Presentation on theme: "Do It In Durham is a celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. 40 events to celebrate, inspire and grow entrepreneurship allowing businesses to come."— Presentation transcript:
Do It In Durham is a celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. 40 events to celebrate, inspire and grow entrepreneurship allowing businesses to come together, to learn, connect, grow and succeed
Transition from Employee to Owner Wilkins IT Solutions Inc. How I Became my own Boss
A long time ago in a galaxy far away… Degree and Diploma in Electronics Engineering Started working for UPS to pay for school Before school finished had well paying FT job About 5 years in it started getting stale – “Carrot on the stick” – Never rose where I wanted to be (or was promised) at the speed I wanted
Where am I today? President of Wilkins IT Solutions Inc. Steady growth of local business Working full-time for the company (myself)
Where are you? Tell us about yourself Include name, business idea or company name, and if you work full time also If applicable, what barriers have you encountered as a new business owner? Keep it all to 30 seconds!
How it all started I have always been the family computer guy Started fixing computers for money Got into a few businesses and realized that I liked the dynamic of work and could do this for a living Registered my company a few weeks later Still had FT Job at UPS for another 1.5yr
Managing Two Careers I worked afternoons/evenings at FT Job – Made it easier to run the IT business during the day Work life balance started to tip towards work Enjoyed the IT part but started dreading 8+ at my FT job (but it still paid majority of the bills) Really enjoyed all the extra money Not really a long term gig running two FT jobs
All Work, No Play! Getting calls for IT support around the clock Getting calls for package support (UPS) around the clock Got stronger and more passionate recognition from my clients than from the 1000s of dollars I saved UPS each day Started planning my ‘escape’
The Tipping Point Baby on the way New house Lots of driving Poor hours (more like 24 hours) Started making good money with IT work Had a good support system at home The benefits, vacation time and corporate perks couldn’t keep me any longer
Putting It All Together I work more hours than I did before I have no benefits or EI like before I have less vacation time than I did before (and never TRULY go on vacation) and yet… I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING!
What Keeps Me Going I am proud of every dollar I make I make a difference in my clients lives through their technology I enhance my own skillsets constantly as I learn and help more people I finish the day satisfied I made a difference in my city/region
Starting YOUR Business Put together the services and products you want to provide It has to be more than top-level (in my case): – I can fix computers – I can build websites What else can you do? How are you different than everyone else?
Home Office FTW If you don’t need a storefront or business space to meet clients – home office is best No additional overhead and your local dozen coffee shops are more than adequate for client meetings Need more formal space? There are professional office spaces for rent all over Durham Region
Keep the CAPEX Low If your business is selling services or your knowledge/expertise, keep purchases to a minimum – I ran my business for its first year off of a $500 laptop. I did all my QB, government work and development off of an 11” laptop screen and an old beat up PC If your business requires having product on-hand, try to keep quantities small to minimize your risk You may pay more per item now, but your total risk is much lower
Living Off Word of Mouth To date I have spent $1000 in marketing TOTAL with over 50% of that being spent this quarter Word of mouth referrals, testimonials and networking groups are great options for increasing business (for less money) It’s a lot of work and puts your future growth in other peoples hands Get quality leads and referrals from people who trust you
Local Professional Associations Join your local chamber of commerce – Benefits for expenses – Networking groups and opportunities Find local associations to expand your reach, find mentors and gain business – DHSBA – BNI – BPA
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