From At-Will Employee to Owner of a Marketing and Public Relations Firm

Claire Morris never expected to become an entrepreneur, but the right opportunity motivated her to start her own marketing and public relations firm.

Upon her exit from working in public relations for the Department of Commerce, Morris was offered the opportunity to become an independent consultant for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Morris started Clare Morris Agency (CMA) to meet the needs of her first client. The agency employs a total of five people and one intern.

“Being awarded a major contract of $750,000 really helped my business and gave us a huge boost,” said Morris.

CMA is a full-service marketing and public relations firm based in Columbia, SC. The agency is comprised of talented professionals with diverse backgrounds who hold master’s degrees in international business, communications, and sociology.  They have experience in working with private, nonprofit, and government organizations.

“For each of our clients, we work to develop brand awareness and create stronger connections with important audiences,” said Morris. “We identify the most effective communications tactics and leverage every tool to get the job done. In all we do, we are committed to our clients’ success.”

When it comes to challenges in running a business, Morris faces the same as many small business owners: lack of working capital.  Morris recently received counseling from the SBA-South Carolina District Office and received a SBA guaranteed loan from CommunityWorks.

“Meeting with the SBA was the best thing to happen to my business,” said Morris.

Morris also shared that another challenge to running a small business is finding the right employees to do the job. Morris employs all women at CMA and prides herself on providing a work-life balance, to include unlimited sick leave.

“You have to find a good balance when running a small business.” said Morris. “It’s just as important to keep your employees happy as it is to keep your clients happy.”

Morris plans to expand her services more into the government sector.

Getting new clients and keeping the current clients happy is hard but it is the key,” said Morris. “It makes me feel good when I hear that people are familiar with CMA.”

Company Name: 
Clare Morris Agency
Location: 
Columbia, SC