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BUSINESS PULSE : SMALL BUSINESS IN ORANGE COUNTY : Small- Business Snapshot

May 19, 1989

JIM RYERSON PRODUCTIONS

Address: 160 Newport Center Drive, Suite 155, Newport Beach.

Owner: Jim Ryerson

Business: Television and film production

Employees: 4

Sales: $750,000

Startup costs: $75,000

When profitable? 3 years.

History: I'd been a television reporter for 15 years. I formed my own business in 1983, calling on my previous TV experience and contacts. My first major client was Walt Disney Productions. We got started off very quickly, which was good because I was undercapitalized and underfinanced. In the beginning, we mainly did video projects for major Orange County companies. Now we're more national in scope--we're doing 50% video and 50% film, projects like educational films that have been aired on PBS. I started out using my guest bedroom as my office, then moved into the offices we're in now in Newport Center.

Motivation: I'd done news for 15 years and decided I didn't want to be chasing around the world anymore. I wanted to live in one location and deiced this was the only way to do it.

Smartest move: Getting into the film business, because that's where my interest seems to lie. I was fortunate in being able to meet someone who was able to help me along where I lacked experience--as a director.

Biggest mistake: Starting out under-capitalized is always a huge mistake, but if I'd known what capital I needed, I'd have never started the business. All the things you hear about starting a small businesss are true, but no one ever believes it.

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