Hockessin's Ellen Barrosse grew her company, Synchrogenix Information Strategies, from a one-woman enterprise into a multi-national firm with 58 employees and revenues of about $7 million.
Entrepreneurship comes naturally to Ellen Barrosse.
The Hockessin woman founded the scientific writing company Synchrogenix Information Strategies in her home almost 25 years ago and today employs 58 people in three countries, with the most recent expansion a Cambridge, Mass., office that opened a little more than week ago.
But the successful copywriting firm is Barrosse’s second entrepreneurial venture – she owned and operated True Confections, a gourmet chocolate, coffee and tea shop on Main Street in Newark, after graduating from college.
“I learned a lot about cash management doing that,” she said. “I had to make $100 a day to break even.”
After increasing competition forced her to close the shop, Barrosse headed back to school to earn a graduate degree, only to find that a recession had sapped the job market.
She ended up taking a freelance writing job at DuPont, eventually founding her own company so she could focus on sales and business leadership.
“I hate writing, and that’s why I have one of the largest medical writing companies in the world,” she said. “I never liked it, so I was really focused on sales and getting the jobs done for clients.”
Within nine months, Barrosse had three people working for her and little more than a year after that, her company had 20 employees. Growing the business really appealed to her robust entrepreneurial spirit, she said.
“Everyday I come to work and there is a different problem or a different challenge or a different opportunity,” she said.
And she’s used those opportunities to grow Synchrogenix, now headquartered in downtown Wilmington, into a $7 million company, she said, with a goal to eventually reach $10 million in revenues.
Adaptability has been one key to her firm’s success. When large chemical companies started trimming expenses, Barrosse had her staff cross-trained in medical regulatory writing to keep the firm marketable.
And when she got wind of new policies that will require most large pharmaceutical companies to limit their business dealings to firms with overseas offices, she opened one in the Philippines, effectively preserving millions of dollars in business.
What keeps Barrosse going? At the end of the day, she doesn’t measure her entrepreneurial success in dollars and cents.
“What’s important to me is my family, the people I work with and then financial success, and it’s in that order,” she said. “If you know what your values are, it’s easy to sleep at night.”