Mobile Electronic Fingerprinting
Holland had worked at the then Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2000. She noticed people coming to that agency for personal and business fingerprinting needs. These needs may be as a prospective adoptive parent, to background checks or to meet legal requirements in various states. With her experience and qualifications, she thought "I could start a business" and began checking into it. When an aunt offered to fund her startup, she had no excuse not to do it!
Until recently, she had been able to hold down a teaching job and run her company simultaneously. She recently dropped the teaching to put all her time into the business. There has been many clients but Joanne Fisher of Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm, probably sums up her market niche the best. She states "What appealed to me was the mobile service portion. She has everything with her, sets up in a conference room and takes over. You can tell that she knows what she is doing." Her success was documented by Todd Nelson, freelance writer for the Star Tribune in a Sept 24, 2007 article.
When she realized she knew nothing about starting a business, she sought business counseling at SCORE Minneapolis. Her team was Virgil Dissmeyer and Bill Richardson. They were a perfect match since Dissmeyer has worked in the service industry and Richardson worked in the manufacturing sector. She says, "What one doesn't think of, the other one will." If they didn't know the answer, they would find someone in the chapter who could.
Laurie Holland began with the traditional issues of setting up a company, registration and other record requirements. Since she, like all startups, had no corporate support staff, time management became an issue. Holland and her mentor covered prioritizing and scheduling. At one point she was considering a strategic partnership and they discussed the pros and cons. Later she had issues with expanding her service thru franchising or business opportunity offerings. They stressed that in a personal service such as hers, personal contacts and networking with others are key to becoming known.