said.
The two women considered the idea for a few months, but in July they decided to go for it. AVA began with the two of them, working mainly with real estate professionals. Kolb has been a realtor for 11 years and Green has experience in sales and business planning.
After a few weeks, news of their business spread and both women started to hear from people who felt their services would be a good addition. Today, AVA is made up of eight women who Kolb and Green say offer an array of services.
“We want to be as diverse as possible,” Green said.
The employees specialize in marketing and social media, accounting, event planning, graphic design, real estate, business strategy, clerical work and medical records.
“Marketing costs money, and a lot of small businesses can’t afford to go to an agency,” said employee Donna Rios, who is in small business marketing. “But if they don’t advertise, you’ll drive by and just see closed, closed, closed on all the doors.”
Rios creates video content for clients they can use on their Web sites to drive up traffic and educate customers. Since they often can’t afford to hire a full-time marketing employee, paying Rios to do the project makes sense.
“My heart is really in the small businesses,” she said. “What better way than this to help them?”
AVA is available for one-time projects or on an ongoing basis, tailored for what each individual business needs. Team members are experienced, licensed in their fields and educated, Green said. She and Kolb have been selective in who they add to their team.
“We have our education, experience and licensing so that we are already professionals in our field,” she said. “We know what we’re doing.”
Small business owners start their companies to do what they love, Green said, not because they enjoy the day-to-day chores of running a business, and AVA works to help small businesses succeed in an economical and efficient way.
“You can have a whole office staff, minus the overhead and space,” she said. “You got into business to sell cupcakes, not to do bookkeeping and design Web sites,”